MQM3CRE-Corporate Responsibility and Ethics

Module Provider: Leadership, Organisations and Behaviour
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn / Spring / Summer module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2020/1

Module Convenor: Dr Filipe Morais


Type of module:

Summary module description:

Corporate responsibility and ethics has become a major topic of debate and concern in contemporary society, but also an area of managerial importance for organisations and their leaders. The Corporate Responsibility module allows practising managers to 1) gain an understanding of current corporate responsibility debates and issues, and of corporate responsibility concepts, tools and strategies, and their practical application and 2) appreciate the importance of ethical conduct which ensures corporate responsibility.        


The Corporate Responsibility and Ethics module is designed for early career high potential employees who are likely to fast track into senior leadership positions, to enable them to:


  • Develop knowledge and understanding of contemporary issues and debates, and key concepts and theories, in the field of applied ethics and corporate responsibility

  • Understand the principles and tools of stakeholder management, their application, and recognise the importance of positive stakeholder relationships for organisational success

  • Appreciate and reflect on the importance of personal ethical character in the management of corporate responsibility 

  • Critically analyse the application of corporate responsibility in varied arenas of business activity

  • Evaluate different approaches to managing corporate responsibility, demonstrate their application for and relationship with strategic management, and critically reflect on their role in long-term organisational performance

Assessable learning outcomes:

On completion of the module, programme members should be able to:


  • Recognise and critically engage with contemporary issues and debates in the corporate responsibility field

  • Identify and discuss corporate responsibility concepts and theories and their relevance and application to wider management practice

  • Explain the concepts and principles of stakeholder engagement and ethical and responsible managemen t, and recognise the importance of positive stakeholder relationships for organisational success

  • Appreciate the importance of and the theory behind the ethical management of responsibility and key personal aspects required such as dealing ethically and transparently with the different groups inside and outside the business, and reliability, inclusivity, honesty, integrity openness and trust which instil confidence and trust in all involved.

  • Critically analyse the application of corporate responsibility in varied arenas of business activity

  • Apply corporate responsibility concepts, theories and tools in support of strategic management, and critically reflect on their role in the achievement of long-term organisational performance


These outcomes will be achieved through guided independent study (working through module materials e.g. the study guide, optional formative practical appl ication exercises, Q&A sessions with the module tutor, and wider reading), and the completion of an assignment.

Additional outcomes:

Programme members will have the opportunity to practice their research and data gathering skills, to utilise information technology, and to develop their proficiency in written communication.   

Outline content:

Section 1) Introducing corporate responsibility

Section 2) Engaging with stakeholders

Section 3) Applying corporate responsibility

Section 4) Ethical management of responsibility. Theory and practice.

Section 5) Corporate responsibility strategy

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

This module uses a guided independent study approach incorporating self-study, optional formative practical application exercises and online tutor support. Key module content is delivered through study guide materials. Programme members also complete a 2500-word assignment.    


The contact hours are a guide and the terms taught will vary depending on the start date of the cohort. 

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Seminars 7
Guided independent study:      
    Wider reading (independent) 20
    Wider reading (directed) 18
    Peer assisted learning 5
    Completion of formative assessment tasks 5
    Essay preparation 40
    Reflection 5
Total hours by term 0 0 100
Total hours for module 100

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 100

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

Assessment is through the completion of a 2,500 word individual assignment. A -10% to + 20% word count tolerance margin applies.

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:

The below information applies to students on taught programmes except those on Postgraduate Flexible programmes. Penalties for late submission, and the associated procedures, which apply to Postgraduate Flexible programmes are specified in the policy “Penalties for late submission for Postgraduate Flexible programmes”, which can be found here:
The Support Centres will apply the following penalties for work submitted late:

  • where the piece of work is submitted after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for that 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.

Assessment requirements for a pass:

The assignment / project / report must achieve a minimum mark of 50% to achieve a pass.

Reassessment arrangements:

Reassessment by 100% assignment (capped at 50%); to be submitted within 6 weeks of notification of module failure, date dependent on cohort entry and to be advised by the Programme Administrator.

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

Required text books -  £60

The cost of textbooks and study aids for apprentices are met by the University of Reading as per the Education and Skills Funding Agency Regulations.

Last updated: 29 October 2020


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