MMM157-Ethical and Responsible Management & International Corporate 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: 2023/4

Module Convenor: Prof Kleio Akrivou

Type of module:

Summary module description:

This module is delivered at University of Reading UK.  Students will learn key knowledge enabling ethical management and corporate responsibility. First, the cross-disciplinary Corporate Social Responsibility subject involving firms, individuals and wider society with a focus on corporate responsibility and sustainability are explored. Also, a strong component of Ethical theory is being learnt as part of the foundational knowledge of this module with the aim to stimulate a reflective awareness and evaluation of business and management practices and how to apply knowledge on students’ own future professional practice in the field of business and management practices, and decision making.


This module aims for cross-disciplinary learning of a current corporate social responsibility (CSR) theory and practice and an exposure to the ethical issues involved from the perspective of the individual (manager), and stakeholders beyond shareholders, through an integration of research-led and experiential teaching/learning. The need for a firm to fit social performance to stakeholder environment and international dynamics are explored, combining micro and macro perspectives from key disciplines. It’s approaches on responsible and ethical management strongly relies on business ethics, business and society and international development debates, aiming to teach social and ethical performance of management and business organisations (firms and other businesses) in addition to the economic and legal performance sides, aiming to develop management action beyond profit maximisation. The module aims to provide students with a strong component of Ethical theory to stimulate a reflective awareness and evaluation about (1) the significance of ethical and responsible business and management practices utilizing margins of freedom for ethical action and fair decision choices in international contexts of management; and about (2) students’ own future professional ethical practice and values’ in the field of business and management.

Assessable learning outcomes:

An international and ethical perspective regarding the various challenges and groups / stakeholders involved in responsible business and responsible management of the social and environmental as well as financial impact of business in international contexts. Greater insight into a variety of topics that have a social, ‘ethical’ or moral aspect for future managers developing an international perspective involving responsible firm management. Students 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 development relevant to being a responsible professional in business management.

Additional outcomes:

Greater insight into a variety of topics that have a social, ‘ethical’ or moral aspect for future managers developing an international perspective involving responsible firm management. Students should be able to discuss in depth both practical and theoretical issues in their learning groups and in the class and present them orally and in writing. Hence this is developing oral and written presentation and communication.  Overall, the module may enable and habituate students in the personal development relevant to being a responsible professional in business management.

Outline content:

The content, taught in an interactive way, covers historical, economy and cultural analysis of CSR theory. Key theories taught involve wider literatures spanning from business and management, normative and ethical theories, business and society, international management and development approaches and they are applied to specific contexts of CSR with a focus on international business operation. A rigorous ethical foundation of business ethics rooted in moral philosophy will be included covering both modern and wider (e.g. classical or newer) ethics. We approach also CSR with a focus of theories which inform how to develop responsible and ethical management and governance. The content includes working in teams and conversational analysis, reflection and debates through contact hours (lectures and tutorials), team and individual work.

Global context:

The module deals with international issues in the specific subject, and utilises global case studies or speakers giving a global or overseas perspective.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

Interactive and experiential learning methods are involved in the teaching of this module. Team work and feedback enforce the learning occurring through the contact hours, and all builds toward students’ preparation for the final assessment. Coursework based module.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 20
Tutorials 4
Project Supervision 1
Practicals classes and workshops 6
Work-based learning 15
Guided independent study:      
    Wider reading (independent) 55
    Exam revision/preparation 35
    Peer assisted learning 14
    Preparation for tutorials 2
    Preparation for presentations 8
    Completion of formative assessment tasks 4
    Group study tasks 6
    Carry-out research project 6
    Essay preparation 10
    Reflection 14
Total hours by term 0 200 0
Total hours for module 200

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 60
Oral assessment and presentation 40

Summative assessment- Examinations:

The module is 100 percent based on coursework.

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

Coursework 1: CW 1 is a group coursework which is being “delivered” via oral assessment (which includes answering questions posed by the class and module lecturers). The topic of the presentation asks students to apply theory in a business case and to share personal reflection of their learning on the topic chosen. Due by week 28 (W9 of the spring term).

Coursework 2: 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 word count of this coursework is permissible. Due by Week 31 or 32 of Spring term

Formative assessment methods:

CW1 has a strong formative feedback role in students’ learning and development in addition to its formally marked component. Rich oral feedback is provided by other students (peers) and lecturers.

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 (this will be capped at 50 percent). A ten percent excess in the word count is permissible. One reassessment topic to be set 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. 


2. 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


3. Computers and devices with a particular specification         


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

145 PCs 


Last updated: 30 March 2023


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