Module Handbook

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Module WIW-SMG-INM-M-7

Intersectoral Sustainability Management (M, 9.0 LP)

Module Identification

Module Number Module Name CP (Effort)
WIW-SMG-INM-M-7 Intersectoral Sustainability Management 9.0 CP (270 h)


CP, Effort 9.0 CP = 270 h
Position of the semester 1 Sem. in WiSe
Level [7] Master (Advanced)
Language [DE/EN] German or English as required
Module Manager
Area of study [WIW-SMG] Sustainability Management
Reference course of study [WIW-88.21-SG] M.Sc. Business Studies
Livecycle-State [NORM] Active


Type/SWS Course Number Title Choice in
Presence-Time /
SL SL is
required for exa.
PL CP Sem.
Sustainability Governance
P 60 h 120 h - - PL1 6.0 WiSe
Sustainability Research Methods
P 30 h 60 h - - PL1 3.0 WiSe
  • About [WIW-SMG-NRS-K-7]: Title: "Sustainability Governance"; Presence-Time: 60 h; Self-Study: 120 h
  • About [WIW-SMG-NRS-K-7]:
    Lecture and exercise "Sustainability Governance":

    90-minute exam

    Acquirement of points during the semester.

  • About [WIW-SMG-SRM-K-7]: Title: "Sustainability Research Methods"; Presence-Time: 30 h; Self-Study: 60 h
  • About [WIW-SMG-SRM-K-7]:
    Sustainability Research Methods:

    Acquirement of points during the semester.

Examination achievement PL1

  • Form of examination: examination in form of partial achievements
  • Examination Frequency: each winter semester

Evaluation of grades

All partial module examinations have to be passed. The module grade is the weighted average of the partial examination grades according to the following weights:

Total: 180 points

Written exam: 90 points

Exercise: 30 points

Sustainability Research Methods: 60 points


Sustainability governance:
  • Governance actors: public institutions, market and non-profit organizations.
  • Objectives, instruments and forms of governance.
  • The link between governance and sustainability.
  • Theoretical background: bureaucracy theory, new institutional economic approaches, institutionalism.
  • Economic policy concepts.
  • Organized interests and lobbying.
  • European Union and services of general interest.
  • sustainability strategies.
  • Sustainability reporting.
  • Governance of specific sectors from a sustainability perspective (e.g. finance, waste).

Exercise Sustainability Governance:

Deepening and practical application of the lecture contents

By attending this course, students will get in touch with the theoretical background on conducting empirical research in the field of sustainability management. Topics we will cover are transdisciplinarity, constructing surveys, reliability and validity of measurement instruments, mixed methods approaches, particularities of empirical research in different sectors generally and in partnerships between nonprofit organizations, public institutions, and businesses, particularly.

Students will apply this knowledge by gathering and analyzing empirical data on current research questions.

Competencies / intended learning achievements

Upon successful completion of the module, students will be able to
  • assess problems and challenges that companies are currently facing in the context of sustainability regulation.
  • evaluate problems that companies are currently facing in the context of sustainability regulation.
  • defend the behaviour of public, private-business and non-profit actors from their respective positions.
  • contrast the main results of research on sustainability governance.
  • know methods for researching sustainability management in the context of governance.
  • apply methods in order to make research in sustainability management in the context of governance.


The following articles, for example, belong to the core literature:
  • Gladwin, T. N., Kennelly, J. J. & Krause, T.-S. (1995). Shifting Paradigms for Sustainable Development: Implications for Management Theory and Research. Academy of Management Review, 20, 874–907.
  • Montiel, I. (2008). Corporate Social Responsibility and Corporate Sustainability. Separate Pasts, Common Futures. Organization & Environment, 21, 245–269.
  • Spraul, K., Pallagst, K. & Jungbauer, A. (2016). Nachhaltige Stadtplanung und Steuerung der Flächennutzung – Die Green-Belt-Politik in Schottland und Lerneffekte für die deutsche kommunale Planung. der moderne staat – Zeitschrift für Public Policy, Recht und Management, 9, 299–323. doi: 10.3224/dms.v9i2.26347.
  • Spraul, K. & Möller, M. (2016). Standardisierung von Nachhaltigkeit. In R. Antes et al. (Hrsg.), Umweltmanagement im Nachhaltigkeits- und Verhaltenskontext (S. 279–290). Marburg: Metropolis-Verlag.
  • Spraul, K. (2014). Neue Rollen: Staatliche Regulierung und Selbstregulierung des Marktes. In M. Knoke et al. (Hrsg.), Das Publicness-Puzzle : Öffentliche Aufgabenerfüllung zwischen Staat und Markt (S. 341–344). Lage: Jacobs Verlag.
Teaching material:
  • Helmig, B. & Spraul, K. (2016). Handbook of Nonprofit Scales: Perceptual Measures for Research on Nonprofit Organizations, internes Lehrmaterial. Mannheim, Kaiserslautern: Universität Mannheim; Technische Universität Kaiserslautern.
  • Text books from which specific chapters will be used:
  • Bryman, A. (2016). Social Research Methods (5. Aufl.). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Czarniawska, B. (2004). Narratives in Social Science Research. London: Sage.
  • Domínguez, S. (2014). Mixed methods social networks research: Design and applications. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Marsden, P. V. & Wright, J. D. (2010). Handbook of Survey Research (2. Aufl.). Bingley: Emerald.
  • Silverman, D. (2014). Interpreting Qualitative Data (5. Aufl.). Los Angeles, CA: Sage.


  • Buchanan, D. A. & Bryman, A. (2007). Contextualizing Methods Choice in Organizational Research. Organizational Research Methods, 10, 483–501. doi: 10.1177/1094428106295046.
  • Helmig, B., Spraul, K. & Tremp, K. (2012). Replication Studies in Nonprofit Research. Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, 41, 360–385. doi: 10.1177/0899764011404081.
  • Mauser, W., Klepper, G., Rice, M., Schmalzbauer, B. S., Hackmann, H., Leemans, R. & Moore, H. (2013). Transdisciplinary global change research: the co-creation of knowledge for sustainability. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, 5, 420–431. doi: 10.1016/j.cosust.2013.07.001.
  • Starik, M. & Kanashiro, P. (2013). Toward a Theory of Sustainability Management. Organization & Environment, 26, 7–30. doi: 10.1177/1086026612474958.

Requirements for attendance (informal)


Requirements for attendance (formal)


References to Module / Module Number [WIW-SMG-INM-M-7]

Course of Study Section Choice/Obligation
[SO-88A.646-SG] M.A. Integrative Social Science M.A. Integrative Sozialwissenschaft (ab WS 20/21) [WP] Compulsory Elective
Module-Pool Name
[WIW-SMG-MPOOL-7] Field of Specialization: Sustainability Management