Corporate Social Responsibility

Contributing to economic and social development

The Corporate Social Responsibility programme mainly targets participants from non-European countries and/or NGOs who are active in these countries.

In a globalised world, companies are increasingly confronted with ethical norms and values that differ across countries. This provides a challenge to them, as differing moral standards come with differing expectations on the economic, social and environmental responsibility that companies have to assume. In the industrialised societies of today, companies are expected by their stakeholders – such as customers, suppliers, employees, the public, and the media – to do more than simply following the law. In developing countries, where legal standards typically are weak, the question on basic responsibilities, such as protecting human rights of workers or paying living salaries, arise.

This demand for more corporate responsibility is aggravated by the unprecedented challenges of the 21st century such as climate change, demographic change, resource scarcity, and urbanisation. Companies are not only expected to make a contribution to the solution of these problems for the sake of society, they will simply have to do so for their own sake in order to stay competitive in the long run. In this course we study this interplay between business and society in a globalised world and explore how companies can meet stakeholder expectations in a manner that balances social, environmental and economic goals.

Through this programme, you will gain practical experience with group project assignments on how to develop "Strategic Corporate Responsibility" programmes. Strategic Corporate Responsibility was first used by Michael Porter as meaning that the internal business goals and objectives (profits, market share, brand equity, etc) are strategically integrated with stakeholders goals and objectives. Porters assessment tools and the instructors experience working on CSR programs with global leaders such as IKEA and Coca-Cola are used to guide you to develop practical CSR solutions in real market conditions.