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Unit information: Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability in 2020/21

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Unit name Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability
Unit code EFIM30012
Credit points 20
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Gaya
Open unit status Not open

Introduction to Management (EFIM10015) OR Organisation Theory (EFIM10013)



School/department School of Management
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law

Description including Unit Aims

Corporate Social Responsibility & Sustainability focuses on the economic, social and environmental impacts of business and the resulting challenges faced by organisations and their managers. This is particularly important in the face of climate change, rapidly depleting resources and a growing demand from the public that business attends to its role both in causing and resolving such issues. This unit seeks to deepen students' understanding of corporate social responsibility (CSR) by taking a critical look at its origins, theoretical approaches to CSR, specific areas such as supply chain issues, ethical consumerism, market relations, the business case and other emerging issues. The unit will then go on to consider how an ethos around sustainability might offer a more radical approach to CSR, looking critically at the theoretical work of (for example) Gregory Bateson, the ecofeminist movement and deep ecology. The unit will also provide opportunities for students to develop their transferable skills.

Intended Learning Outcomes

By the end of the course, students will be able to:

  • Identify and describe a range of issues relevant to CSR and sustainability
  • Explain and discuss theoretical approaches to CSR and sustainability
  • Analyze and appraise practice through the application of relevant theory
  • Critically evaluate the theory and practice of CSR and sustainability
  • Working in a team, oral communication and visual presentation skills, advocacy and negotiation.

Teaching Information

Teaching will be delivered through a combination of synchronous and asynchronous sessions including lectures, tutorials, drop-in sessions, discussion boards and other online learning opportunities.

Assessment Information


1 x 1500 word essay to assess and give feedback on:

* ability to identify and describe relevant issues

  • ability to explain and discuss relevant theory
  • ability to apply theory to practice
  • essay writing skills

1 x team presentation to assess and give feedback on:

  • Transferable skills (team working, oral communication, visual presentation, advocacy, negotiation)


1 x 3500 word individual written assignment to assess:

  • ability to identify and describe relevant issues
  • ability to explain and discuss relevant theory
  • ability to apply theory to practice
  • essay writing skills

Reading and References

This unit does not follow a core textbook. Students are encouraged to undertake a significant amount of further research and independent reading and are expected to identify and select relevant, high quality literature themselves.

As part of the general, background reading for the unit, we would suggest the following texts:

- Blowfield M & Murray A (2008) Corporate Responsibility: A Critical Introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press - Crane A & Matten D (2010) Business Ethics: Managing Corporate Citizenship and Sustainability in the Age of Globalisation. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Please note that this text book is designed for teaching Business Ethics (as suggested by the title!) and we DO NOT cover ethical theory on this course. - Crane A, McWilliams A, Matten D, Moon J & Siegel D S (2008) The Oxford Handbook of CSR. Oxford: Oxford University Press. - Marshall, J., Coleman, G., Reason, P. Eds. (2011) Leadership for Sustainability: An Action Research Approach. Sheffield: Greenleaf Publishing.

Useful journals to look at include the following:

Journal of Business Ethics

Business Ethics Quarterly


Organization Studies

Business & Society


Ethics and the Environment

Organization and Environment

The library also subscribes to a package of eBooks, case studies and journal articles called THE SUSTAINABLE ORGANIZATION LIBRARY (SOL). It is a searchable online library of around 10,000 items focused on sustainability and social responsibility.