We are an interdisciplinary research centre on business and development studies based at Copenhagen Business School. We carry out critical, engaged and theoretically-driven research on the roles of business, government and civil society in promoting inclusive, just and sustainable development – with a focus on power dynamics, inequalities and marginalized actors in the global South.


Our main research efforts are around a number of collaborative projects with institutions based in the global South, and include substantial components of research capacity building. CBDS researchers and their partners blend passion and pragmatism, and seek to examine the roots of economic, social and environmental problems in the global South – rather than only addressing their manifestations.


CBDS also feeds research-based teaching into the MSc programme on Business and Development Studies (BaDS) at CBS, which trains students to think critically and operate ethically in business and other professional realms. Finally, CBDS provides expertise to policy makers, business, industry associations and civil society groups.


CBDS consists of 57 researchers, half of whom are based in the Department of Management, Society and Communication at Copenhagen Business School and another half in other departments and outside of CBS.   


Currently, CBDS is organized in three thematic research clusters: 1) Entrepreneurship, Management and Innovation in Development (EMID); 2) Sustainability Governance Group (SGG); and 3) Knowledge and Global Development (KGD). The centre is led by a director, supported by an administrator and a student assistant, and advised by an international advisory board.

What values or ideologies drive business involvement in development today?

What can governments and civil society do to orchestrate business behavior in view of addressing poverty, inequality and human rights?

How is business acting in humanitarian and development interventions and with what results?

How can business resources be harnessed to achieve sustainable development?

How can business innovation, entrepreneurship and experimentation be leveraged to tackle climate change?

What socio-economic systems can promote ‘just sustainabilities’ in the global South and how?

What is the role of business in improving people’s lives in the global South?


CBDS is currently active in a number of ’business and development’ research fields, including:

  • Firm strategy and management in developing countries 

  • Multinational corporations and economic development

  • Global value chain governance and development 

  • Corporate social and environmental responsibility in developing countries

  • Base-of-the-pyramid strategies

  • Human rights and local communities

  • Entrepreneurship and innovation 

  • Critical development studies

  • Business and humanitarian interventions 

  • Business, sustainability and climate change.

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Word cloud: CBDS publications 2015-2020


CBDS feeds research-based teaching into a two-year master’s program on Business and Development Studies (BaDS) at CBS. In this program, you will learn to analyse the interaction between international business and economic development with a strong focus on developing countries and emerging markets. This will enable you to operate and manage activities in developing countries and emerging markets, taking into account the particular economic and cultural conditions. Furthermore you will work explicitly with your academic writing in English as well as your oral competencies in French, German or Spanish. 

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CBDS cooperates with a range of academic and non-academic organizations in order to promote international exchange and collaboration between academia, civil society and the private sector.  In addition to partners involved in collaborative research projects, we presently are engaged in broad strategic collaboration with three partners.

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