Topic outline

  • General

    21E06050 Responsibility Management (book exam, 6 cr)

    Syllabus 2018-2019

    Leena Lankoski (

    INFORMATION: The literature to be studied for the exam will be updated for the academic year 2020-2021. A new MyCourses site will be opened in August 2020 and all information concerning the exam during 2020-2021 will be there.

    INFORMATION: The exam and the materials will be the same for the academic year 2019-2020. The exam dates will be 16.9.2019, 29.11.2019, and 9.3.2020.

    Welcome to study for the book exam on Responsibility Management! The learning objective of this course is to strengthen and deepen your knowledge and theoretical understanding of key areas of corporate responsibility management and sustainability in business.

    This is a Master’s level course which is an elective in the Creative Sustainability programme as well as in the Management and International Business programme.  A prerequisite for the course is 21E16001 Sustainability in Business or equivalent.

    There are three exams during the academic year. In the academic year 2018-2019 the exam dates are 17.9.2018, 30.11.2018, and 11.3.2019.

    Literature to be studied for the exam is listed below. All articles are available in electronic format through Aalto library. All articles are required, and passing the exam will require integrating and applying knowledge across several articles. Study the articles for a deep understanding of their substantive content (not methodological detail). Please note that this is an advanced level course, which is reflected in the level of sophistication that is expected of the answers.

    Foundations of responsibility management and sustainability in business

    • Definitions and meanings: Bansal, P., & Song, H. C. (2017). Similar but not the same: Differentiating corporate sustainability from corporate responsibility. Academy of Management Annals, 11(1), 105-149.
    • Stakeholder theory and stakeholder identification: Beckman, T., Khare, A., & Matear, M. (2016). Does the theory of stakeholder identity and salience lead to corporate social responsibility? The case of environmental justice. Social Responsibility Journal, 12(4), 806-819.

     Managing for responsibility and sustainability

    • Business models: Bocken, N. M., 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.
    • Innovations: Goodman, J., Korsunova, A., & Halme, M. (2017). Our collaborative future: Activities and roles of stakeholders in sustainability‐oriented innovation. Business Strategy and the Environment, 26(6), 731-753.
    • Organization and management: Eccles, R.G., Perkins, K.M., & Serafeim, G. (2012). How to become a sustainable company. MIT Sloan Management Review, 53(4), 43-50.
    • Strategic management processes: Hahn, R. (2013). ISO 26000 and the standardization of strategic management processes for sustainability and corporate social responsibility. Business Strategy and the Environment, 22(7), 442-455.

     Outcomes of responsibility and sustainability management

    • Financial performance impacts: Lankoski, L. (2008). Corporate responsibility activities and economic performance: A theory of why and how they are connected. Business Strategy and the Environment, 17: 536-547.
    • Social and environmental impacts: Halme, M., Rintamäki, J., Knudsen, J.S., Lankoski, L., & Kuisma, M. (2018). When is there a sustainability case for CSR? Pathways to environmental and social performance improvements. Business & Society, in press.

     Current topics in responsibility management and sustainability in business

    • Circular economy: Esposito, M., Tse, T., & Soufani, K. (2018). Introducing a circular economy: New thinking with new managerial and policy implications. California Management Review, 60(3), 5-19.
    • Climate change:  Cadez, S., & Czerny, A. (2016). Climate change mitigation strategies in carbon-intensive firms. Journal of Cleaner Production, 112, 4132-4143.