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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Business School : Business Studies

Undergraduate Course: Global Business and the Sustainable Development Goals (BUST10148)

Course Outline
SchoolBusiness School CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryAccording to the United Nations, The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are the blueprint for achieving a more equitable and prosperous future for everyone. They address the global challenges we face, including poverty, inequality, climate, environmental degradation, prosperity, peace and justice.

Transnational corporations, as prominent global actors, have a significant role in advancing the SDGs. However, they can also face substantial challenges when contributing to sustainable development through their core business activities. This module explores how transnational corporations can profitably contribute to harnessing the opportunities and addressing the risks inherent in the SDGs.
Course description The United Nations established the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in 2015 as a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure peace and prosperity for all people and communities worldwide. The goals hold significant opportunities if creatively harnessed and enormous risks if not addressed.

This module aims to critically explore how different businesses can profitably contribute to harnessing the opportunities and addressing the risks inherent in the SDGs. It will draw immensely on literature that discusses (a) Business as a Development Actor and (b) how businesses can successfully manage conflicting objectives.

The structure of the course will be based on incorporating the following 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with an emphasis on how transnational corporations can transform our world by aligning with them:
GOAL 1: No Poverty
GOAL 2: Zero Hunger
GOAL 3: Good Health and Well-being
GOAL 4: Quality Education
GOAL 5: Gender Equality
GOAL 6: Clean Water and Sanitation
GOAL 7: Affordable and Clean Energy
GOAL 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth
GOAL 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
GOAL 10: Reduced Inequality
GOAL 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities
GOAL 12: Responsible Consumption and Production
GOAL 13: Climate Action
GOAL 14: Life Below Water
GOAL 15: Life on Land
GOAL 16: Peace and Justice Strong Institutions
GOAL 17: Partnerships to achieve the Goals

Course Outline:

Lecture 1 - Introduction: Global Challenges and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Theoretical Foundations:
Lecture 2 - Corporate Citizenship, Political CSR, and Governance of Externalities
Lecture 3 - Sustaincentrism and Planetary Boundaries Perspectives
Lecture 4 - Africapitalism and the Changing Role of Business in Africa

Practical Applications:
Lecture 5 - Strategic CSR in the Community (SDGs: 1,2,6,11)
Lecture 6 - CSR Human Resource Management in the Workplace (SDGs: 3,4,5,8,10)
Lecture 7 - CSR Marketing and Finance in the Marketplace (SDGs: 9,12)
Lecture 8 - CSR Innovation + R&D in the Ecological Environment (SDGs: 7,13,14,15)

Extension, Integration, and Evaluation:
Lecture 9 - Business Coalitions and Partnerships for Sustainable Development (SDGs: 16,17
Lecture 10 - Recap Lecture/ Class Discussion/ Revision

Student Learning Experience:
The course will include ten sessions of two hours duration to be held each week in Semester 1. It will combine lectures and discussions and will require class participation. In addition to the normal requirements of academic study, students will be expected to keep up to date with developments in the area through social media, newspapers and journal reports.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: International Business: Globalisation and Trade 2A (BUST08008) OR International Business and the Multinational Enterprise 2B (BUST08009) OR Organising for Social Change: Creating Value and Impact (BUST08037)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting students must have at least 4 Business courses at grade B or above. We will only consider University/College level courses.
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 20, Supervised Practical/Workshop/Studio Hours 4, Summative Assessment Hours 3, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 169 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) 40% coursework (group presentation incl. 20% peer moderation)
60% coursework (individual report)
Feedback Feedback will be provided on the assessment within agreed deadlines.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Understand the sustainable development goals and critically examine their implications for transnational corporations.
  2. Understand and critically discuss the theoretical foundations of business as a development and policy actor in the global economy.
  3. Critically evaluate various approaches to achieving the SDGs.
  4. Understand, theorise, and critically discuss how the sustainable development goals are redefining business society relations.
  5. Critically appraise the importance of sustainability thinking as a core managerial capability in coping with the challenges of and exploring the opportunities in the sustainable development goals.
Reading List
OECD (2021),"Industrial Policy for the Sustainable Development Goals:"Increasing the Private Sector's Contribution, OECD Publishing, Paris,
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Knowledge and Understanding
After completing this course, students should be able to:
-Demonstrate a thorough knowledge and understanding of contemporary organisational disciplines; comprehend the role of business within the contemporary world; and critically evaluate and synthesise primary and secondary research and sources of evidence in order to make, and present, well informed and transparent organisation-related decisions, which have a positive global impact.
- Identify, define and analyse theoretical and applied business and management problems, and develop approaches, informed by an understanding of appropriate quantitative and/or qualitative techniques, to explore and solve them responsibly.

Autonomy, Accountability and Working with Others
After completing this course, students should be able to:
- Act with integrity, honesty and trust in all business stakeholder relationships, and apply ethical reasoning to effective decision making, problem solving and change management.

Practice: Applied Knowledge, Skills and Understanding
After completing this course, students should be able to:
- Apply creative, innovative, entrepreneurial, sustainable and responsible business solutions to address social, economic and environmental global challenges.
- Work with a variety of organisations, their stakeholders, and the communities they serve -learning from them, and aiding them to achieve responsible, sustainable and enterprising solutions to complex problems.

Communication, ICT, and Numeracy Skills
After completing this course, students should be able to:
- Critically evaluate and present digital and other sources, research methods, data and information; discern their limitations, accuracy, validity, reliability and suitability; and apply responsibly in a wide variety of organisational contexts.
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Nkosana Mafico
Course secretaryMs Morgan Wilson
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