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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Business School : Common Courses (Management School)

Postgraduate Course: Corporate Responsibility (CMSE11534)

Course Outline
SchoolBusiness School CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryCorporate Responsibility explores current trends and future possibilities relating to corporate social and political responsibility. The course asks students to apply knowledge through analyses, discussion, critical reflection and integrated application of concepts and theories to real-world cases. The broad objective of the course is to provoke students to rethink the purpose of business and to prepare students with knowledge and skills to support their journey to become aware, reflexive, and responsible managers and leaders. Topics include the purpose of business and value creation, standards and regulation, business and human rights, activism and social movements, and the future of corporate responsibility.
Course description The course beings with the provocation: Should corporations that consistently cause harm to people and/or planet have a right to exist? In this course, students will consider corporate responsibility from various perspectives, from theories of business and value creation, standards and regulation, activism and social movements, business and human rights, and the future of corporate responsibility. We will apply these conceptual understandings through case studies, group exercises, guest speakers and assessment.

Content outline
- Corporate Responsibility - why and for whom does it matter?
- Stakeholders and shared value - what is the purpose of business?
- Activism and movements engagement - pushing boundaries
- Business and human rights - regulating responsibility
- Global standards and certification - voluntary responsibility
- The future of corporate responsibility - imagining possibilities

Student learning experience:
This course is designed around a blended learning experience:
a) Preparatory materials. Students will engage preparatory materials, which will include a combination of readings, case studies, videos and podcasts for a curated content experience.
b) Lectures/seminars. Lectures will cover the conceptual ideas in a more in-depth manner and providing space for their application to the analysis of case studies. Seminars will involve guest speakers.
c) In-class engagement. Students will participate in-class exercises, discussions, case deliberations and role-plays. These aim to provoke students to understand corporate responsibility themes and tensions from different perspectives, and to generate knowledge that may inform debate and reflection.
d) Reflective learning. Students write a short academic reflection essay related to a corporate responsibility theme. The purpose is for students to deepen their own thinking, learning and reflective skills.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  140
Course Start Block 1 (Sem 1)
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 100 ( Lecture Hours 5, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 6, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 87 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) 100% coursework (individual) - assesses all course Learning Outcomes
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. Demonstrate a broad understanding of the history, current trends, and future possibilities of Corporate Responsibility from social and political perspectives
  2. Apply knowledge and skills related to Corporate Responsibility, including the analysis of cases, through debate, and critical reflection
  3. Apply an integrated approach to the analysis and evaluation of Corporate Responsibility theories in the context of complex empirical settings
  4. Demonstrate thoughtful, respectful and developmental engagement in all aspects of the course, particularly during interactions with peers and in group activities
  5. Develop reflexive, critical reasoning and writing that demonstrates the synthesis and analysis of a compelling argument relating to a Corporate Responsibility theme
Reading List
Augustine, G., Soderstrom, S., Milner, D., & Weber, K. (2019) Constructing a Distant Future: Imaginaries in Geoengineering. Academy of Management Journal, 62, 1930-1960.

Banerjee, S. B. (2008) Corporate Social Responsibility: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. Critical Sociology, 34(1), 51-79. h

Bauer, J., & Umlas, E. (2017). Making Corporations Responsible: The Parallel Tracks of the B Corp Movement and the Business and Human Rights Movement. Business and Society Review, 122: 285-325.

Bocken, N.M.P., Short, S.W., Rana, P., & Evans, S. (2014) A literature and practice review to develop sustainable business model archetypes. Journal of Cleaner Production, 65: 42-56.

Boons, F., Montalvo, C., Quist, J., & Wagner, M. (2013) Sustainable innovation, business models and economic performance: an overview. Journal of Cleaner Production, 45: 1-8.

Crane, A., Palazzo, G., Spence, L. J., & Matten, D. (2014). Contesting the Value of Creating Shared Value.California Management Review,56(2), 130-153.

de Bakker, F. G. A., Matten, D., Spence, L. J., & Wickert, C. (2020). The Elephant in the Room: The Nascent Research Agenda on Corporations, Social Responsibility, and Capitalism. Business & Society, 59(7), 1295-1302.

