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MN20445: Corporate responsibility: principles and perspectives

[Page last updated: 15 October 2020]

Follow this link for further information on academic years Academic Year: 2020/1
Further information on owning departmentsOwning Department/School: School of Management
Further information on credits Credits: 6      [equivalent to 12 CATS credits]
Further information on notional study hours Notional Study Hours: 120
Further information on unit levels Level: Intermediate (FHEQ level 5)
Further information on teaching periods Period:
Semester 2
Further information on unit assessment Assessment Summary: CW 100%
Further information on unit assessment Assessment Detail:
  • Coursework (CW 100% - Qualifying Mark: 35)
Further information on supplementary assessment Supplementary Assessment:
Like-for-like reassessment (where allowed by programme regulations)
Further information on requisites Requisites:
Description: Aims:
This unit examines corporate responsibility (CR) and focuses on exploring the responsibilities of private, public and voluntary organisations in a range of contemporary environmental and social issues and in the context of differing ethical frameworks. The unit analyses CR from a range of different theoretical and empirical perspectives. The unit will enable students to engage with and appreciate different perspectives and approaches for dealing with the complex ethical, social and environmental issues that arise within today's global business environment. The course aims to equip them with tools and approaches necessary for the development of rounded perspectives on them.

Learning Outcomes:
Upon completing the unit, students will be able to:
* Demonstrate a thorough and comprehensive knowledge of the different ethical principles which constitute CR, and how these perspectives inform various codes of conduct and self-regulatory standards for CR that are advocated by stakeholder groups and companies;
* Understand the current and future challenges being faced by businesses as they negotiate their relationship with their physical and social environments in fast changing conditions, and the key questions these pose for corporate action, strategies and purposes;
* Identify the tensions between conflicting business and social responsibilities and critique different managerial approaches to working with stakeholders to address issues of corporate social responsibility;
* Apply the theoretical and practical aspects of corporate responsibility to a range of contemporary social and environmental problems;
* Critically and creatively assess different approaches to the management of CR issues and evaluate the prospects and limits of different policy approaches related to these issues.

Studying the unit will help students to develop the skills to:
* Coherently discuss, defend, and communicate perspectives relating to CR in writing (T, F, A)
* Identify and evaluate salient CR challenges facing business organisations from multiple perspectives (T, F, A)
* Evaluate and critically assess strategies for responding to social and environmental issues (T, F, A)
* Interpret data and evidence concerned with companies and their social responsibilities (T, A)
* Apply theories from strategy, economics, law and political science to real world cases relating to social responsibility (T, A).

Corporate Responsibility is a concept whereby companies integrate social and environmental concerns in their business operations and in their interactions with their stakeholders on a voluntary basis. The unit introduces the fundamental tools and perspectives of corporate responsibility and explores their application to various contexts and in respect of a range of issues. A variety of conceptual perspectives on CR will be introduced and explored on the unit, including perspectives from business ethics, law, political science, economics, strategy and management. The unit emphasises stakeholder thinking and investigates its application to understanding of CR and the development of corporate responses to social and environmental issues. Topics addressed include, but will not be restricted to: principles of business ethics, stakeholder theory, the historical origins of the CR movement, different models and conceptions of CR, the business case for CR, CR in the settings of markets, work and community, and the role of codes and self-regulatory standards for promoting CR as an effective tool of governance.
Further information on programme availabilityProgramme availability:

MN20445 is Optional on the following programmes:

Department of Chemistry
  • USCH-AFB03 : BSc(Hons) Chemistry with Management (Year 2)
  • USCH-AAB04 : BSc(Hons) Chemistry with Management with Study year abroad (Year 2)
  • USCH-AKB04 : BSc(Hons) Chemistry with Management with Industrial Placement (Year 2)
  • USCH-AFM07 : MSci(Hons) Chemistry with Management (Year 2)
  • USCH-AKM07 : MSci(Hons) Chemistry with Management with Industrial Placement (Year 2)
School of Management
  • UMMN-AFB02 : BSc(Hons) Accounting and Finance (Year 2)
  • UMMN-AKB02 : BSc(Hons) Accounting and Finance with Year long work placement (Year 2)
  • UMMN-ANB01 : BSc(Hons) Business Administration with Thin sandwich placement(s) (Year 2)
  • UMMN-AYB06 : BSc(Hons) International Management with Year Abroad (Year 2)
  • UMMN-AFB04 : BSc(Hons) Management (Year 2)
  • UMMN-AKB04 : BSc(Hons) Management with Year long work placement (Year 2)
  • UMMN-AKB05 : BSc(Hons) Management with Marketing with Year long work placement (Year 2)
Department of Politics, Languages and International Studies
  • UXXX-AYB05 : BSc(Hons) International Management and Modern Languages (French) with Year Abroad (Year 2)
  • UXXX-AYB04 : BSc(Hons) International Management and Modern Languages (German) with Year Abroad (Year 2)
  • UXXX-AYB06 : BSc(Hons) International Management and Modern Languages (Spanish) with Year Abroad (Year 2)


  • This unit catalogue is applicable for the 2020/21 academic year only. Students continuing their studies into 2021/22 and beyond should not assume that this unit will be available in future years in the format displayed here for 2020/21.
  • Programmes and units are subject to change in accordance with normal University procedures.
  • Availability of units will be subject to constraints such as staff availability, minimum and maximum group sizes, and timetabling factors as well as a student's ability to meet any pre-requisite rules.
  • Find out more about these and other important University terms and conditions here.