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Learning Objectives

The course is designed to introduce students to sustainability management as a field of practice, providing a foundation for understanding theoretical principles and applied techniques.
While sustainable development, namely a development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs, has now become an imperative from an ethic, social and environmental point of view, it is also an important growth opportunity for enterprises and, more in general, for the entire economic system. The course provides an integrated approach comprising a more efficient inter-institutional coordination among businesses and among public organizations, and stronger private-public partnerships, towards the creation of shared value (Porter & Kramer, 2011). The need to define the necessary practices to support businesses, national and sub-national governments has emerged, to orient choices and activities necessary for the implementation of strategic policies. In this context, the core aspect that will be analyzed in this course is the way in which supranational principles (such as Sustainable Development Goals) are translated and implemented within national and organizational realities, how they affect businesses, and the coordination mechanisms associated to this.

At the end of the course, students will be able to recognise sustainable performance in private, public and non profit organizations, either acting as managers or through consultancy, and understand the drivers and barriers towards to creation of shared value in coordination with national and supranational sustainability policies.

Students will develop knowledge and skills to apply the sustainable management process in areas related to: strategic planning and managerial controls; leadership and organizational strategies; management of financial resources; stakeholder management, and the analytical techniques applied to pursuing a triple bottom line equilibrium.

Case study discussions and real-life scenario laboratories will enable the students to identify critical aspects of sustainability management and propose viable solutions. They will be able to autonomously identify core elements of a sustainable strategy, to conduct a stakeholder mapping initiative, and to involve users/citizens in the decision making process.

Class participation and presentations are aimed at enhancing students’ communication and dialogue capabilities.

Students will become familiar with the main databases and international institutions’ sources of data and analyses on sustainability management and reporting. This will allow a continuity of autonomous learning after the completion of the course.


A solid background in business management is strongly suggested, although not required.


1) Introduction to the course. Sustainability and the triple bottom line in performance management (3 hrs)
2) Sustainable Development Goals: key institutions and public access databases (3 hrs)
3) Managing stakeholders and building sustainable strategies. Analyzing the environment and creating a sustainable value proposition (2 hrs)
4) Managing stakeholders and building sustainable strategies (II). Choosing KPIs for shared value creation, measurement and reporting (3 hrs)
5) Laboratory: stakeholder mapping and performance evaluation (3 hrs)
6) Network management and collaborative governance (3 hrs)
7) Laboratory: Network management and collaborative governance (3 hrs)
8) Co-production and user innovation (3 hrs)
9) Laboratory: Co-production and user innovation (2 hrs)
10) Sustainability and education: the quintuple-helix approach and third mission activities (3 hrs)
11) Laboratory - Sustainability and education: the quintuple-helix approach and third mission activities (II) (2 hrs)
12) The system of EU funding for sustainability (3 hrs)
13) Presentation and discussion of students’ project works (3 hrs)


Sroufe, R. - Integrated Management: How Sustainability Creates Value for Any Business. Emerald Publishing, 2018 (Sezioni I, II, III, IV)


Porter, M. E. & Kramer, M. R. (2011). Creating Shared Value. Harvard Business Review

Provan, Veazie, Staten, Teufel-Shone (2005). The Use of Network Analysis to Strengthen Community Partnerships. Public Administration Review

Teaching methods

The course is based on a problem-based learning approach. In parallel with traditional lectures, around 35% of class hours are devoted to laboratories in which concepts presented during lectures are applied through case studies and real life scenario applications, in which the interaction among students and with the lecturer is essential.

Exam Rules

The exam is in oral form. The oral exam is aimed at evaluating the level of understanding of the individual concepts and tool introduced in class, specifically testing the systemic compehension (at both the micro and macro levels) of sustainability management dimensions and the ability to make connections.
Students are encouraged to develop a team project work (not mandatory) which is presented and discussed during the last class and accounts for 10% of the overall grade. The project work has to focus on the assessment of the level of shared value created by an organization of the team's choice (private or public) and the proposal of further strategies to implement or protect the shared value within that organization.

The oral exam evaluates the overall preparation of the student, the ability to integrate the knowledge of the different parts of the program, the consequentiality of the reasoning, the analytical ability and the autonomy of judgment.
Furthermore, language properties and clarity of presentation are evaluated, in compliance with the Dublin descriptors (1. Knowledge and understanding) 2. Ability to apply knowledge and understanding; 3. Making judgments; 4. Learning skills; 5: Communication skills.
The exam will be assessed according to the following criteria:
Not suitable: important deficiencies and / or inaccuracies in the knowledge and understanding of the topics; limited capacity for analysis and synthesis, frequent generalizations and limited critical and judgment skills, the arguments are presented in an inconsistent way and with inappropriate language;
18-20: just sufficient knowledge and understanding of the topics with possible generalizations and imperfections; sufficient capacity for analysis, synthesis and autonomy of judgment, the topics are frequently exposed in an inconsistent way and with inappropriate / technical language;
21-23: Routine knowledge and understanding of topics; Ability to correct analysis and synthesis with sufficiently coherent logical argument and appropriate / technical language
24-26: Fair knowledge and understanding of the topics; good analysis and synthesis skills with rigorously expressed arguments but with a language that is not always appropriate / technical.
27-29: Complete knowledge and understanding of the topics; remarkable abilities of analysis and synthesis. Good autonomy of judgment. Topics exposed rigorously and with appropriate / technical language
30-30L: Excellent level of knowledge and in-depth understanding of the topics. Excellent skills of analysis, synthesis and autonomy of judgment. Arguments expressed in an original way and with appropriate technical language.