2 \\ MBA Programme Curriculum

The degree programme “CSR & NGO Management” highly contributes to a professional management approach with particular reference to sustainable development processes between NGO´s and private enterprises. Students of the MBA programme will be equipped with the know-how and the qualification they need to justice to the principles of sustainability directly within their professional working environment.

Thanks to the combination of academic knowledge and practical expertise about concepts, scientific approaches and techniques in general management with focus on strategic and functional business areas in NGO and CSR in private-sector, graduates of the MBA degree programme will be enabled to combine conventional management strategies with CSR and NGO specific aspects with relevance to sustainability and social responsibility. 

The highly heterogeneous group of participants (in terms of internationality as well as their different professional backgrounds) is an integral part of the didactic concept of the programme. An interdisciplinary and intercultural exchange of theoretical methods and practical experiences as well as problem solving approaches between students notably contributes to a highly cooperative learning process.

The degree programme specifically refers to the “Agenda 2030 for sustainable development” and its 17 derived sustainable development goals (SDGs) and so reflects the defined core characteristics of universal validity, a comprehensive understanding of sustainability as well as the principle of global partnerships. Development issues are covered in many aspects by the curriculum in the degree programme. 

The following structure gives an insight into the seperate modules of the curriculum:

Hochschule Bonn-Rhein-Sieg

1. Preparatory Courses

2. Basics of CSR & NGO Management

3. General Management
     GM 1: Information and Communication
     GM 2: Leadership &  Human Resource Management
     GM 3: Statistics and Accounting
     GM 4: Investment and Finance
     GM 5: Logistics and Quality Management

4. CSR & NGO Management

5. External Environment
     EE 1: Politics and Ethics
     EE 2: Economics

6. Electives

7. Group and Individual Coaching

8. Master Thesis



As a preparatory course, the Academic Writing class provides the students with an overview of several academic writing styles and refreshes knowledge about structure, referencing and academic tone, as well as an overview of the common mistakes in academic writing and solutions on how to avoid them.



The Basics Module is divided into two Submodules (Basics 1 and Basics 2):

Basics 1: Concepts, Functions and Actors in CSR & NGO Management
Due to the various backgrounds of or students, this seminar provides a basis for the rest of the study programme. Clarifications of terminology and various concepts regarding the international sphere as well as an overview of different actors and stakeholders in CSR & NGO Management will be provided. Economic principals and challenges in international cooperation are part of the framework international actors operate in. A special focus will be laid upon the differences of commercial enterprises and NPOs and NGOs respectively.
- Clarifications of terminology
- Presentation of concepts, actors and stakeholders in CSR & NGO Management
- Differentiation of profit- and non-profit approaches

Basics 2: Introduction to Business and Project Management
Basics 2.1: Introduction in Business Management
The students will get familiar with the main fields of management acting based on different Corporate Policy approaches (e.g. Shareholder-Value and Stakeholder Management). They are able to use Strategic Planning Techniques and see how to control management strategies on an operational level including in the different organisational models. They get an overview on the basic constitutional pre-conditions.
- Corporate Policy concepts and the impact of national/global trends
- Instruments of Corporate Policy (e.g. Corporate Guidelines …)
- Concepts of Strategic Planning (e.g. Portfolios, SWOT, …)
- Concepts of Corporate Controlling (e.g. MIS, Budgeting, …)
- Corporate Organisation
- Corporate constitutional pre-conditions (business location, legal forms…).

Basics 2.2: Project Management
This course provides students with the main targets and working techniques in Project Management as an organisational concept and a management technique, including specific focus on intercultural mixed groups and inter-functional inside/outside perspectives.
- Environmental Scenario and Corporate Strategies,
- Basics in Innovation Management Theories,
- Corporate and Project Organisation
- Project Planning and Project Controlling
- Problem Solving Techniques in PM,
- Project Team and Leadership,
- Project Management Skills,
- Specifics in Intercultural Projects and NGO working areas.

