Sustainable Business in Latin America

Universidad Adolfo Ibáñez

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Sustainable Business in Latin America

  • Host University

    Universidad Adolfo Ibáñez

  • Location

    Valparaíso and Viña del Mar, Chile

  • Area of Study

    Environmental Sustainability, Management, Peace and Conflict Studies

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

    Hours & Credits

  • Contact Hours

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview


    Sustainability has become a key global issue in the twenty-first century and it is changing the way we do business in Latin America. Globalization, and societies? increasing awareness of social and environmental problems, have changed the rules of the game for business in a way which it cannot ignore, and it is of paramount importance that managers learn to navigate this new landscape.
    The aim of this course is to provide students with a theoretical understanding of the concepts of Sustainable Development, Corporate Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), and mainly, to provide them with practical knowledge on how to apply them in strategic decision making. This course focuses on a series of models and tools for analysis through which social and environmental perspectives can be incorporated into the competitive strategy of firms with the purpose of generating a new value proposition that satisfies its owners? interests, as well as the interests of those groups that are relevant for the organization.

    Students will be expected to read the assigned material for each class in order to apply them to practical, real business cases. In this sense, the diversity of nationalities in the classroom will be particularly interesting because the student?s knowledge of their own countries experience on the topic will certainly enrich the debate.


    At the end of this course, students should be able to:

    Analyze the organization?s environment from a perspective that goes beyond financial concerns and which incorporates social and environmental concerns.

    Understand the concept of Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainable Development, and identify their implications, shortcomings, and mainly, their differences.

    Apply models of CSR and Sustainable Development to analyze the firm?s socio-environmental surroundings.

    Apply methods for stakeholder analysis.


    1. Understanding social and environmental responsibility for business in the twenty-first century.

    2. Stakeholder Theory: the search for social legitimacy by the firm, from a strategic perspective (Case: Cementos Lima, set in Peru).

    3. Social and environmental responsibility and finance: creating economic value (Case: Hocol, set in Colombia).

    4. Social and environmental responsibility and operations management: towards environmental efficiency and low social impact.

    5. Social and environmental responsibility and marketing: upholding corporate reputation (Case: Coca-Cola Foundation, set in Chile).

    6. Social and environmental responsibility and human resources: its role in attracting talent and managing employees (Case: CSU-CCA Group, set in Costa Rica).

    7. Corporate Sustainability as a source of long-term competitive advantage.

    8. The firm as a leader in multi-sector alliances for sustainable development (Case: Fundación Comunitaria Oaxaca, set in Mexico).

    9. New proposals for sustainable value I and II: social and environmental perspectives.


    Friedman, M. (1970). The social responsibility of business is to increase its profits. The New York Times Magazine: September 13.

    Fisher, J. (2004). Social responsibility and ethics: Clarifying the concepts. Journal of Business Ethics, 52(4), 391-400

    Freeman, R.E. (1994), A Stakeholder theory of the modern corporation. En Clarkson, M.B.E (Ed.) The Corporation and its Stakeholders: Classic and Contemporary Readings (Toronto University Press: Toronto).

    Campbell, J. L. (2007). Why would corporations behave in socially responsible ways? An institutional theory of corporate social responsibility. The Academy of Management Review, 32(3), 946-967.

    Orlitzky, M., Schmidt, F. L., & Rynes, S. L. (2003). Corporate social and financial performance: A meta-analysis. Organization Studies, 24(3), 403-411.

    Porter, M. E., & Kramer, M. R. (2006). Strategy & society: The link between competitive advantage and corporate social responsibility. Harvard Business Review, 84, 78-92.

    Sparkes, R., & Cowton, C. J. (2004). The maturing of socially responsible investment: A review of the developing link with corporate social responsibility. Journal of Business Ethics, 52(1), 45-57.

    Ekins, P. (2005). Eco-efficiency: Motives, drivers, and economic implications. Journal of Industrial Ecology, 9(4), 12-14.

    Ehrenfeld, J. R. (2005). Eco-efficiency: Philosophy, theory, and tools. Journal of Industrial Ecology, 9(4), 6-8.

    Esty, D. C., & Porter, M. E. (1998). Industrial ecology and competitiveness. Journal of Industrial Ecology, 2(1), 35-43.

    Sen, S., Bhattacharya, C. B., & Korschun, D. (2006). The role of corporate social responsibility in strengthening multiple stakeholder relationships. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 34(2), 158-166.

    Becker-Olsen, K. L., Cudmore, A., & Hill, R. P. (2006). The impact of perceived corporate social responsibility on consumer behavior. Journal of Business Research, 59(1), 46-53.

    Rodrigo, P., & Arenas, D. (2008). Do employees care about CSR programs? A typology of employees according to their attitudes. Journal of Business Ethics, 83(2), 265-283.

    Bhattacharya, C. B., Sen, S., & Korschun, D. (2008). Using corporate social responsibility to win the war for talent. MIT Sloan Management Review, 49(2), 37-44.

    Hart, S. L. (1995). A natural-resource-based view of the firm. Academy of Management Review, 20(4), 986-1014.

    Bansal, P. (2001). Building competitive advantage and managing risk through sustainable development. Ivey Business Journal, 66(2), 47-52.

    Berns, M., Townend, A., Khayat, Z., Balagopal, B., Reeves, M., Hopkins, M.S., & Kruschwitz, N. (2009). Sustainability and competitive advantage. MIT Sloan Management Review, 51(1), 19-26.

    Wheeler, D., McKague, K., Thomson, J., Davies, R., Medalye, J., & Prada, M. (2005). Creating sustainable local enterprise network. MIT Sloan Management Review, 47(1), 33-40.

    Prahalad, C. K., & Hart, S. (2004). The fortune at the bottom of the pyramid. Strategy + Business, 26, 2-14.

    Seelos, C., & Mair, J. (2007). Profitable business models and market creation in the context of deep poverty: A strategic view. Academy of Management Perspectives, 21(4), 49-63.

    Lash, J., & Wellington, F. (2007). Competitive advantage in a warming planet. Harvard Business Review, March, 69-77.

    Esty, D., & Chernovitz, S. (2012). Green rules to drive innovation. Harvard Business Review, March, 2-5.

    Rodrigo, P., & Arenas, D. (2014). New political governance and intersectoral collaboration for Sustainable Development. Innovar, 24(53), 197-210

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Availability of courses is based on enrollment numbers. All students should seek pre-approval for alternate courses in the event of last minute class cancellations

Please note that some courses with locals have recommended prerequisite courses. It is the student's responsibility to consult any recommended prerequisites prior to enrolling in their course.


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