MM334-New Directions in Business and Corporate Social Responsibility

Module Provider: Marketing and Reputation
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2016/7

Module Convenor: Dr Nicola Swan


Summary module description:

There is growing recognition of the role business and market based solutions can play in tackling complex ‘wicked’ global sustainable development challenges, including reducing poverty, protecting vulnerable ecosystems, and facing up to global climate change. Concurrently, barely a day goes by without media reports of corporate misbehaviour and scandal. The role of business in society is clearly high on the agenda. This module aims to develop students’ awareness and understanding of contemporary debates and practices of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), and to encourage their reflection on the wider role of business in society and global sustainable development.

Assessable learning outcomes:
At the end of the module, students should be able to:

• Discuss and critically evaluate contemporary CSR management and practice, including its application in different arenas of business activity and in relation to different social and environmental concerns.
• Describe and critically assess recent developments in the business and society domain moving beyond traditional approaches to CSR, for instance the emergence of social innovation, alternative business models and approaches to capitalism
• Outline and critically evaluate the case for and against CSR
• Critically analyse strategic approaches to CSR both in terms of the business case but also their implications for society
• Discuss and critically analyse current research and literature on CSR and wider business and society debates, and explain the main theoretical contributions informing them.
• Recognise an organisation’s stakeholders, discuss stakeholder theory, and critically evaluate relationships between organisations and their stakeholders

Additional outcomes:
Students will develop their team working skills through the completion of a group project, a well as enhancing their data gathering and information technology skills.

Outline content:
1) Introduction: New Directions in Business and CSR
2) The Business Case for CSR
3) CSR in the Marketplace and in the Workplace
4) CSR and the Environment
5) CSR and the Community
6) CSR Strategy and Implementation
7) CSR Reporting, Auditing and Impact Assessment
8) International Development, Partnerships and Self-Regulation
9) Fair Trade, Social Entrepreneurship and Social Innovation
10) Future of CSR

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
The above themes will be taught in ten, two-hour lectures supported by 2 two hour seminars and a 1 hour presentation. Each lecture will have required pre-reading and involve class discussion.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 20
Seminars 5
Guided independent study 175
Total hours by term 200.00
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 50
Written assignment including essay 40
Oral assessment and presentation 10

Other information on summative assessment:

Formative assessment methods:
Formative self-completion exercises are available in the module core text book for most topics covered. In addition practice exam style questions will be made available on Blackboard.

Penalties for late submission:

The Module Convenor will apply the following penalties for work submitted late, in accordance with the University policy.
  • where the piece of work is submitted up to one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for the piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at:
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Length of examination:

    Requirements for a pass:
    A weighted average of at least 40%.

    Reassessment arrangements:
    By re-sit examination

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
    1) Required text books:
    2) Specialist equipment or materials:
    3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
    4) Printing and binding:
    5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
    6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

    Last updated: 21 December 2016

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