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BUU22592 – Managing Climate Change

(5 ECTS credits)


Dr. Sarah-Jane Cullinane

Module Description/Content

This survey course is designed for students who want to think deeply and creatively about the biggest single threat in the history of humanity. Climate change changes not just planetary geology, but all our assumptions about management and organization. Students will be tooled with climate science literacy, then examine assumptions that are built deeply into business philosophy, such as growth, competition, efficiency, production, consumption.

We will then evolve concepts that deconstruct these assumptions: de-growth, Anthropocenic time, eco-psychology, exponentiality, localisation, eco-innovation, greenwashing, superwicked problems and catastrophic risk, to name a few. These concepts stretch the span of many disciplines: economics, engineering, psychology, planning, policy studies and marketing. Equipped with the conceptual vocabulary and analytical processes for diagnosing the threat of climate change from individual, firm-level and systems-level perspectives, the course will creatively trial visions of alternative organisational futures.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this course, students will 

1. Recognize and explain the importance of the natural environment to management and organizational thought; 

2. Become climate literate – to speak in sophisticated scientific, economic, social and psychological ways about climate change; 

3. Develop the conceptual and methodological tools needed to analyze the interacting systems of nature, organization, economy, public policy, and technology; 

4. To use a climate lens to critique foundational assumptions in management strategy, marketing, supply-chain, entrepreneurship, accounting and finance; 

5. To identify factors that encourage system-level organisational-level and consumer-level changes and the factors that contribute to resistance to such changes, which are of a psychological, social and corporate nature; 

6. To creatively imagine and articulate visions of an alternative futures.


Textbook and Readings



60% end of year/term online exam – multiple choice style based on the lecturer material and readings

40% group project – a project where students to focus on one disciplinary area of the course and conduct primary climate research on it, proposing advice, solutions, alternative visions or policy.