Basics 2.3: Corporate Governance
It is increasingly being accepted that both parties benefit when a relationship is established between an NGO and a company. Consequently a considerable number of strategic alliances have been established. Because there is no existing specific NGO Governance Framework as a contextual knowledge, the students will experience the complexity of problems in a complex national and international context of various. NGO activity fields. Organisational issues and monitoring responsibilities have to be discussed as well. The results therefore present a diverse perspective of the relationship between NGOs, companies, organisation and corporate social responsibility. NGO experts will present in the different fields they are  working in.
- Complexity of International Regulatory Frameworks such as law of nations, and national specifics in law for clubs, associations and foundations,
- Definitions and explanations of corporate Governance
- Systems and structures of Corporate Governance
- History and regulation of Corporate Governance
- Theories of Corporate Governance and motivation
- Motivation and remuneration
- Corporate Social Responsibility Operating model vs. organisational model
- Legal Formations of NGO / NPO´s
- Purpose and type of entity
- Constitution and Good Governance
- Introduction of CSR as a management system in profit and non-profit organizations
- CSR for NGOs
- The role of stakeholders
- Sustainability reports: analysis and tools of reporting fields of work in CSR, implementation of CSR Case studies to illustrate the implementation of CSR within an organization



The Module General Management is divided into five different Modules (GM 1-5) as follows:


At the conclusion of these courses the students will be able to describe and develop marketing strategies and concepts including fundraising and campaigning activities for NGOs and Corporate Social Responsibility Concepts. The GM 1 Module divides into two Submodules:
"Marketing" and "Fundraising, Lobbying & Campaigning".

GM 1.1: Marketing
Objectives: Analyse the relevant multi-dimensional environment, and describe how organisations develop mission statements and objectives. How they develop principles of social responsible marketing and the role of ethics, with the environmental forces that affect attractive resp. needed segments, with suitable marketing-mix-strategies.
- Marketing in a changing world: satisfying human needs, social responsibility and marketing ethics
- Strategic marketing planning process
- Scanning the Marketing Environment (market development, market structure, buyer behaviour)
- Market dynamics and competitive strategy
- Core marketing strategies, e.g. market segmentation and target markets, positioning and differentiating, developing new and global market offerings,building successful brands
- Strategic marketing mix with new-product development and product life-cycle strategies and pricing/conditions, communication and promotion and placing (distribution) strategies
- Specific marketing strategies for NGOs.

GM 1.2: Fundraising, Lobbying & Campaigning
 Based on Marketing theories in profit and non-profit organisations, the role and functions, concepts and instruments in successful fundraising, lobbying and campaigning are focus of the course, with a domestic and an intercultural approach.
- Marketing in the Nonprofits sector
- Strategies, concepts and instruments in Fundraising, Lobbying and Campaigning
- Intercultural specifics in communication and cooperation
- Performance measurement and controlling of fundraising activities (resp. lobbying, campaigning)


Both courses are designed to acquaint students to get an understanding of behaviour on an ethical background inside organisations, in roles as employees or managers.

GM 2.1: Individual and Group Behaviour
Objectives: To study the impact that individuals, groups and structure have on behaviour within organisations, for the purpose of applying such knowledge toward improving an organisation's effectiveness. To understand the basic and enduring principles developed from the study of individual and group behaviour as they apply to the workplace. To understand the principal historical and contemporary approaches to the study of individual and group behaviour. To apply a range of analytical frameworks and theoretical approaches to practical workplace situations, with a special focus in the NGO sector, e.g. critical role in group dynamics between regular and volunteer staff and intercultural mixed teams.
- Individual processes and Personality dynamics
- Values, attitudes and emotions
- Content theory and Process motivation theory
- Teamwork and Decision making
- Social Processes and Group dynamics
- Organisational Processes, structures and types
- Organisational and international culture
- Change Management approach
- CSR and Organisational Development, Teamwork and HRM

