Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility - BUSN9000

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2024 to 2025
Spring Term 7 15 (7.5) Maria Balta checkmark-circle


Business failures in the global financial sector, and the subsequent repercussions for a range of different groups, not just shareholders, have put the spotlight on the role of business and the behaviour of managers. Is business just responsible for maximising profit for its owners, or does it have responsibilities to other groups? This raises a number of difficult questions; which groups? responsible for what? And if so, how to discharge these responsibilities?
This module has three main aims:
• To develop critical thought, insight and debate regarding the changing role of business in today's society.
• To broaden your views on the role of business in society.
• To provide you with the tools, skills and knowledge to manage responsibly.
The nature of the topic is constantly changing and evolving; therefore the module will be subject to continual refinement according to developments in industry, government and academia.
Indicative topics are:
• Definitions of Corporate Responsibility
• The Role of Business and Society
• Theories of Corporate Responsibility
• Ethics Theory
• Business Ethics and Corporate Governance
• Areas of Corporate Responsibility
• Firm Level Responses
• Social Accounting
• Criticisms of Corporate Responsibility
• Social Entrepreneurship
• Sustainability


Contact hours

Private Study: 128
Contact Hours: 22
Total: 150

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods:
Group presentation (20%)
Individual Essay (4000 words) (80%).

Reassessment method:
100% Coursework

Indicative reading

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes.
- Critically analyse the role of business in society.
- Demonstrate an understanding of the main ethical, economic, social and environmental challenges faced by contemporary organisations.
- Compare and contrast different theoretical perspectives behind the motivations for engaging, or not engaging, in responsible behaviour and sustainability.
- Show an comprehensive understanding of ethical theory, and be able to apply theory to a range of contemporary ethical and sustainable issues associated with managing an international business.
- Display in-depth knowledge of the relationship between sustainability, corporate responsibility and firm performance, behaviour, reporting and governance.

The intended generic learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
- Negotiate and work with peers.
- Work under own initiative.
- Work with others.
- Take a synoptic view of business.
- Address complex problems.
- Present a logical case/argument.


  1. Credit level 7. Undergraduate or postgraduate masters level module.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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