Please note! Course description is confirmed for two academic years, which means that in general, e.g. Learning outcomes, assessment methods and key content stays unchanged. However, via course syllabus, it is possible to specify or change the course execution in each realization of the course, such as how the contact sessions are organized, assessment methods weighted or materials used.


After completing the course, students will be able to:

  • Identify and critically assess different strategic approaches to and rationales behind sustainability and CSR communication
  • Identify and analyze some narrative and rhetorical strategies that contemporary organizations use in their sustainability and CSR communication
  • Carry out stakeholder analysis for sustainability and CSR communication.
  • Create audience-centered communication initiatives and strategies for sustainability and CSR management.

Credits: 6

Schedule: 15.01.2019 - 14.02.2019

Teacher in charge (valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022): Johanna Moisander

Teacher in charge (applies in this implementation): Johanna Moisander

Contact information for the course (valid 17.12.2018-21.12.2112):

Johanna Moisander:

Please note that it is my policy to respond to emails promptly.  If you don't hear from me within two (business) days, please send me a reminder! 

Office hours by appointment only.

CEFR level (applies in this implementation):

Language of instruction and studies (valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022):

Teaching language: English

Languages of study attainment: English


  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    Corporate Responsibility Communication provides students with knowledge and capabilities that sustainability managers and CSR communication specialists need to analyze and respond to changing stakeholder expectations about corporate responsibility, accountability, transparency, and responsiveness. The course offers conceptual tools, analytical techniques, and best practices for (1) managing stakeholder engagement as a communicative process, and (2) developing effective sustainability and CSR communication initiatives and strategies for diverse organizations. Topics covered include sustainability and CSR reporting; corporate integrity; stakeholder dialogue; stakeholder analysis; rhetorical stratetegies for CSR communication; CSR storytelling; and challenges of CSR communication.

  • Applies in this implementation:

    The course is designed to help you develop capabilities that you might need to get a job and succeed as a sustainability manager or CSR communication specialist. During the course, you are expected to focus your learning on actively developing these capabilities. 

    To that end, you are required to complete a set of  learning assignments that guide you in this process. The required coursework will help you move forward by

    • analyzing industry (best) practices, 
    • studying some of the 'tools' of the trade, and 
    • learning by doing - developing and applying models for managing and implementing communication strategies and initiatives .

    For details on the course content, please see the MyCourses learning environment. You can also download 📥 the program and schedule as a pdf-document.

Assessment Methods and Criteria
  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    Students will be assessed based on their course work on a scale of 0-5.

    The final grade will be a weighted average of the following separately graded course work:

    • A randomly selected learning assignment (20%) 
    • Final course paper (50%)
    • Oral presentation of the final course paper (30%)

  • Applies in this implementation:

    To complete the course students are required to do the following:

    • Attend and actively participate in class meetings
    • Study the learning material specified for each class meeting and complete successfully the assigned learning assignments twice a week according to the pre-defined schedule.
    • Write a final course paper (a consultancy report-type report of about 3000 words + appendices, prepared in groups of five) according to the instructions specified later.

    Your final grade will be a weighted average of the following course work

    • Assignment 1 (10%)
    • A randomly selected learning assignment (20%)
    • Final course paper (50%)
    • Oral presentation of the final course paper (20%)

  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    Workload 160 h (6 cr)

    • Independent learning module  20 h
    • Class meetings 20h
    • Learning assignments and group work for presentation and final report 120h


  • Applies in this implementation:

    At Aalto University, the required workload for a six credit course is 160 learning hours (learning hour = 45 min.). And for most courses delivered at Aalto BIZ, students are expected to complete all the coursework within the time frame of a "teaching period," which is now six weeks + an "evaluation week." 

    This means that to complete a six credit course (within the teaching period of six weeks), students typically need to schedule about 20 hours (net working hours) per week for attending class sessions and completing the coursework.

    For this course, the workload breakdown is approximately the following:

    • Independent learning module 20h*
    • Class meetings 20h (10 x 2h)  
    • Learning assignments (to be completed before class meetings) 80 (10 x 8h)
    • Final course paper (group work) 40h

    *h = learning hour (45min.)


Study Material
  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    1. A package of readings specified by the instructor.
    2. Ihlen, Øyvind, Bartlett, Jennifer, & May, Steve. (2011). The Handbook of Communication and Corporate Social Responsibility. Chichester: John Wiley & Sons.


  • Applies in this implementation:

    Please see the MyCourses learning environment.

SDG: Sustainable Development Goals

    4 Quality Education


Details on the schedule
  • Applies in this implementation:

    Please see the MyCourses learning environment