MSM's Executive Training on Sustainable Business Development

On Friday 12 April 2019, 10 participants of MSM’s 5-day executive Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) program and 5-day executive Value Chain Analysis (VCA) program returned home, all inspired to put their newly gained knowledge into practice. The group consisted of people with different professional backgrounds and coming from all corners of the world, including Albania, Benin, Greece, India, Indonesia, Iraq and Lebanon.

Kick-off with the first week on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
While the concept of CSR has gained a solid foothold in the corporate world in high-income-economies, the need for CSR is also widely recognized in emerging economies where companies are increasingly implementing different CSR practices. Responding to this increased interest Jakomijn van Wijk, Associate Professor of Sustainable Business at MSM, discussed the different approaches to CSR and highlighted CSR practices in various industries in class. During the week, the participants enjoyed several lectures which included business cases, review assignments of CSR reports, videos and role plays to encourage the exchange of ideas and experiential knowledge. As the participants came from different organizational contexts, ranging from non-governmental organizations and consultancy firms to multi-national companies, there was much to be learned from each other.

Jakomijn van Wijk 

Inspiring work visits and guest lectures
To learn more about the opportunities and challenges in implementing CSR in practice various work visits and guest lectures were organized. At the Gulpener beer brewery the participants learned how the company actively works to produce Limburg’s tasteful beers with a low ecological footprint. A GreenKey team member of the NH Hotel Maastricht shared his knowledge during an inspiring lecture on the role of ecolabels in corporate greening and the participants learned all about the circular economy during guest lectures by the CSR manager of Emma Safety Footwear and the designer of Pōur. These work visits and lectures were very much appreciated by the participants as they highlighted how CSR actually operates in practice.

Second week totally devoted on Value Chain Analysis (VCA)
The importance of global value chains has emerged over the past decades as the world’s major brands started to outsource many of their operations to low-income countries. During this second week, Jeroen van Wijk, Associate Professor in Business and Development, discussed a variety of opportunities and challenges for emerging countries and their companies to link-up to these value chains. Another topic Jeroen covered were the opportunities to ‘upgrade’ individual companies or local industry clusters. Value chain analysis is a useful tool to detect the obstacles that prevent local companies to link up to global value chains. Through different hands-on assignments, participants gained in-depth understanding on how connected consumers are with producers world-wide and how we as consumers can help to make production chains more fair and sustainable. And of course, you can’t go shopping in Maastricht without buying some fair trade chocolates to bring back home!

Jeroen van Wijk

Do you want to join one of these two programs in the future as well?
The next 5-day executive Corporate Social Responsibility program will run from 2 – 6 December 2019 and the next 5-day executive Value Chain Analysis program will run from 9 – 13 December 2019. In case you have any questions please contact us via

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