Introduction to Sustainable Development & Corporate

2 Credit Core course – PGDM (Part time, 2015-18)
XLRI Jamshedpur
Instructor: Dr. Tata L. Raghu Ram (Ph: 6653196; M: 9934360121); E-mail:
The strategist who is unconcerned by sustainability is akin to an architect who cares
not whether their building stands or falls – James Mackenzie
Sustainable Development (SD) has most commonly been interpreted to mean “development that
integrates socio-environmental and equitable benefit sharing concerns into decision making
while contributing to inter and intra-generational human wellbeing”. Various national and
international policy and regulatory frameworks have emerged to encourage adaptation of SD
practices. Historically, businesses have treated SD concerns as peripheral issues, outside the
realm of mainstream business decision making. Social responsibility and environmental
management have been framed as added costs driven primarily by guilt or regulation. Over the
last decade the understanding of business and sustainability inter‐linkages has undergone a
paradigm shift. Balancing the often conflicting stakeholder interests has emerged as a new
business challenge. As Porter and Kramer (2011) framed it, shared value creation (creating win‐
win outcomes for all stakeholders) has emerged the path forward for 21 century business
enterprises. In this context, to maximize a firm’s competitive advantage, managers should learn
to include SD concerns into the full range of business operations and strategic decision making.
Even more importantly, they need to be able to take advantage of the business opportunities
inherent in society’s demands for SD.

In a nutshell, SD aims to achieve a balance between economic (Profit), social (People) and
environmental (Planet) objectives. Many enterprises are now actively seeking to pull these
together under a competitive strategy that captures this “triple bottom line.” There is a real
potential for competitive advantage to be increasingly rooted in such new capabilities as
resource optimization, designing for environment, , social responsiveness, stakeholder
engagement, going beyond compliance and gaining social consent to operate etc.

This course is designed to sensitize and equip students with skills to navigate the interface of
business and SD.

Course Objectives and Learning outcomes
At the end of the course, students will be able to:
 Develop an understanding of the emerging national/global Sustainable Development
trends and their relevance to business management.
 Develop stakeholder sensitivity to be able to drive managerial decisions to create

“shared value” for inter and intra‐generational equity  Develop a familiarity with the various tools and frameworks that enable integration of SD concerns into business decision making .

*Reading material and references are incorporated in the session plan Session‐wise schedule .

absence from class beyond 2 sessions (with permission or otherwise). End‐term: 40% . Live group project on sustainability: 25% Choose a sustainability topic that is most relevant to your job profile and in consultation with sustainability officer in your company. In addition. each group will conduct a thorough research on the topic and submit a 4 page write‐up on the state of the art. Final presentation should be shared with me and other students at least 24 hours before the class.Pedagogy Each session will have 3 components: 1 Introduction and business relevance of the day’s topic by the instructor : 45 minutes 2 Group project presentation : 20 minutes 3 Discussion : 20 minutes Course Evaluation 1. Missing 5 sessions or more will attract “F” grade. 4. Attendance: 10% In addition to 10%. 3. This requires that the groups shall interact with me at least 5 days before their presentation to finalize the contents. We will discuss more on this as we start interacting. Leave of absence should be notified to the course instructor. Group project and presentation: 25% (15% for write‐up + 10% for presentation) From session 2 onwards. 2. will attract 3 negative marks per session. At least 7 research articles/reports should be read and citations need to be provided along with the write‐up. Critically analyze the issue through research and submit a Detailed Project Report. students in groups (4 or 5 students/group) will research and present on a pre-assigned topic.

mobile phones.Group Presentations Each group will make a presentation for 20 minutes. Very thoroughly researched presentations that go beyond the readings provided in the course kit is what is expected. Important instructions:  No repeat quizzes/exams will be conducted. and societal levels) to business decision making Group 2: Life Cycle Assessment as a strategic decision making tool Group 3: Deriving strategic advantage through Circular Economy Group 4: Strategic advantages of Sustainable supply chain Management Group 5: Corporate ecosystem services review: Addressing business risk arising from ecosystem change Group 6: Using sustainability as marketing strategies in B2C.  No student will be allowed into the class after attendance is taken. sleeping in the class. Please note that half‐ hearted efforts will not do. B2B & B2G space Group 7: Sustainability as a strategic financial decision making tool Group 8: The challenge of embedding sustainability in organizations: The role of HRM and leadership Group 9: Emergence of Green economy as a concept and its relevance to corporate strategy Group 10: Relevance of sustainability to strategy: emerging trends Group 11: Driving competitive advantage through CSR Group 12: Building National competitiveness through sustainability Grading The course will follow the grading norm as suggested in the student manual. Group 1: Relevance of Ecological footprint (at individual. relevant and count. reading some other course’s material etc.  The course instructor will have “Zero tolerance” towards use of laptops. . Plagiarism will attract “F” grade. It is up to the groups to demonstrate their scholarship and collective wisdom to make the presentations lively.  The course instructor will have “Zero tolerance” towards plagiarism. All written submissions and group projects/ppts shall pass through anti‐plagiarism software. firm.