MMM034-International Corporate Social Responsibility

Module Provider: Leadership, Organisations and Behaviour
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Spring term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2018/9

Module Convenor: Dr Kleio Akrivou


Type of module:

Summary module description:

Students will study the issue of Corporate Social Responsibility of firms from the perspective of firms, individuals and wider society. The social and ethical performance of firms is considered in addition to the economic and legal sides of corporate performance, in order to analyse business activity from more than merely the perspective of profit maximisation.


This module aims to offer a rounded introduction to the ethical, business and society aspects and theories relevant to Corporate Responsibility. To develop a current understanding of corporate social responsibility (CSR) and develop students’ awareness on the ethical issues involved from the perspective of the individual (manager /agent and stakeholder), of individual firms and of wider society, by combining a rigorous theoretical and a strong applied foundation on the topic. The need for a firm to fit social performance to its international business and non-business stakeholder environment is explored (business and society perspective). Importantly, the module design and pedagogy aims in developing a critical and thorough examination of CSR via juxtaposing and integrating a normative understanding rooted in business ethics, and an understanding of responsibility and the role of business in society rooted in current CSR theory, discourses and action that may transcend the normative understanding . Both theory and case studies are utilised.

Assessable learning outcomes:

This module’s learning outcomes is to enable the cognitive understanding of student of the topic of corporate responsibility via a rounded and multi-disciplinary critical comprehension of the ethical, business and society aspects and theories relevant to Corporate Responsibility and how these may be contextualised via practical cases of actuality involving international business and management and local societal and broader norms and key challenges where businesses operate.


At the end of this module, students should have developed:

• A critical awareness of CSR core and cross disciplinary theory and how these inform key models relevant to international business and management and current challenges for organisational and firm responsibility globally and in the local context

• A critical understanding of CSR challenges for international and global business management, linking various non business and business stakeholder interaction with organisations that conduct business internationally

• Foundational skills that enable students to identify key issues and stakeholders involved in critical ethical and corporate responsibility dilemmas for international firms

• Basic knowledge of the relation between corporate governance, corporate responsibility and the role management plays in resolving responsibly responsibility challenges in the global context;

• An understanding of some of the key ethical concepts in and basic models of how one should apply CSR in accordance with normative theory concerns

• The ability to critically compare and contrast competing approaches to CSR; such as normative, ethics driven approaches to CSR in terms of business’s role in society and action related approaches to CSR

• The ability to construct and present a rigorous ethical argument applied in the context of a global firm responsibility key challenge.

• The ability to analyse business and management cases from a variety of CSR and ethical perspectives to argue on responsible policies and practices by firms and individuals in key roles.

•Develop some capacity for oral presentation and oral analysis skills in the subject- matter and develop capacity to debate and present coherent analysis regarding assessing business activity from more than merely the perspective of profit maximisation.

Additional outcomes:

Through taking this module, students should gain a greater insight into a variety of topics that have a social, ‘ethical’ or moral aspect for international managers. They should be able to discuss in depth both practical and theoretical issues relating to the responsibility and responsiveness of business to society and ethical decision-making. The module may enable and habituate students in the personal and character development relevant to being a professional in business management with an awareness of and a sensitivity for ethical and responsible business and management locally and in a global context.

Outline content:

1. Introduction - what is CSR? Types and kinds of Responsibilities of firms and CSR in historical, economy and cultural context.

2. CSR Theories from Business and Management Literature.

3. Normative Ethical Theories relevant for CSR: Modern Theories.

4. Corporate Codes of Ethics

Tutorials: Applications of ethical reasoning to international management. Working in teams and via cases regarding contextualising and applying ethics in international business and management.

