Nord University (Norway) и БГТУ «ВОЕНМЕХ» им. Д.Ф. Устинова (Россия)

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Applied Approaches of Sustainable Management

ECTS credits:5

Level of course: Master

Type of course: Compulsory for the program «Master of Science in Sustainable Management»

Duration: 1 semester

Study start: Fall

Year of study: 2nd year

Study place:Saint-Petersburg, BSTU

Language of instruction: English

Course responsible person:Natalia Andreassen Natalia.Andreassen@uin.no

Course evaluation:The course is evaluated annually by students by way of course evaluation studies (mid-term evaluation and final evaluation).

Faculty responsible:Baltic State Technical University

Course contents:

Section 1: Sustainability reporting and corporate sustainability. Drivers in the context of Russia

This section reviews how sustainability reporting framework has developed worldwide and in Russia, what is happening with reporting practice and sustainability reporting guidelines globally and on the national level. Students discuss how to compare reports from different countries. The possible drivers for corporate sustainability or CSR efforts are structured and presented referring to main theoretical considerations used in the field of sustainability literature. These driversare discussed in the light of the politico-economic context of Russia. Students draw conclusions about the main drivers for sustainability reporting in the studied context of Russia and simulate a stakeholders’ dialogue to facilitate further development of example reports.

Section 2: Environmental Performance and Environmental Reporting

The first lecture “Why do the companies go green?” provides with a several approaches to explain initiation and development of sustainable management practices, and in particular environmental and social reporting of corporations. Most of the approaches presented arise from institutional theory (coercive, mimetic and normative mechanisms), and stakeholder theory. However, there will be discussed contextual factors associated with environmental reporting. Institutional factors of “why companies go green” in cases of large oil and gas Russian companies are presented. The second lecture “How to evaluate environmental performance of a company?” provides with a several approaches and frameworks of corporate environmental performance evaluating. Different indicators and key areas are presented and discussed. Both financial and non-financial indicators are to be reflected upon. The third lecture “Environmental reporting in Russian oil industry: a perspective of norms” covers regulative and normative framework for environmental reporting in Russian production companies. This includes national obligatory standards and voluntary guidelines, both national and international. Institutional bodies responsible for issuing standards are named and discussed.  

Section 3: Sustainable business networks

Modern business landscape is characterized by extensive use of network-based structures to organize cooperation between firms. Participants of such networks can get access to each other’s resources or attain a critical mass to reach new market or capture a larger project.So-called policy-implanted networks is a modern practice where a network development is supported by a state innovation fund or by governmental initiative.We discuss managerial challenges in development of such networks for SMEs towards sustainable business activities valued by the members.

Section 4: Sustainability Challenge for Supply Chain Management: Evidence from the High North.

Supply chains, for most organizations, have a far greater impact on the environment than any other part of their operations. While most corporate and public focus has been on the sustainable profile of a product, (i.e. its source and whether it is recyclable), there is a need to spotlight and understand the sustainability issues related to the transportation and distribution of those products.The study material provides with a broad perspective to go beyond the environmental principles of supply chains and integrate environmental principles within the corporate social responsibility focus.Moreover, the role of nature and geographical aspect are emphasized in managing supply chains in the High North. The High North realities dictate their own terms of remote areas, sparse transportation networks and an utterly limited choice of supply connections. These factors impose special challenges on cargo transportation in the High North as well as considerably affect sustainable initiatives.


Learning outcomes:

Upon completion of the lectures, students will learn how to critically evaluate the content of sustainability reports considering the politico-economic context and relevance of the information for different groups of stakeholders.

Students will get understanding about institutional factors associated with initiation and development of environmental and social reporting in Russian large oil and gas companies and about approaches to evaluate environmental performance of a company. They will be able to describe different indicators of EP, and in practical application in Russian companies. Students will get knowledge about (1) normative and regulative frameworks of environmental reporting of production companies in Russia, and in particularly, oil and gas industry, and (2) who are the bodies developing reporting standards at national and international levels.  

Students will get understanding that development of a cooperation network in many ways depends on the institutional environment; the networks apply institutionalized models or ideas originating from the experience of others; local implementation of the idea or a model is always unique due to unique circumstances and managerial experience of the network organizers.

The lectures will equip students with an in-depth knowledge of the sustainability-related challenges and issues within supply chain management and logistics.

Especially recommended elective courses:N/A

Offered as a free-standing course:No

Prerequisites:Students must be admitted to the two-year program Master of Science in Sustainable Management, or have explicit permission from the administration ofBusiness School at University of Nordland and Baltic State Technical University.

Recommended previous knowledge:N/A

Mode of delivery:Face-to-face lectures

Learning activities and teaching methods:Lectures, discussions in class and cases.

Assessment methods and criteria:Each section is evaluated by teachers. Overall assessment: pass/not pass

Work placement:N/A

Study progression requirement:N/A

Required reading:

Azzone, G., Noci, G., Manzini, R., Welford, R., & Young, C. W. (1996). Defining environmental performance indicators: an integrated framework.Business Strategy and the Environment, 5(2), 69-80.

Bansal, P.,Roth, K. (2000). Why companies go green: A model of ecological responsiveness, Academy of Management Journal, Volume 43, Issue 4, August 2000, Pages 717-736,

Huggins, R. (2000) The success and failure of policy-implanted inter-firm network initiatives: motivations, processes and structure, Entrepreneurship & Regional Development: An International Journal, 12:2,111-135.

Mineev A., Bourmistrov, A. (2015). Social Capital at Work: A Case of Adapting a Norwegian Cooperation Model in Russia. Journal of East-West Business, Vol. 21, Iss. 2, 2015.

Recommended reading:

Bennett, R.J. (1998): Business associations and their potential contribution to the competitiveness of SMEs, Entrepreneurship & Regional Development:An International Journal, 10:3, 243-260.

Brown, J. and Fraser, M. (2006) Approaches and Perspectives in Social and Environmental Accounting: an Overview of the Conceptual Landscape, Business Strategy and the Environment, 15, pp.103-117.

Human, S.E. and Provan,K.G.: Legitimacy Building in the Evolution of Small-Firm Multilateral Networks: A Comparative Study of Success and Demise, Administrative Science Quarterly 2000 45: 327

Kuznetsov, A., Kuznetsova, O. & Warren, R. (2009) CSR and the legitimacy of business in transition economies: The case of Russia. Scandinavian Journal of Management, vol.25, pp.37-45.

Linton, J. D., Klassen, R., &Jayaraman, V. (2007). Sustainable supply chains: An introduction. Journal of Operations Management, Vol.25, pp. 1075-1082.

Seuring, S., & M?ller, M. (2008). From a literature review to a conceptual framework for sustainable supply chain management. Journal of Cleaner Production, Vol.16, pp. 1699-1710.

Srivastava, S. K. (2007). Green supply-chain management: A state-of-the-art literature review. International Journal of Management Reviews, Vol.9, pp. 53-80.

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