Full course description
This course discusses the implications of global sustainability challenges for the development of strategy, management systems, and financing policies of companies. We combine key theoretical and empirical studies from various disciplines to understand how companies can undertake steps to adopt sustainability principles in ways that serve both their business goals and society at large. Rather than perceiving sustainability issues as constraints on performance, students learn how profit-oriented companies can identify sustainability challenges that are strategically relevant to the company, and which affect the competiveness and long-run performance of their Organisations.
After such issues have been integrated in corporate and business strategy, managers must be aware that those strategic benefits that firms can reap with corporate sustainability performance may be intangible and may materialize slowly. These features of corporate sustainability can make it complicated for firms to set the right targets for employees, create adequate benchmarks for measuring progress, provide workers the right incentives to behave towards ultimate sustainability goals, make internally consistent financing decisions, and report properly on corporate sustainability performance to external financial and non-financial stakeholders. Translating strategy to actions along these lines thus becomes central to the second part of the course.
The mainstream business community is in urgent need of ways to transform sustainability challenges into competitive advantages. Achieving that goal requires business professionals with an early understanding of how sustainability issues run as a common thread through strategy, management and control, finance, and marketing. This course discusses sustainability in a business context through this multidisciplinary perspective. By doing so, students will be able to understand how businesses can address sustainability to be more competitive and create economic benefits for both the firm and society. Also, to achieve that goal, students will learn how sustainability affects businesses in their strategy formation, their performance management, measurement and control, their reporting, and their financing decisions.
Courses and workload are demanding for all IB Master courses. Exchange students need to have obtained a Bachelor degree in business. The course touches on topics from the domains of strategy (core competencies, resource-based view of the firm, Porter-generic strategies) , management, (financial) accounting, corporate finance (cost of capital, valuation), and marketing. Students are expected to understand the key basic concepts from these domains, as is taught in typical bachelor business programs. Analytical skills, understanding of excel, and an advanced level of English are required.
The course is taught using use a collection of top-ranked academic and high-impact practitioner-oriented articles, and cases that help students to confront theory with practice.
- Host Institution Maastricht University
- Department / Institute School of Business and Economics
- Course Language English