About the course
Contemporary business organizations face the dual expectations of being profitable while at the same time being responsible. Achieving sustainable performance is challenging from an organizational point of view, and it implies aligning or balancing the pursuit of profitability with social and environmental goal attainment.
Business organizations are based either explicitly or implicitly on a business model. The business model specifies how the company creates, delivers and captures value. The purpose of this course is to illuminate how business organizations can design sustainable business models, i.e. business models that align and integrate the company’s economic, social and environmental goal attainment in its strategy and core activities. This implies enhancing the company’s positive externalities and minimizing its negative externalities, in a way that enhances the perceived value of the company’s offerings to customers and other key stakeholders. Thus, firms may enhance financial performance while creating value for a broader set of stakeholders.
The course aims to equip students with the ability to design and innovate sustainable strategies and business models. The course builds on analyses of business models and corporate responsibility by means of case studies of Norwegian and international companies. The course sheds light on the design and innovation of responsible business models. The relationship between responsibility and profitability has traditionally been viewed as a “trade-off”. This course aims to equip students with an understanding of how companies can move beyond this trade-off by designing sustainable business models that align financial, social and environmental performance.