Dmytriyev, S.D., Freeman, R.E. and Hörisch, J. (2021), The Relationship between Stakeholder Theory and Corporate Social Responsibility: Differences, Similarities, and Implications for Social Issues in Management. J. Manage. Stud., 58: 1441-1470.

Donaldson, T. & Walsh, J.P. (2015) Towards a theory of business. Research in Organizational Behavior, 35: 181-207.

Ergene, S., Banerjee, S. B., & Hoffman, A. J. (2021). (Un)Sustainability and Organization Studies: Towards a Radical Engagement. Organization Studies, 42(8), 1319-1335.

Gümüsay, A.A., & Reinecke, J. (2021), Researching for Desirable Futures: From Real Utopias to Imagining Alternatives. Journal of Management Studies.

Halme, M., Rintamäki, J., Knudsen, J. S., Lankoski, L., & Kuisma, M. (2020) When Is There a Sustainability Case for CSR? Pathways to Environmental and Social Performance Improvements. Business & Society, 59(6), 1181-1227.

Hussain, W., & Moriarty, J. (2018). Accountable to whom? Rethinking the role of corporations in political CSR. Journal of Business Ethics,149(3), 519-534.

Khan, F. R., Munir, K. A., & Willmott, H. (2007). A Dark Side of Institutional Entrepreneurship: Soccer Balls, Child Labour and Postcolonial Impoverishment. Organization Studies, 28(7), 1055-1077.

Kolk, A. (2016) The social responsibility of international business: From ethics and the environment to CSR and sustainable development, Journal of World Business, 51(1): 23-34.

Kourula, A., Moon, J., Salles-Djelic, M.-L., & Wickert, C. (2019). New Roles of Government in the Governance of Business Conduct: Implications for Management and Organizational Research. Organization Studies, 40(8), 1101-1123.

Maher, R., Neumann, M, & Slot Lykke, M. (2021) Extracting Legitimacy: An Analysis of Corporate Responses to Accusations of Human Rights Abuses. Journal of Business Ethics.

Mair, J., & Gegenhuber, T. (2021). Open Social Innovation. Stanford Social Innovation Review.

Nyberg, D. (2021). Corporations, Politics, and Democracy: Corporate political activities as political corruption. Organization Theory, 2(1).

Palmer, D. A. (2013). The New Perspective on Organizational Wrongdoing. California Management Review, 56(1), 5-23.

Reinecke, J., & Donaghey, J. (2021) Political CSR at the Coalface The Roles and Contradictions of Multinational Corporations in Developing Workplace Dialogue. Journal of Management Studies, 58: 457-486.

Sarasvathy, S.D. (2001) Causation and Effectuation: Toward a Theoretical Shift from Economic Inevitability to Entrepreneurial Contingency. Academy of Management Review, 26, 243-263.

Spar, D. L., & La Mure, L. T. (2003). The Power of Activism: Assessing the Impact of NGOs on Global Business. California Management Review, 45(3), 78-101.

Spicer, A. (2020). Playing the Bullshit Game: How Empty and Misleading Communication Takes Over Organizations. Organization Theory.

Strike, V.M., Gao, J., & Bansal, P. (2006). Being Good While Being Bad: Social Responsibility and the International Diversification of US Firms. Journal of International Business Studies, 37(6), 850-862.

Ozkazanc-Pan, B. (2018). CSR as Gendered Neocoloniality in the Global South. Journal of Business Ethics, 160, 851-864.

Vishwanathan, P., van Oosterhout, Heugens, P.P.M.A.R., Duran, P., & van Essen, M. (2020), Strategic CSR: A Concept Building Meta-Analysis. Journal of Management Studies, 57: 314-350.

Wettstein, F. (2012) CSR and the Debate on Business and Human Rights: Bridging the Great Divide. Business Ethics Quarterly, 22(4), 739-770.
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.

Communication, ICT, and Numeracy Skills
After completing this course, students should be able to:
- Convey meaning and message through a wide range of communication tools, including digital technology and social media; to understand how to use these tools to communicate in ways that sustain positive and responsible relationships.

Autonomy, Accountability and Working with Others
After completing this course, students should be able to:
- Understand oneself and others, through critical reflection, diversity awareness and empathic development, in order to maximise individual and collective resilience, and personal and professional potential.
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserMr Samer Abdelnour
Course secretaryMiss Isla Dalley
Tel: (0131 6)50 3900
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