GM 2.2: Human Resources and Leadership
 To study the fundamental concept of attracting, developing and maintaining an effective workforce. The students should be able to gain familiar with the basic concept of an HRM approach (Harvard vs. Michigan approach) and in the Leadership approach, and understand the common instruments and concepts especially in an intercultural background. The students will be able to adapt the critical role of HRM and Leadership in Strategic Management in future based on the environmental change (e.g. change in demography or human attitudes) and the specific critical incidents in NGO based circumstances (e.g. working with Volunteers or in intercultural Development Projects).
- Functions in Personnel Management (Personnel Planning, Personnel Recruitment, Personnel Development, Personnel Controlling …)
- Organisation of Personnel Management
- Corporate Strategy and Personnel Management
- HRM approach
- Leadership Theories
- Leadership situations and styles
- Intercultural Specifics in HRM & Leadership
- NGO specifics in HRM & Leadership


GM 3.1: Applied Statistics
Learning and understanding the fundamentals of statistics, the theories of probability and the exploration of data. Furthermore practical statistical analysis to establish structure and trend in data as a basis for operational and strategic decision making for non-profit and profit management.
- Introduction „Amtliche Statistik“ (Statistisches Bundesamt, Eurostat, OECD …)
- Introduction in descriptive business statistics (university, vicariate, regression analysis)
- Presentation approaches
- Fundamentals of financial and managerial accounting (planning corporate success and liquidity)
- Systems of corporate budgeting with specifics in Nonprofit organisations

GM 3.2: Management Accounting
Learning and understanding the fundamentals of financial and management accounting and the basics of business planning, with a focus on operational and strategic decision making for Non-Profit Management tasks. Show the strategic significance of management accounting for corporate decision making in a shareholder value- and stakeholder perspective.
- Balance sheet
- Financial reports
- Cost relevant analysis
- Flexible budgeting
- Operating budgets and financial strategy
- Financial project planning


The courses are designed to acquaint students with an understanding of the idea of investing in social issues including the legal, cultural, social, political and economic background of such investments. This Module will focus on the relevant interdisciplinary and expert skills. In addition, the class helps students in personal network building to NGOs. Site visits, guest speakers and the lecturer’s specific NGO network will complete the course.

GM 4.1: Investment and Finance
Any investment presents certain challenges where risks and returns have to be measured, which means to be aware of potential sources of risk, such as financing (liquidity, credit, etc.), operations and the field of operation itself. Being able to analyze is fundamental to operate on any stage, especially in a non-profit. This class will provide a thorough understanding of finance, investment and creating value for business.
- Definitions
- Basics of Financial Mathematics
- Capital Budgeting Techniques
- Forms and Methods of Corporate Finance
- Introduction to social investing, defining social investments and showing the importance of social investments
- Fundamentals of social investments
- Developing an Business Case for social investments
- Determining the financial potential of an social investment project
- Evaluation of investment choices and funding an social investment project
- Monitoring the success of social investments"

GM 4.2: Social Investment
Social investment is about supporting and investing in projects and ventures in order to support ecological or social goals or resolving significant social problems of communities. It means the practice of aligning one's investment policies with social responsibility; also called ethical investing or socially responsible investing. Key policy areas include e.g. education, healthcare, climate protection, environmental issues, renewable energy programs or water management systems, social equality programs and trainings as well as rehabilitation. Many NGO- and NPO´s deal with the implementation of those social investments. This includes setting up feasible business plans, raising finances, recruiting the right people.
The students will get familiar with the topic of social Investment, learn about the importance of projects enhancing social and ecological development and resolving social and ecological problems in different cultural settings. They will assess current trends and activities in a national and international NGO context as well as within NGO organizations. Also, they will learn the fundamentals of business case creation.
- Introduction to social investing, defining social investments and showing the importance of social investments
- Fundamentals of social investments
- Developing an Business Case for social investments
- Determining the financial potential of an social investment project
- Evaluation of investment choices and funding an social investment project
- Monitoring the success of social investments

GM 4.3: Business Simulation
Qualitative and quantified description of processes in order to analyze, plan, test and improve them. Assisted by Process Modelling Software tools, students will be able to make any kind of process in their field of activities transparent.
- Modelling of NGO processes
- Process measurement
- Process Improvement
- Process Simulation


Both courses of the module Logistics and Quality Management belong to the field of “Management Strategies and Functions”. They are designed to acquaint students with strategies and instruments for disaster- and quality management, as well as logistics operations with emphasis on NGOs.

