Academic year
2018/2019 Syllabus of previous years
Official course title
Course code
EM6037 (AF:257661 AR:151167)
On campus classes
ECTS credits
Degree level
Master's Degree Programme (DM270)
Educational sector code
2nd Term
Course year
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The increased acceptance of sustainability as the qualification of a company purpose that goes beyond the immediate achievement of profit, leads to a reflection about the “mode of goverment” of economic operations. The result is a systematic attention to the relations between economy, society and nature and a push to place companies firmly in the processes of sustainable development. It makes clear the “wicked problems” to be solved so as to ensure acceptable arrangements for the overall environment ("good anthropocene"). The goal of the course is:

a. to articulate the main components of the concept of corporate sustainability, linking them with the "grand challenges" that emerge from the objectives (SDG) that are consolidating the view about a balanced relations between economy, society and nature
b. to highlight the implications for the development of strategic management processes capable of recovering the transformative nature of sustainability-conscious approaches and overcoming the limits of rigid planning processes
c. to underline the close connection between innovation and sustainability and the interest in placing company operations in line with the logic of sustainable development
d. to discuss the particularities and the interest of business models that significantly recover innovative ideas derived from the acceptance of a "purpose" consistent with a sustainable development approach.
Attendance and active participation in training activities offered by the course (lectures, case discussions), and self-study will enable students:
1. Knowledge and comprehension
1.1. Acquiring main approaches to corporate sustainability and their connection to the strategic management processes
1.2. Acquiring examples of connection between the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and business sustainability
1.3. Acquiring examples of sustainable business models
2. Ability to apply knowledge and understanding
2.1. Knowing how to analyze business cases highlighting the opportunities arising from a business approach to sustainability
3. Ability to judge
3.1. Knowing how to identify the implications for the system of management tools of an orientation to business sustainability
Knowledge of the basics of business administration
Knowledge of management planning and control systems
1. From reaction to purpose: the evolution of business action on sustainability
2. Three main approaches to sustainability and their implications for strategic management processes
3. The practice of business sustainability; some framework on the business journey towards the sustainability
4. The relationship between corporate sustainability and sustainable development; the relevance of SDG framework
5. The orientation towards sustainability as an engine of innovation
6. A critical review of the main archetypes of sustainable business models
Mandatory texts
- magazine articles
Thomas Dyllick and Katrin Muff (2015), Clarifying the Meaning of Sustainable Business: Introducing a Typology From Business-as-Usual to True Business Sustainability, Organization & Environment 1-19
Jay J., Gerand M. (2015), Accelerating the Theory and Practice of Sustainability-Oriented Innovation, Mit Working Paper SRN
Bocken N.M.P., Short S.W., Rana P., Evans S. (2014) A literature and practice review to develop sustainable business model archetypes, Journal of Cleaner Production 65 42-56
Hahn T., Figge F., Pinkse J., Preuss L. (2017), A Paradox Perspective on Corporate Sustainability: Descriptive, Instrumental and Normative Aspects, Journal of Business Ethics 32
The assessment of learning takes place through a written test with open questions.
During the written test the use of books, notes, electronic media is not allowed
Teaching is organized in:
a) lectures
b) discussion of business cases proposed to students who will have to analyze and report the results achieved in the classroom, even in small groups.

This subject deals with topics related to the macro-area "Circular economy, innovation, work" and contributes to the achievement of one or more goals of U. N. Agenda for Sustainable Development

Definitive programme.
Last update of the programme: 11/07/2018