module specification

AC6003 - Corporate Social Responsibility and Governance (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title Corporate Social Responsibility and Governance
Module level Honours (06)
Credit rating for module 30
School Guildhall School of Business and Law
Total study hours 300
 
219 hours Guided independent study
81 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Group Presentation 30%   Group presentation 20 minutes
Coursework 20%   Essay or case study 1500 words
Coursework 50%   Individual essay 3000 words
Running in 2017/18
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Year City Friday Morning

Module summary

The module explores the role of corporate governance and social responsibility concepts, principles and practices in dealing with the competing interests of various stakeholders in modern corporate entities and financial institutions. 
Emphasis is placed on how corporate governance can assist in ensuring accountability to the owners and other stakeholders in the firm. The rationale and motivation for corporate entities and financial institutions to deal with social and environmental issues is explored in detail.

Prior learning requirements

Completion of Levels 4 and 5

Module aims

The module aims to:
1. Introduce students to the origins of the concepts and the debates in corporate governance and social responsibility.
2. Assist students to explore the rationale for CSR in corporate entities  and financial institutions
3. Explore the major theoretical approaches to the study of corporate governance and social responsibility.
4. Analyse and evaluate the practice of corporate governance and social responsibility in corporate entities, financial institutions and markets.
5. Encourage students to appreciate the importance of personal and professional ethics in decision-making and behaviour in organisations
6. develop students’ skills in research, oral communication, written communication and analytical and critical thinking.

Syllabus

1. The origins and evolution of the concepts of corporate governance and  corporate social responsibility
2. Corporate governance and social responsibility theories-  Stakeholder theory, Agency theory,  Legitimacy theory etc
3. Corporate ownership structures and associated governance mechanisms
4. National and international codes of practice in corporate governance 
5. The board, CEO and institutional investor governance
6. The practice of corporate social responsibility and its future
7. Sustainable business and environmental responsibility
8. Implementing and managing  social responsibility
9. Socially responsible investment
10. Corporate governance and social responsibility reporting 
11. Corporate social responsibility, governments and international organisations

Learning and teaching

Learning in this module will focus on the complexity and challenges of corporate governance and social responsibility. It will deal with the concepts, principles and practices in dealing with the competing interests of various stakeholders. The exploration of the subject requires an understanding of the underlying theoretical principles and how they may be applied in differing contexts. The learning therefore will engage students in didactic teaching to lay the framework for the topic and exploratory discussion and debate to develop a deep and rich understanding if the theoretical and practical issues 

There is be weekly lectures of 1 ½ hours that to introduces key issues, concepts and analytical approaches relating to the major topics in the module to students. This will be supported by guided reading and the weekly seminars.

The 1 ½ hour seminars will then be used to give students the opportunity to discuss and debate the lecture topics in detail on the basis of their reading of appropriate parts of relevant textbooks and journal articles. Students will also be encouraged to contribute their own ideas in the discussion of issues and in the evaluation of journal articles.

Students would be expected to prepare in advance for both lectures and seminars by reading relevant textbook chapters and journal articles specified in the weekly programme in the module booklet. Additionally, students would be encouraged to source relevant new articles from reputable on-line resources for discussion in seminars and be able to relate their studies to current media events.

The module will be supported by additional resources and web links provided though the University’s virtual learning platform.

Students will be encourage to reflect on their learning through out the module and will undertake reflective exercises following the feedback on the first and second assessments

Learning outcomes

On the successful completion of the module, students should be able to:
1. analyse the historical origins and the evolution of the concepts of governance and social responsibility in corporate entities
2. explain  the social, economic and environmental responsibilities  of corporate entities in society and how they go about meeting these responsibilities
3. analyse how corporate governance mechanisms have evolved to deal with different business ownership structures and financing systems
4. explain the role and limitations of codes of practice in corporate governance and explore the link  between CSR and governance mechanisms which are capable of embracing stakeholder accountability
5. explore how different countries  in the world interpret and practice CSR and explore areas of business performance that could be linked to corporate social responsibility
6. undertake individual and group research activities and communicate their deliberations in through both oral and written media

Assessment strategy

The assessment strategy for this module will comprise of three elements:

A group presentation of allocated seminar questions for 30 minutes with a weighting of 30% during weeks 5 to 11. This develops and assesses research, group-work and oral presentation skills as well as the knowledge and understanding of the discipline. Group work also encourages debate and discussion and hence builds students’ confidence with the subject material.
 
An individual essay or case study of 1500 words with a weighting of 20% submitted in week 17. The student is required to research a theme, topic or organisation and demonstrate an in depth understanding of theory and its application. The assessment additionally tests research, independent learning, written communication and analytical and critical thinking skills.  This essay enables students to build their subject specific knowledge and understanding and generic skills in preparation for the final assessment  

The third assessment is a coursework assignment not exceeding 3,000 words and weighed at 50%. This assessment enables students to demonstrate the depth of their understanding in a significant piece of written coursework.

Bibliography

Books
Blowfield M and A Murray (2011) Corporate Responsibility, Oxford University Press
Mallin, Christine  A (2010) Corporate Governance,  Oxford University Press
Monks  Robert and Nell Minnow (2009) Corporate Governance, John Wiley and Sons Ltd
Solomon Jill (2010) Corporate Governance and Accountability, John Wiley and Sons
Idowu S O and Louche C ,  (Eds) (2011) Theory and Practice of Corporate Social Responsibility, Springer, Berlin
Idowu, S O and Leal-Filho, W. (Eds) (2009) Global Practices of Corporate Social Responsibility, Idowu, S O and Leal-Filho, W, (2010), Professionals’ Perspectives of Perspectives of Corporate Social Responsibility, Springer, Berlin.
Louche, C, Idowu, S O and Leal-Filho, W, (Eds) (2010) Innovative CSR: From Risk Management to Value Creation, Edited by Greenleaf, Sheffield. 

Academic Journals
Journal of Business Ethics
Corporate Governance: an International Review
Corporate Governance: International Journal of Business in Society
Business Ethics: A European Review
European Management Journal

Websites
CSR Europe www.csreurope.org
Business in the Community www.bitc.org.uk
European Business Ethics Network www.eben-net.org
European Corporate Governance Institute www.ecgi.org
Sustainable Investment and Finance Association www.uksif.org
FTSE4Good www.ftse.com/Indices/FTSE4Good_Index_Series/index.jsp
World Business Council for Sustainable Development www.wbcsd.org