Skip to main content

Unit information: Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability in 2022/23

Please note: It is possible that the information shown for future academic years may change due to developments in the relevant academic field. Optional unit availability varies depending on both staffing, student choice and timetabling constraints.

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
Units you must take before you take this one (pre-requisite units)

EFIM10015 Introduction to Management; or
ACCG20011 Management Accounting; or
EFIM10022 Accounting and Finance in Context

Units you must take alongside this one (co-requisite units)


Units you may not take alongside this one


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

Unit Information

Why is this unit important?

Corporate Social Responsibility & Sustainability focuses on the social, ecological, and economic impacts of business and the resulting challenges faced by organisations, managers, and wider stakeholders. This is particularly important in the face of climate change and loss of biodiversity, as well as intensifying inequalities and social crises. Students are invited to develop a more nuanced perspective on the state of the world today, and to reflect critically on the ideological underpinnings and practical, political, and ethical implications of capitalism, consumerism, and globalisation.

The goal of the unit is to provide students with a basis for comparing and assessing some of the mainstream approaches to CSR alongside more radical approaches which work to challenge, resist, and transform ‘business as usual’. Albert Einstein famously stated that we cannot solve problems by using the same kind of thinking that was used when we created them. The world (encompassing humans, more-than-human beings and ecosystems, and the wider biosphere) faces tremendous challenges. We will interrogate how these can be understood and addressed by drawing on several radical lenses that go beyond more limited approaches to CSR.

How does this unit fit into your programme of study?

This unit focuses on some of the most vital global challenges of our times, including those related to climate change and ecological degradation and social injustices and inequalities. This unit adds to your programme of study by adopting an explicitly decolonising approach to these issues. A commitment to decolonise involves reflecting on our assumptions about how the world is, and the legacies of Western colonialism, empire, and racial inequality on what we understand as knowledge and truth. It also involves an honest, critical assessment of whose experiences, agendas, and interests are privileged and given voice, or alternatively, silenced and marginalised. To decolonise requires us to look closely at how we are positioned as persons, learners, and management/organisational scholars and practitioners, especially in relation to others who may not share similar positions and privilege.

Decolonising how we study and learn about CSR & Sustainability (and business, management, finance, and economics more broadly) means amongst other things: understanding and interrogating power relations and existing hierarchies; seeking and including perspectives from the Global South; reflecting on our own positioning and our own experiences of privilege, power, and marginalisation; and addressing the legacies of empire, and ongoing patterns of colonialism, racism, and oppression, made manifest through hegemonic forms of capitalism and globalisation.

Your learning on this unit

On completion of this unit, you should be able to:
LO1 Identify and describe a range of issues relevant to CSR and sustainability
LO2 Explain and discuss theoretical approaches to CSR and sustainability
LO3 Analyse and appraise practice through the application of relevant theory
LO4 Critically evaluate the theory and practice of CSR and sustainability

The unit will also provide opportunities for students to develop understanding and transferable skills in critical analysis, reflexivity and reflective practice, systemic thinking, cross-cultural perspectives, multiple ways of knowing, and advocacy and activism.

How you will learn

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.

How you will be assessed

Tasks which help you learn and prepare you for summative tasks (formative)

The initial section of the summative assessment will also comprise the formative assessment.

Tasks which count towards your unit mark (summative)

Individual Written Assignment (100%) 3,500 words.

When assessment does not go to plan:

The reassessment on this unit will remain the same as the original assessment.


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. EFIM30012).

How much time the unit requires
Each credit equates to 10 hours of total student input. For example a 20 credit unit will take you 200 hours of study to complete. Your total learning time is made up of contact time, directed learning tasks, independent learning and assessment activity.

See the Faculty workload statement relating to this unit for more information.

The Board of Examiners will consider all cases where students have failed or not completed the assessments required for credit. The Board considers each student's outcomes across all the units which contribute to each year's programme of study. If you have self-certificated your absence from an assessment, you will normally be required to complete it the next time it runs (this is usually in the next assessment period).
The Board of Examiners will take into account any extenuating circumstances and operates within the Regulations and Code of Practice for Taught Programmes.