INT3001 - Ethics, sustainability and corporate social responsibility


Examination arrangement

Examination arrangement: School exam
Grade: Letter grades

Evaluation Weighting Duration Grade deviation Examination aids
School exam 100/100 4 hours E

Course content

The overall goal of the course is to contribute to critical thinking and responsibility based on knowledge of ethical issues, sustainability, and social responsibility. This involves being able to reflect on and challenge values at three levels: At the individual level, it is about moral dilemmas, value-conscious leadership, and ethical wisdom. At the corporate level, it is about the business model, social mission, and responsibility towards various stakeholders. At the societal level, it is about thematizing the relationship between economic growth/value creation and fair distribution, sustainability, and preservation of nature’s value.

Key academic topics:

  • Application of normative philosophical theoretical basis including duty ethics, utility ethics, virtue ethics, and discourse ethics.
  • Ethical leadership, moral dilemmas, and the relationship between individual and collective responsibility.
  • Sustainable development seen in light of various ethical perspectives.
  • Planetary boundaries.
  • Technological optimism, circular economy, and green growth.
  • Corporate social responsibility (CSR).
  • Social contract theory, the business community’s social mission, and corporate legitimacy in society.

Learning outcome

Learning outcomes


  • Has knowledge of the content of central normative ethical theories and understands their role in ethical argumentation.
  • Has knowledge of the UN’s sustainability goals, and how sustainable social and economic activity can take place within the planet’s tolerance limits.
  • Knows how companies can be attributed moral responsibility and ensured legitimacy, and different principles for social responsibility, sustainability, and ethical leadership.
  • Has knowledge of the ethical problems of the time related to justice, nature, and technological development as a result of economic activity.


  • Can ask critical questions about central economic concepts based on theories of ethics, sustainability, and CSR.
  • Can discuss and discuss problems related to economic activity with an understanding of different perspectives within ethics, sustainability, and CSR.
  • Can integrate accountability and sustainability considerations into business models and practices.

General competence:

  • Is aware of own values and how this affects own behavior and decisions. Understands the importance of ethical issues being fundamental also in economic contexts.
  • Can link economic thinking and activity to important social problems and thus contribute constructively in the ethical debate in and about the business community’s value creation and role in society.
  • Understands and can reflect on norms and actions that contribute to or oppose sustainability within the planet’s tolerance limits.

Learning methods and activities

The teaching plan will be based on a combination of lectures, guest lectures and group work.

Further on evaluation

Deferred examination in the subject can be given as an oral examination.

Specific conditions

Required previous knowledge


Course materials

  • Carson, S. G. and Skauge, T .: Ethics for decision-makers - Companies’ sustainability and social responsibility, Cappelen Damm, latest edition.

    Possibly some articles (3-5 pcs.) Made available digitally.

    Recommended literature:

    Carson, S. G. and Skauge, T .: Ethics - theory and practice, Cappelen Damm, latest edition.

With reservations on possible modifications of the literature. More information on the curriculum will be provided on Blackboard at the start of the course.

Credit reductions

Course code Reduction From To
IN240 6.0 SPRING 2006
IN240 6.0 SPRING 2006
IN240 6.0 SPRING 2006
SMF2290 7.5 AUTUMN 2020
SMF2290F 7.5 AUTUMN 2020
AL201220 7.5 AUTUMN 2020
More on the course



Version: A
Credits:  7.5 SP
Study level: Intermediate course, level II


Term no.: 1
Teaching semester:  SPRING 2025

Language of instruction: Norwegian

Location: Trondheim

Subject area(s)
  • Ethics
Contact information
Course coordinator: Lecturer(s):

Department with academic responsibility
NTNU Business School


Examination arrangement: School exam

Term Status code Evaluation Weighting Examination aids Date Time Examination system Room *
Spring ORD School exam 100/100 E INSPERA
Room Building Number of candidates
Summer UTS School exam 100/100 E INSPERA
Room Building Number of candidates
  • * The location (room) for a written examination is published 3 days before examination date. If more than one room is listed, you will find your room at Studentweb.

For more information regarding registration for examination and examination procedures, see "Innsida - Exams"

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