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Corporate Social Responsibility - ENV00043M

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  • Department: Environment and Geography
  • Module co-ordinator: Mr. Victor Tsemo
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: M
  • Academic year of delivery: 2017-18

Module summary

This module will introduce students to the links between business ethics, corporate activities, globalisation, risk and the environment.

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Autumn Term 2017-18 to Spring Term 2017-18

Module aims

Whilst much of the CSR literature focuses upon the social responsibilities of companies, including the ethical conflicts their activities raise, such developments are often viewed in isolation from broader societal changes. The module’s aims are to:

  1. Examine the link between corporate activities, globalisation and the environment.
  2. Introduce the student to the major challenges faced by decision makers when they attempt to implement CSR policies in the real world.
  3. Introduce the student to some of the decision makers in a variety of organisations (e.g. NGOs, SMEs and multinational companies) that implement best in class CSR policies or help those organisations achieve their CSR objectives.

Module learning outcomes

On completion of the module, students will be:

  • familiar with the conceptual frameworks and theories of business ethics and CSR;
  • able to assess the CSR performance of an organisation and develop a programme to improve it;
  • able to critically analyse the factors involved in developing, deploying and monitoring CSR policies in real world situations, such as trade-offs, organisational changes and financial implications
  • able to engage confidently in academic and professional communication (both orally and written), reporting on action clearly, autonomously and competently.

Module content

The module is delivered in autumn and spring terms.

  • Autumn Term (theory): Theories of CSR and business ethics
  • Spring Term (practical) 8 lectures from corporate CSR directors and executives and 8 guided seminars where the students will be asked to reflect on the talks in groups


Task Length % of module mark
Project Report: 3000 words
N/A 50
University - closed examination
Corporate Social Responsibility
2 hours 50

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
Extended essay question (open) 3000 words
N/A 100

Module feedback

Generic written and/or verbal feedback to whole class as well as detailed comments on individual work. Return within 4 weeks of submission.

Indicative reading

Blowfield, M. and Murray, A. (2008). Corporate Responsibility. Oxford: Oxford University Press

Ciulla, J., Martin, C. and Solomon, R. (2007). Honest Work: A Business Ethics Reader. Oxford: Oxford University Press

Beck, U. (1992). Risk Society: Towards a New Modernity. London: Sage

Bakan, J. (2004) The Corporation: The Pathological Pursuit of Profit and Power. London: Constable and Robinson

Carroll, A. B. (1991) The Pyramid of Corporate Social Responsibility: Toward the Moral Management of Organizational Stakeholders. Business Horizons, July-August, pp.39-48.
Crane, A. and D. Matten (2007) Business Ethics (second edition). Oxford: Oxford University Press

Vogel, David (2005) The Market for Virtue: The Potential and Limits of Corporate Social Responsibility. Washington: The Brookings Institution

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.