Topic outline

  • General

    21E06050 Responsibility Management (book exam, 6 cr)

    Syllabus 2021-22

    Leena Lankoski (

    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 meant primarily for students in the Creative Sustainability Master's programme and secondarily for students in Aalto School of Business Master's programmes.  A prerequisite for the course is 21E16001 Sustainability in Business or equivalent. Thus, this exam requires that you already have previous studies in business management and in corporate responsibility.

    There are three exams during the academic year. In the academic year 2021-2022 the exam dates are 20.9.2021, 3.12.2021, and 18.3.2022. Because of the COVID-19 situation, the fall exams will be organized online in MyCourses. Decisions have not yet been made about the spring exam.

    How to take part in the online exam on 3.12.2021:

    • Register to the exam through SISU before the registration time closes. To avoid any last minute surprises, when registering please check immediately whether SISU has accepted your registration or whether some preconditions are not met. Questions related to course registrations in SISU can be directed to (This refers to the technical acceptance of your registration, for example that you have the right version of the course in your study plan. Whether you will in fact get a place on the course will be calculated by SISU only once the registration period ends.)
    • After the registration closes, the accepted students will be added to this MyCourses site as participants. Those students will gain access to the exam once it opens. The placeholder for the exam is already visible on this site, so you can already familiarize yourself with where to find the exam.
    • The exam will be open on 3.12.2021 during 14:00-16:00. This means that you cannot start the exam before 14:00 and you cannot continue the exam after 16:00.
    • During the exam you ARE allowed to consult the literature as well as your own notes. However, the nature of the exam requires that you have studied the literature well in advance
    • During the exam you are NOT allowed to collaborate with anyone else. Your responses must be your own work only

    Literature to be studied for the exam in the academic year 2021-22 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.

    • Definitions and meanings: Lankoski, L. (2016). Alternative conceptions of sustainability in a business context. Journal of Cleaner Production, 139: 847-857.
    • Business models: Bocken, N. M. P., & Short, S. W. (2021). Unsustainable business models – Recognising and resolving institutionalised social and environmental harm. Journal of Cleaner Production, in press.
    • 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.
    • Marketing: White, K., Habib, R., & Hardisty, D. J. (2019). How to SHIFT consumer behaviors to be more sustainable: A literature review and guiding framework. Journal of Marketing, 83(3), 22-49.
    • Financial performance outcomes: 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 outcomes: Halme, M., Rintamäki, J., Knudsen, J.S., Lankoski, L., & Kuisma, M. (2020). When is there a sustainability case for CSR? Pathways to environmental and social performance improvements. Business & Society, 59(6), 1181–1227.
    • Creating shared value: Menghwar, P. S., & Daood, A. (2021). Creating shared value: A systematic review, synthesis and integrative perspective. International Journal of Management Reviews, in press.
    • Current topics / Climate change:  Cadez, S., & Czerny, A. (2016). Climate change mitigation strategies in carbon-intensive firms. Journal of Cleaner Production, 112, 4132-4143.
    • Current topics / Biodiversity: Winn, M. I. & Pogutz, S. (2013). Business, ecosystems, and biodiversity: New horizons for management research. Organization & Environment, 26(2), 203-229.