GM 5.1: Logistics
Students understand the potential for disasters, the concepts of risk- and consequence management and related prospects and challenges, the roles and responsibilities in the network of governmental, international, non-governmental and other scientific and economic organizations, and the aspects of social responsibility in context with disaster management processes. Subsequently, students understand the role of logistics as the main performance driver in disaster response operations, and become familiar with the integrated management of all activities required to move products through the supply chain with focus on humanitarian aid.
- Natural and manmade hazard incidents: risk, vulnerability, exposure
Disasters, consequences and responses
- Disaster Risk- and Consequence Management, ways and processes
- Roles and Responsibilities (Nation, UN, EU, NGOs); cooperation and coordination incl. civil-military relations
- Social Responsibility and quality management in disaster management activities: Code of Conduct, Humanitarian Charter on Minimum Standards, etc.
- Operational view on logistics: logistics functions
- Strategic view on logistics: logistics networks, Supply Chain Management, world-wide logistics services
- Logistics planning, outsourcing (3PL, 4PL), logistics controlling
- Green logistics as contribution to sustainable development
- Humanitarian logistics: tasks, basic principles, circumstances and challenges, performance attributes.

GM 5.2: TQM and Business Excellence
Students understand the concept of quality and the commitment by management to maintain a continuing, organization-wide drive towards excellence in all aspects of products and services that are important to the customer. Students understand quality management principles and techniques, the variety of quality management concepts and models, and learn how to introduce a quality management system into an organization.
- Concept of quality: products, services, projects, organizations
- Concept of quality management: quality planning, quality control, quality assurance, quality improvement
- Total quality management principles: top management leadership, employee empowerment, customer-driven quality, continuous improvement
- TQM models: Kaizen, Malcolm-Baldrige Model, ISO
- Business excellence concept and models: EFQM, CAF
- Quality management challenges: change management, costs
- Sustainability as quality factor



The "CSR & NGO Management" Module comprises the following four specified subjects:

4.1 Management of Complex Projects
This course offers students advanced project management techniques for managing complex projects, Traditional project management approaches assume that project contexts are unchanging and key factors, though complicated, are reducible to unambiguous elements for management and control. However, these techniques do not work in projects which may be described as complex. Complexity may result from various sources (for example magnitude of variables to be managed, strong interdependencies between variables, long-duration, multi-stakeholders, dispersed stakeholders, diverse cultural or institutional environments). Consequently, complex projects are characterized by a high degree of uncertainty regarding project objectives and/or project implementation.
- Understanding Complexity in Projects
- Determining Project Complexity
- Limits of Conventional Project Management
- Project Cycles of Complex Projects
- Complexity and Project Design
- Complexity and Project Implementation
- Complexity and Leadership

4.2 NGO Business Strategy and Organization
 Showing the importance of Corporate and Organizational Strategy Concepts in NGOs, the students will learn to transfer the typical concepts and instruments of Strategic Planning (i.e. Strategy, Governance vs. Management vs. Operational Level, Shareholder vs. Stakeholder, Vision vs. Mission) into NGO Planning Processes. They understand the importance of Strategic Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation. They get an overview of the variety of NGOs and how an NGO is organized – taking into account recent trends in the NGO world and using many practical/ real examples. 
- Basic concepts and definitions for strategies of NGOs Corporate Policy Management (i.e. basic corporate policy approaches)
- Business Environment of NGOs legal environment
- Corporate Strategic Planning and Monitoring Corporate Organization (Organizational development)
- Staffing/ Leadership in NGOs
- Public Relations
- External NGO Perspective: identification of relevant fields of action, structure analysis, implication for strategy development
- Internal NGO perspective: organization analysis, internal resource evaluation, process analysis, budgeting and outcome, implication for strategy development
- NGO Strategy formulation: Competition or Cooperation strategy approaches, Differentiation strategy, Niche strategies for NGOs
- Strategy and Controlling: Assessing strategies, with instruments like use-of-potential analysis, future scenarios, early diagnosis systems for NGOs
- NGO Organization: OD concepts in NGOs, NGO M&A

