Sustainicum Collection

Consus The aim of the project is to establish a regional science-society network for sustainability innovations in Albania and Kosovo in order to strengthen the connection and collaboration of institutions in the field of higher education, research and practice.

Sustainable development in the pharmaceutical sector: a case study of a Kosovar pharmaceutical company “Trepharm”(Resource ID: 296)

x Please note: module with excess length - more than
7 lecture units required!
This resource uses a case study method to present a complex real life situation of the local company "Trepharm” and the measures it is taking to ensure the sustainability. The resource aims to engage students to learn how sustainable development helps to gain a company’s commitment to its stakeholders and in creating a better relationship with its clients and suppliers. Besides, implementing sustainable practices, measures help in reducing energy, waste and water as well as costs related to these activities. They will also have a chance to expand their knowledge on the strategic management field through discussion-based learning and to develop critical thinking and analysis when preparing the final report and recommendations for the company. Finally, through this experience, students will further enhance and develop their strategic and systematic capabilities along with their interpersonal, teamwork and leadership skills.


Although in Kosovo pharmaceutical manufacturing is very small with only one local producer, worldwide this industry is considered one of the largest users of human, economic and natural resources. For a pharmaceutical company to grow and successfully compete in the industry not only in the country but regionally and internationally, the company must show a strong commitment to sustainable development through the use of innovative approaches to manufacturing processes starting from production, design and waste management and implementing new and what is considered a cleaner technology designed to protect the environment.


A group of students will be assigned the role of business consultants that specialise in sustainable management and development. Their main task is to identify industries and markets where there are opportunities for growth. However, the home corporate made it clear that they will only consider investing in companies that show readiness to start making significant strides in embracing and integrating societal and environmental sustainability.


During this project students along with the course lecturer will have the opportunity to visit the company and gain first-hand information from the selected staff from various departments.


Based on the collected data from the interviewed staff and from the observed on-site activities, students will analyse the information related to sustainable development to prepare a report for the company. Students will also be encouraged to consult the country's current legal framework on waste management, as well as conduct some further research on its greatest environmental issues. The final report should also include recommendations to the company.

Integration of Social Stakeholders
"This company is involved in the seminar as an active partner – students have the possibility to get in direct contact with employees in the business sector that experience challenges in implementing sustainability management. The stakeholder will benefit from the collaboration as well because they receive external, fresh and creative perspectives on their activities by the students and recommendations about their sustainability management processes."
– Active learning experience for students
– Mutual learning for students and business stakeholders
– Strong trans-disciplinary approach
– Students learn to develop a sustainable business idea on the basis of existing enterprises active in the field of sustainability and social entrepreneurship
– Students think about their own opportunities and responsibility in the context of global change
- Students will have the opportunity to experience real-life problems sometimes complex situations and be better prepared to overcome some of these situations when entering their professional lives.
- Students will have an opportunity to reflect and provide their own opinion on certain company problems.
- Students will be challenged in systematic thinking and applying their previous learned knowledge in practice.
- High level of learning opportunities.
– Occasional issues of confidentiality
– Company management must agree to share real data and business details about their business processes
Learning Outcomes
1. To be able to work together as a team, to identify and critically evaluate the company’s sustainable activities and select the appropriate methodologies to address any related issues that prevent the company’s sustainable development.

2. To be able to critically evaluate, both individually and as part of a team, complex issues both systematically and creatively. To make sound judgments in the absence of complete data and to design and employ the appropriate and innovative solutions in complex and unpredictable situations.

3. To learn from the company activities by visiting the company and having the opportunity to interview the staff including the management.

4. To learn about the importance of lack of knowledge and knowledge transfer within a company operating in a developing country

5. To gain a better understanding of the environmental and social impacts of the pharmaceutical industry.

The ability to analyse the position of a firm (or organisation) in relation to its industry/sector and to critically evaluate the environmental forces affecting its performance and prospects. This includes:
•The industry/sector in its context, especially the changing environmental forces.
• The firm in its context, especially the competitive forces.
• The key factors which determine success of and prospects for the firm

The ability to select and justify the appropriate strategic solutions to key strategic issues arising from environmental analysis.

Deeper practical understanding of the application of the main analytical tools of strategic management in selected areas and greater confidence in their use and extension to most business contexts.
Relevance for Sustainability
– Sustainable development as a business approach to maintain competitive position
– Environment protection, shared responsibility
Related Teaching Resources
No specific previous knowledge / related resources required
Preparation Efforts
Preparation Efforts Description
– Preparation for the lecturer: 8 hours; – The company has already been identified and agreed to provide promising data and be open for cooperation with students. – The site visits ( Completed) – Discussions ( Completed) – Interviews to be conducted on the 01-05 July ( Partially completed, more interviews in progress) – Presentation and results recommendations to be determined
Students will be asked to present their findings from the company case study which will be weighted at 25% of their mark and a final project report weighted at 75% of their mark.
Credit/Certification Description
Students will earn 6 credits for this assessment.
Sources and Links

Hamschmidt, J. (2007). Case Studies in Sustanaibility Management and Strategy: The oikos collection. Greenleaf Publishing Limited, UK. 

Scholz, R.W. Tietje, O. (2002) Embedded Case Study Methods, Intergrating Quantitaive and Qualitative Knowledge, Sage Publications, Thousanf Oaks, USA

Steiner, G, Posch, A. (2006).  Higher education for sustainability by means of trandisciplinary case studies: an innovative approach for solving complex, real-word problems. Journal of Cleaner Production, 14, 877-890.

Strategic Decision Making, By Kathleen M. Eisenhardt and Mark J. Zbaracki. Strategic Management Journal, Vol. 13,Special Issue: Fundamental Themes in Strategy Process Research (Winter, 1992), pp.17-37

Do You Have a Well-Designed Organization? By: Goold, Michael; Campbell, Andrew. Harvard Business Review, Mar 2002, Vol. 80 Issue 3, p.117




Internet sources:

Case Method at Harvard Business School: www.hbs.edu/teaching/case-method-in-practice/ ( comprehensive and informative website about the case method)

Cases Programme by oikos International: http://oikos-international.org/programmes/curricula-change/cases-program/( case study competition and collection of international cases on social entrepreneurship, CSR and management).

Funded by
This teaching resource, realised within the project ConSus, has been funded with the support of the TEMPUS of the European Union. The contents reflect the views of the authors, and the European Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

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Diana Lekaj
This teaching resource is allocated to following University:
RIINVEST - Riinvest College


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Teaching Tools & Methods

  • Field study
  • Case study
  • Written material