BMO-53806 Business & Society


Studiepunten 6.00

Course coordinator(s)prof. dr. WA Dolfsma
Lecturer(s)dr. R Wesselink

Language of instruction:


Assumed knowledge on:



The world is changing quickly and so are the challenges tomorrow's entrepreneurs and business professionals face. One of these challenges is that a company's license to operate and grow is no longer seen in terms of maximizing economic profits alone. Increasing social and environmental pressures provide opportunities for sustainable entrepreneurship and the development of more responsible businesses which are embedded and accepted in society. To prepare future entrepreneurs and business professionals for this challenge, the impact of business on society and society on business is explored in this course.
During the course, the relationship between business and society is studied from a business perspective. Recent research on four specific topics will be discussed: 1) opportunities for sustainable entrepreneurship, 2) changing existing businesses into sustainable companies (implementation of CSR in general and integration of CSR in organisational dimensions like human resources, organisational structure, core values etc.), 3) the influence of stakeholders and the collaboration between business and governments, NGO's and civil society (i.e., collaboration with stakeholders, cross-sector partnerships, etc.) and 4) business ethical dilemma's concerning the balancing of economic, socio-cultural and environmental interests. Because the involvement of the individual entrepreneur, manager or professional is crucial in the transition towards a sustainable company/organisation, before mentioned topics will be studied both on the company level and on the level of the individual as sustainability managers, change agent and/or ethical actor. During the lectures, state of the art scientific knowledge and research will be presented to the students and they will be challenged to apply their disciplinary knowledge during various assignments.

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:
- recognize and analyse opportunities for sustainable entrepreneurship and sustainable management;
- analyse and apply theoretical models of CSR implementation and the organisational dimensions of CSR implementation (human resources, organisational structure etc.) and specific interventions (change management) to implement CSR policies within these dimensions;
- identify, based on theoretical underpinnings, whether a performance of an organisation and/or professional can be called sustainable and recognizes the ethical dilemma's concerning balancing economic, socio-cultural and environmental interests in these particular situations;
- analyse and apply theoretical models about collaboration between business and all kinds of stakeholders;
- recall individual competencies important for sustainable organisational performance and knows how to develop these competencies.


- lectures;
- guest-lectures;
- paper assignment;
- case discussion;
- literature study;
- self-study.


The final exam consists of:
- a Written exam (50%);
- a Group paper (50%).
Each part has to have a minimum mark of 5.5 to pass.


Book and articles