4.3 Corporate Social Responsibility
Students should be able to reflect the CSR approach in small and medium sized (even family owned) companies as well as bigger ones and multinationals. They can differentiate the role of CSR in the emerging world and industrialized countries. They can adopt a CSR strategy to a specific company with its own history, market and responsible sustainability.
- A brief history of CSR and the relevant values
- The growing national and international importance of CSR
- ISO 26000 as a standard guideline
- “Communal activities” in a supporting function of public goods
- The important role of ILO/International Labor Organization
- Practical experience with the implementation and evaluation of CSR
- NGOs as a critical observer and admonisher of CSR
- Trust, criticism and anti-corruption measures as central elements of CSR
- CSR as a driver for financial sustainability

4.4 Business Plan Development
In previous classes, the students have learned about risks and returns which have to be measured for each investment and having gained knowledge of finance, investment and creating value for business. This class will provide a chance to put it all into practice by creating their own business plan for a social business. The combination of investment policies and social responsibility is key to this exercise which will be done in groups. That way they will assess current trends and activities in a national and international NGO context will learn the fundamentals of business creation.
Content: Developing and writing a business plan



The "External Environment" Module is divided into two Submodules ("Politics and Ethics" and "Economics"). These furthermore consist of respectively two separate sub-focused subjects:


These courses are designed to acquaint the students to get an understanding of behavior on an ethical background in and out organizations and to get a deeper knowledge of the current religious, cultural as well as political influences, in current global trends and with the corresponding working fields.

EE 1.1: International Politics
This seminar will give an introduction to International Politics and to areas such as peace and war, human security, global governance and international regimes, sustainable human development and foreign assistance, climate change, democracy and human rights. Case studies will focus on specific countries (e.g. Germany) and groupings of states (e.g. the EU) by explaining the management of foreign affairs and international relations, based on pertinent theories. Students work out processes and structures of international cooperation and political integration worldwide as well as advocacy networking approaches. Relying on theories of development, conflicts and international relations, they reflect positive and negative factors for development, peace research approaches, humanitarian interventions, the role of the United Nations, and the interactions between states in the era of globalism.
- Introduction to International Politics and global challenges
- Theories of International Relations
- Structures of international cooperation and networks
- Global Governance and power shifts in world politics
- Regionalism and processes of political integration/groupings (e.g. EU, SADC, MERCOSUR, ASEAN …/G7/8, G20)
- Germany’s foreign policy, including development cooperation
- Theories of conflicts and peace research approaches
- Human rights and democracy as universal values
- Humanitarian interventions – Responsibility to protect
- United Nations, history and development
- International Politics: NGOs and the private sector.

EE 1.2: Global & Business Ethics
To learn about the foundations in ethical thought. Discussing a variety of perspectives on difficult ethical dilemmas in both the personal and professional context. To critically evaluate different perspectives in business ethics using one’s own ethical theory base. Critically analyze different business situations in conjunction with management, law, economics and public policy from a multidisciplinary and philosophical perspective.
- Values and Ethics, the Nature and goals of Business Ethics and the Law
- Stakeholder Theory and Ethical Perspectives
- Ethical Theory and Business (e.g. Ethical Relativism and Reasoning in Ethics, psychological Egoism, Utilitarian Ethics, Deontological Ethics, Virtue Ethics)
- CSR and Ethics
- Employer & Employee Ethics (e.g. Moral Law and Rights in the Workplace, Diversity approach, Equal Opportunity and Affirmation Act)
- Marketing & Sales Ethics
- Business Environmental Responsibilities (e.g. Sustainability, CSR)
- International Business and Globalization (e.g. Ethical Relativism, Cross-Cultural Values and International Rights, Global Compact)


Both courses are designed to acquaint students to get an understanding of the basics in International Economics and Sustainability Economics with their impact and interconnections on global level and with their economic, social and ecological consequences.

