1801 Block Seminar: Responsible Management - Social Sustainability, Diversity, and Inclusion
Univ.Prof. Dr. Maria Theresia Claes
Weekly hours
Language of instruction
09/01/23 to 09/20/23
Registration via LPIS
Notes to the course
Subject(s) Master Programs
Day Date Time Room
Tuesday 09/26/23 09:00 AM - 06:00 PM TC.4.01
Wednesday 09/27/23 09:00 AM - 06:00 PM TC.4.01
Thursday 09/28/23 09:00 AM - 06:00 PM TC.4.27
Friday 09/29/23 09:00 AM - 06:00 PM TC.4.01

The UN sustainability agenda, set for 2030, focuses on three pillars of sustainability: social, environmental, and economic sustainability (WCED 1987; UN 1992). Social sustainability is about, among other things, identifying and managing positive and negative business impacts on people and making sure that individuals and groups are not discriminated or exploited through their employment. In this CEMS course, we focus on social and economic sustainability in the light of current debates on gender, diversity and inclusion.

This course offers students cutting-edge knowledge on Diversity Management and Inclusion applied to a work setting.  It specifically equips students to addresses Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of economic and social sustainability, in particular, SDGs 5, 8, and 10. How employees are treated in organizations is partly the result of macroeconomic systems of politics, labour markets, and education systems, but also organizational strategies. This course therefore trains the students to analyse and understand work processes in organizations and the interconnection to more wide-ranging societal and global processes as well as strategic goals in the organisations to achieve more equality, diversity and inclusion.

Three major themes structure students’ learning in this course: Equality, diversity and inclusion. Equality- and the related concept of equity- is about the equal treatment and providing equal opportunities to all employees regardless of demographic background, including sex and gender identity, ethnicity, age, sexual orientation, religion and dis/ability. What does it mean in different international contexts? What measures work to achieve more diversity, and what not? Diversity is about the demographic composition in firms, and particularly leadership positions. Why is diversity an important goal to achieve in firms, what are structural hinders to this goal? Inclusion is about building on diversity, making best use of the talent or employees with different background in organisations and society at large. What is an inclusive organization? How can you be an inclusive leader? This course presents main concepts and theories to analyse the topics equality, diversity and inclusion as well as examples and case studies to discuss and understand how inclusion and exclusion are (re)produced in worklife on the individual, group, organizational, and societal levels.

The course builds on the expertise represented by the CEMS Faculty Group „Gender and Diversity“ and international teaching materials, produced by this group.

Learning outcomes
  • Acquire a basic understanding of the implications of diversity in organisations characterised by pluralism and heterogeneity (internationalism)
  • A theoretical analytical framework regarding the current issues on equality, diversity and inclusion (reflective critical thinking).
  • Understand the difference between conceptualizing ‘gender/diversity as a category’ and ‘gender/diversity as doing’ (= the way we assign and assume gendered/racialized/classed meanings in our activities).
  • Deepen participants’ understanding of social and organisational mechanisms of inclusion and exclusion, and of sustainability. Learn to have conversations about difference in an appropriate manner (responsible citizenship).
  • Enhance participants’ readiness, awareness, and skills in order that they may take on roles as leaders and as change agents, encourage respectful behaviour and inclusivity, and effectively manage gender and diversity (comprehensive, sustainable leadership).
  • Improve participants’ skills in organisational analysis, problem solving, and communicating ideas to improve gender and diversity management practices in a real organisational setting (business embeddedness).
Attendance requirements

This course is organized as a face-to-face module. There is no online or hybrid setup.

Students failed the course if more than 20 % of total class time is missed. In any case, missed class time is taken into account in the participation grade.

Teaching/learning method(s)

The course integrates various teaching methods such as:

  • Theory lectures
  • Discussions
  • Cases
  • Guest speakers
  • Field visits
  • Group work

Substantial classroom discussion is encouraged and expected. There will be an individual written assessment as well as a group project based on a live case.


Students will be assessed on their:

· Understanding of the course content;

· Active preparation and participation in class;

· The performance in the assessments;

· Ability to work in teams, prepare presentations, present and defend positions.


The final grade will be based on:

Individual Assessment                                                                   50%

          Individual paper                                                                   25%

Individual participation and active involvement in class     25%

Group project                                                                                50%

Prerequisites for participation and waiting lists

CEMS students only


Please log in with your WU account to use all functionalities of read!t. For off-campus access to our licensed electronic resources, remember to activate your VPN connection connection. In case you encounter any technical problems or have questions regarding read!t, please feel free to contact the library at

Last edited: 2023-04-20