Preparing for Change

Module description

This module helps set the scene for the One Planet MBA as a whole by introducing the main themes of the programme.  It is designed to enhance your ability to understand the rapidly evolving and complex business context, and the scale of global sustainability challenges and opportunities from environmental, social, economic and technical perspectives; as well as encourage critical reflection on the role of business in the twenty-first century, in a contested transition to a more equitable, prosperous and resilient economy.

Internationalisation: This module takes a global view of the rapidly changing business environment.

Employability: This module will help you to articulate the business case for sustainability for the benefit of potential employers and also improve your communication and debating skills.

Sustainability: The module explores ‘sustainability’ from the point of view of both risks and business opportunities, as a driver of new forms of value creation.

External Engagement: Guest speakers from companies such as: Coca Cola, Lafarge, IKEA, Interface, HSBC, 3M, Accenture, and The Fableists, will contribute to the module.

Ethics and Corporate Responsibility: This module will explore some of the ethical dilemmas facing businesses today drawing on material developed by the United Nations Global Compact.

Research in Teaching: This module will draw on the module leader’s research and practitioner expertise in the areas of discussion; relevant and current academic research; as well as encourage you to follow your own lines of enquiry.

Full module specification

Module title:Preparing for Change
Module code:MBAM901A
Module level:M
Academic year:2015/6
Module lecturers:
  • Dr Sally Jeanrenaud - Convenor
  • Jean-paul Jeanrenaud - Lecturer
Module credit:12
ECTS value:






Duration of module: Duration (weeks) - term 1:

4 days (+ study over 10 weeks)

Module aims

The module aims to:

(1) explore the scale of sustainability challenges (from ecological, social and economic perspectives), and examine how these pose both risks and opportunities for business;

(2) encourage multicultural, interdisciplinary and multi-stakeholder exchange and learning within the classroom;

(3) explore how business and the economy are co-evolving in response to global challenges in the contested transition to a more equitable, prosperous, and resilient world;

(4) leverage WWF’s experience and partnerships with leading companies, governments and civil society, for case studies and guest speakers.

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. the global nexus of ecological, social, and economic challenges facing society, and the risks and opportunities for business today.
  • 2. the concept of sustainable development, and key sustainable business concepts, such as CSR, triple bottom line, stakeholders, creating shared value, etc.
  • 3. how business and society are co-evolving through an introduction to new models such as the circular economy, sharing economy, and green economy in a transition to more sustainable ways of living.

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 4. demonstrate a critical understanding of the sustainable development debate, and its relevance to business.
  • 5. apply theoretical concepts and arguments to the analysis of empirical case studies.

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 6. demonstrate individual research skills and undertake independent learning.
  • 7. develop capacity to work in multicultural and multidisciplinary teams.

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning & Teaching activities 21Lectures, seminars, workshops
Scheduled Learning & Teaching activities 7Experiential learning: multi-cultural and stakeholder teamwork
Guided independent study92Reading, research, writing

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Reflective Presentations60 minutes/day1-5, 7Oral feedback

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Individual Assignment703000 words1 - 7Written feedback
Group Debate/Presentation3015 minutes1 - 7Written feedback

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Individual and Group AssignmentIndividual Assignment 3000 words1 - 76 weeks after briefing

Re-assessment notes

The new assignment will have a brief which contains a different emphasis to the initial assignment.

Syllabus plan

This 4-day module critically explores the nexus of global environmental, social and economic challenges facing society, and the implications for understanding business risks and opportunities. The module explores how business and economy are co-evolving in the contested transition to what is variously called Capitalism 2.0, including the circular economy, sharing economy, green economy, or the shift from ego to eco-system economies.  This is explored through 10 major  trends, relating to business purpose, growth, capital, governance, nature, manufacturing, markets, technologies, metrics and globalization. It introduces a number of key sustainable business concepts such as the triple bottom line, the business case for corporate sustainability, and creating shared value, etc. The module uses case studies and external speakers to explore how sustainability is driving innovation and generating new forms of value. It also encourages you to reflect on your personal contribution to a more equitable, prosperous and resilient world.

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Porter, M.E, and Kramer, M.R. (2011) Creating Shared Value. Harvard Business Review. January- February 2011.

Sukhdev, P. (2012): Corporation 2020. Transforming Business for Tomorrow’s World. London: Island Press.

UNEP (2013): GEO-5 for Business. Impacts of a Changing Environment on the Corporate Sector. Nairobi, Kenya: United Nations Environment Programme.

Willard, B. (2012): The New Sustainability Advantage: Seven Business Case Benefits of a Triple Bottom Line. Gabriola Island, BC. Canada: New Society Publishers.

WWF (2014) Living Planet Report 2014. Species and Spaces, People and Places. Gland, Switzerland: WWF International.

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