Organisational strategies and sustainable development

The concepts of "sustainability" and "responsibility" are at the core of traditional strategy research and managerial frameworks. How to create a "sustainable" competitive advantage is the holy grail of managerial decision-making and of managerial "responsibilities" towards capital providers. However, at the level of global society, the concepts "sustainability" and "responsibility" also refer to complex phenomena such as human rights, climate change, water stress, depletion of natural resources, pollution, shifting demographics, poverty or inequality. The association of these challenges with economic activities has created concerns over the paradigms of capital markets, corporate legitimacy, the scope and scale of corporate operations and traditional views of strategic success factors and corporate responsibilities. At the same time, these global challenges have triggered a wave of civil society-led innovations ranging from social movements to social enterprises and the establishment of new governance models. The actions of and the interfaces between private-, public, and civil society sectors are shaping new opportunities and threats for a global, more sustainable development. This module provides a platform for reflecting on the characteristics and strategies of actors from different sectors, the dynamics of sector interfaces, and the synergies or potential trade-offs between economic, social and environmental value creation. We will highlight and evaluate current key strategies of decision-makers in their struggle to align short-term and long-term and various ethical dimensions of global and local challenges for sustainable development.

We will jointly develop a realistic understanding of the preferences, approaches, and core strategies of key stakeholders as well as the characteristics and dynamics of global environmental and social problems. This will provide a solid basis for evaluating the sustainability of current societal trajectories or lack thereof and the validity and power of various interventions to achieve a more sustainable global path into the future.

This course is for 2nd year MIA and MPP students only.