2168 Elective - Pursuing Sustainability: Navigating and Managing Complex Social Systems
Univ.Prof. Dr. Susann Fiedler
Contact details
Weekly hours
Language of instruction
09/01/21 to 09/15/21
Registration via LPIS
Notes to the course
This class is only offered in winter semesters.
Subject(s) Master Programs
Day Date Time Room
Saturday 10/09/21 09:00 AM - 03:00 PM D5.0.002
Monday 10/18/21 09:00 AM - 01:00 PM Online-Einheit
Saturday 10/23/21 09:00 AM - 03:00 PM D5.0.002
Monday 11/15/21 09:00 AM - 01:00 PM Online-Einheit
Monday 11/22/21 09:00 AM - 01:00 PM Online-Einheit

Corporate sustainability is often defined by a social dilemma structure, as organizations and managers have to simultaneously achieve economic, social, and environmental goals. This seminar will introduce ways how effective organizations and management can create a sense of belongingness for people, and facilitate healthy growth and development activities for both individuals as well as the organization itself. Throughout the seminar psychological theory and research relevant for understanding, and changing, unsustainable behavior will be read, discussed and respective insights will be applied in hands-on case studies.

Specifically, we will cover amongst other things: 

1.    Sustainability crisis its history, presents and future
2.    Methods behavioral scientists use to ask and answer questions in the context of sustainability
3.    Applied behavior analysis to identify how and why situations are powerful drivers of unsustainable behavior (and first ideas how they can be modified to support sustainable behavior)
4.    The role of human cognition & emotions
5.    The role of interindividual differences
6.    The role of motivation 
7.    The effects of unsustainable industrialized living and working
8.    Environmental psychology and ecopsychology
9.    How to initiate, participate in, and lead efforts for systems change

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course, students should be able to (1) understand the role that organizations and especially management can play in influencing sustainable behavior, (2) reflect on the extent to which individual motivation and organizational climate are related to sustainable behavior, and (3) provide input on planning, monitoring, and decision making to accelerate the needed transitions in the industry.

Attendance requirements

For this lecture participation is obligatory. Students are allowed to miss a maximum of 20%

Teaching/learning method(s)

Introduction of concepts of individual and organizational sustainable behavior through presentation. Hands-on practice through exercises and classroom discussion of case studies. Direct feedback through the instructor and peers.

Class evaluation consists of three parts:
Pre-assignment:            (20%)
Individual assignment: (40%)
Group assignment:       (40%)


Prerequisites for participation and waiting lists

No prerequisites.

Recommended previous knowledge and skills


Availability of lecturer(s)

Please don't hesitate to contact me at for questions concerning the course.

Last edited: 2021-06-22