5. Normative Ethical Theories relevant for CSR: Classical Theories.

6. Corporate Responsibility and the Corporate Governance Framework. Ethical and Responsible Leadership and/or Descriptive Ethics and Tools for enabling responsible management

7. MNEs and Ethics - Responsibility in the context of Globalisation and Development – Firms and Sustainability- Institutions of Global Ethics – Firms, Governments and the problem of corruption in business and politics

8. Student group presentations and formative and summative feedback in preparation for the final individual coursework.



Global context:

Various cases regarding contextualising and applying ethics in international business and management involve global context and ethical challenges to resolve in business, government and society.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

The module will be taught through a two hour lecture session each week, combining elements of lectures, and case analysis  involving integrative learning methods and 3x1 practical tutorial sessions (workshops).  At the core of this module are case study analysis and class discussion, using a mixture of written and video case material. Emphasis is given in harmonically blending current and core theory lines, cases involving ethical challenges for international management and storytelling, with the aid of mini cases. These will be supported by lectures, to direct reading and expound and clarify key points, and small group discussion in tutorials, to monitor learning progress and identify and resolve difficulties. Role-play exercises may also be included.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 30
Tutorials 4.5
Project Supervision 2.5
Demonstration 10
Work-based learning 10
Guided independent study 143
Total hours by term 200.00
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 70
Project output other than dissertation 30

Summative assessment- Examinations:

The module is assessed with 100% coursework.

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

Coursework 1: One group essay plan of 1000 words, with a weight of 10% in the overall assessment of the module – (partly formative). This is a first plan of the content you plan to follow for the group written report in the form of a brief essay plan (CW2).  A 10 percent excess of the upper word limit in the wordcount of this coursework is permissible. Due by Week 25 (W6 spring term)

Coursework 2: One group written report of 1000 words (10+/- percent is permissible), and an orally performed defence via a group presentation (delivered in an interactive seminar). This combined coursework has a weight of 30% in the overall assessment of the module (slides and report are equally weighted subcomponents). Oral feedback and formative feedback are also provided to the teams in an interactive seminar.  Each of the two subcomponents of this coursework counts for 50 percent of this coursework mark. Due by Week 28-29 (W9-10 spring term).

Coursework 3: One individual essay of 3,000 words with a weight of 60% in the overall assessment of the module.  A 10 percent excess of the upper word limit in the wordcount of this coursework is permissible. Due by Week 30 (W11 of the spring term)

Formative assessment methods:

See above: the first coursework is a group essay plan and its feedback has is partlyformative as it  aims to help students develop skills for the final individual essay and it counts very little in the final module mark.

Groups and group members  work in CW1 towards the teams preparing and creating structured plans for  the second coursework which is a group piece of written and oral work. CW 2 feedback is also partly formative and is provide to each team of students in a specially organised interactive presentation session (practical seminar).  Feedback is on both content and presentation skills from lecturer(s) and peer feedback from their class fellow members are then given to the teams of students.

This process enables peer learning and peer formative feedback.

Penalties for late submission:
Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy. Please refer to page 5 of the Postgraduate Guide to Assessment for further information:

Assessment requirements for a pass:
A weighted average mark of coursework of 50%.

Reassessment arrangements:

An individual essay of 3000 words (capped at 50 percent). A ten percent excess in the wordcount is permissible. Topics tbc by module convener.

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):



  1. Required text books

All readings and referenced books are provided online via our UoR TALIS electronic online reading listing system and the TALIS and Blackboard interface. Also the University electronic databases are to be used for retrieving extra literature teams or students may need to complete their coursework.


Library orders for the textbooks of this module are covering the registered student numbers. Therefore it is not normally required of students in this module to purchase textbooks. Students who wish to do so the costs of the key textbooks should be informed that the costs for each textbook ranges from 15 £ (which is the usual cost of the OUP textbook by Crane and Matten, to 137£ which is the cost for the “Business & Society: Ethics, Sustainability & Stakeholder Management” textbook by Jill Brown and Archie Carroll as this latter is a new book.


Students  may also look for used and second hand copies via Amazon and the prices vary from 5£ to up to 60 £.

  1. Printing and binding

All marking is done online so students in this module shouldn’t have any extra costs for printing coursework.

However if students wish to print their documents at their own costs the following apply:

1. Students can bind their work for free in the ARC in HBS.

2. Multifunctional devices (MFD) which can print, copy or scan are available on the subject floors of the Library Building and on the Ground Floor of the URS Building. Send your printing from any PC and pick it up on any MFD across campus by logging in using your Campus Card.

Printing costs general information can be found via

Costs for 2018-9 are:

  • 5p for A4 black and white

  • 10p for A3 black and white

  • 30p for A4 colour

  • 60p for A3 colour


  1. Computers and devices with a particular specification

The following, which  are available on the Ground Floor of the URS Building:

145 PCs


Last updated: 1 May 2018


Things to do now