EE 2.1: International Economics
The students will get familiar with the importance of International and global economic relations and analyze their theoretical approaches when structuring the complexity of the global environment and forms of regional integration. They will get to know data, statistics and economic policies, work out specifics of the developed, emerging and developing countries as well as reasons and outcome of regional (global) crises.
Content International Microeconomics:
- International Trade Theories, e.g. Mercantilism, Absolute Cost Advantage (Adam Smith), Principle of Comparative Cost Advantage (David Ricardo), Theory of Factor Endowments, Product Cycle Theory, Imperfect Competition etc.
- International Trade Policy, e.g. Global Trade and Trade Liberalization, structures and stages of Regional Integration, Basis Theory of Regional Integration, World Wide Integration Projects.
Content International Macroeconomics:
- International Monetary Economics, e.g. Macroeconomic Links between Countries and International
- Monetary Systems
- Global Economy
- Development, Emerging and Developing Countries
- Transition Countries and European Enlargement
- International Institutions
- Regional Crisis in the World
- Challenges in the Global Economy

EE 2.2: Sustainability Economics
Students should be prepared and enabled to understand futures questions and societal global challenges and their consequences on companies, consumer, civil society (NGOs), governments, countries and their interconnections. They get to know the different dimensions of sustainable development. Focus on microeconomic level is the theoretical approach of economic analysis of environmental; on macroeconomic level an extended economic system with measures of sustainable growth, incl. social, economic and ecological measures. In addition, the students get to know different types of sustainable management systems such as biodiversity, water, energy, mobility etc. (incl. Institutions, politics) considering developed, emerging and developing context and how to value natural resources.
- Global Challenges and Importance of CSR and NGOs
- Natural Resources, Social Equity and Sustainable Development
- Economic Analysis of Environmental Issues (Microeconomics
- Sustainable Management, Institutions and Policies (Case Studies)
- Standard and Extended Economic Systems
- Economic Growth and Sustainable Development (Macroeconomics)
- Project Evaluation (Valuing Natural Resources)



Students are free to choose at least 3 courses by 2 ECTS each to complete this module. All courses offered will be announced prior to the semester and are aiming to deepen and individualize the students’ profiles.

This list of courses might contain, but is not limited to:
- Specialized management skills, such as monitoring and evaluation
- Soft skill development like proposal writing, communication and negotiating skills
- Interdisciplinary knowledge in regards to human rights, international law and CSR-reporting standards.

The following courses have been conducted in the last two years:
- Impact Evaluation
- CSR, Human Rights and International Law
- Intercultural Communication
- Diversity Management
- Social Media Marketing 
- ...



Objectives: The module Group and Individual Coaching is designed as a personal counselling process focusing on finding a Master Thesis topic that fits the content of the MBA Programme as well as the academic and practical interested of the students. This should also enable students to identify and understand which kind of work is suitable for them, their major strengths and weaknesses areas to develop, and their short and long-term career goals following the Anglo-Saxon PDP approach (Personal Development Planning). Academic coaches with relevant expertise in coaching and work will support the students to achieve their own academic and personal goals while studying this MBA program.
The content of this module is goal-oriented towards successful completion of the Master Thesis and aims at:
- Furthering academic writing skills
- Identifying individual, interpersonal skills, and personal attributes, as well major strengths & areas for development
- Taking into account educational achievements & qualifications, work experience, and extra-curricular and leisure activities
- Reflectively analyzing on labor market competition and career consequences giving advice regarding individual needs

The module includes intensive counseling sessions and the course “How to write a master thesis”. This course aims at making students familiar with the research process and the various steps involved in that process. This course is essential for preparing the students to undertake their own research project (master thesis).



The thesis has to be designed as a research paper (based on a current problem) in CSR or NGO Management with a transformation of the theoretical and practical studied background due classes and practical experiences in the taken modules.

Students should use and transfer their learned and experienced knowledge, methods and working techniques into responsible management behavior, based on a real project in NGOs, CSR including critical reflection on academic and practical approaches. 


Explore the Course Syllabus and get the details on each subject covered in the different semesters of the MBA in CSR & NGO Management Programme.