module specification

MN5051 - Managing and Leading Responsibly (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title Managing and Leading Responsibly
Module level Intermediate (05)
Credit rating for module 15
School Guildhall School of Business and Law
Total study hours 150
45 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
105 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Group Presentation 30%   Group Presentation
Coursework 70%   Individual report and analysis of a case study on a management and leadership ethical dilemma.
Running in 2017/18
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Autumn semester City Monday Morning

Module summary

Modern businesses operate in an global environment and must deliver to a diverse group of stakeholders both internally and externally. Managers and leaders are required to deliver services and products of highest quality, create and preserve value for multiple stakeholders, build and maintain sustainable relationships, care for the environment andsustain productive futures. Typically the Emphasis is on results but managers and leaders are increasingly obliged to meet demanding ethical, environmental, legal, commercial and public standards as defined by wider society. At any level and in all areas they are presented with moral and ethical choices but the quest for results can create situations where the line between the ethical and the unethical becomes blurred through the entrepreneurial logic of contemporary capitalism.

This module is concerned with what managers and leaders can do when they are held responsible and accountable by standards other than shareholder value maximisation. It explores how initiatives such as sustainability, governance and supply chain integrity can succeed by being embedded within a conceptual and practical business framework that integrates people, planet, project and principles.  It is designed to encourage students to confront fundamental business ethical challenges so that they can develop their skills in moral analysis and judgement and come to terms with their own definition of responsible management and leadership and how it can be translated into action.

Module aims

  • To provide students with an understanding of the significance and dynamics of individual, interpersonal, organisational and societal values and their implications for a concept of responsible management and leadership. 
  • To examine the difference between an ethic of justice and an ethic of care;
  • To help students to identify the crucial dimensions of responsible leadership with a focus on the capabilities, virtues and competences that managers and leaders need in global, multicultural and complex business  environments. 
  • To provide an understanding of the processes of ethical decision making and judgement;
  • To help students to develop a morally sound values base;
  • To identify ethical business problems and understand the implications for different business stakeholders;
  • To provide students with an understanding of how to compete ethically in the business environment.


The difference between Describing, Analysing and Judging
Right versus Wrong
Right versus Right
The Ethics of Management Practice
Ethical Theory
Ethical Decision-Making
Ethics, Business Operations, and Rights
Consumers and Business Ethics
Ethical Leadership and Responsible decision-making;
Justice, Care, and Fairness. 
Responsible Corporate governance.

Learning and teaching

This module is delivered through weekly 3-hour workshops. The first 6 weeks are devoted to learning through literature and discussion. Students are required to read a variety of novels, plays and case studies, and through class discussion develop a strong sense of their own ethical values based on the four main ethical theories (Utilitarianiam, Kantianism, Liberal Individualism and Communitarianism).  Students will be guided to develop their ability to describe ethical dilemmas prior to analysing them, and then, and only then, making a judgement and supporting that judgement with ethical theory.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module students will be able to:

  • Explain the main theoretical approaches to businerss ethics;
  • Have a sound understanding of their own approach to business ethics;
  • Apply the main ethical theories to the judgement of various business issues;
  • Explain the difference between an ethic of justice and an ethic of care;
  • Appreciate the role of business ethics in development of corporate governance; 
  • understand how systems of governance can transform corporate behaviour in accordance with sustainability principles;
  • explain how personal, interpersonal and societal values can be aligned with corporate values

Assessment strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to enable students to demonstrate how they are making sense of syllabus and developing their own individual moral and ethical frameworks.  The first assessment requires small groups of students to identify the protagonist in an ethical dilemma and present their understanding of ethical theory and decision making when making a judgement about that protagonist.  

The final assessment is a report on the analysis of a business case study using ethical theory.


Arnold, D.G., Beauchamp, T.L., & Bowie, N.E. (2013) Ethical Theory and Business  (9th Edn). USA:  Pearson Education
Avery, G.C.(2005) Leadership for Sustainable Futures: Achieving Success in a Competitive   World. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.
Benn, S and Dunphy, D. (2007) (Eds) Corporate Governance and Sustainability:   Challenges for Theory and Practice. London: Routledge
Ciulla, J.B.(2003)The Ethics of Leadership. London: Praeger
Clegg, S.R. and Rhodes, C. (2006) (Eds) Management Ethics: Contemporary Contexts, London: Routledge
Crane, A., and Matten, D. (2007) Business Ethics: Managing Corporate Citzenship and  sustainability in the Age of Globalisation. 2dn Edn. London: OUP
Dunphy, D., Griffiths, A. and Benn, S. (2003) Organisational Change for Corporate Sustainability, London: Routledge.
Griseri, P., & Seppala, N. (2010) Business Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility. UK: South-Western Cengage Learning. 
Jennings, Marianne M. (2009) Business Ethics: Case Studies and Selected Readings. (7th Edn). UK:  South-Western Cengage Learning.
Maak, T. and Pless, N.M (2006) (Eds) Responsible Leadership. London: Routledge 
Singer, P (1993) Practical Ethics (2nd Edn) USA: Cambridge University Press
Sucher, S.J. (2007) The Moral Leader: Challenges, Tools and Insights. London: Routledge.
Thomas, A. B. (2003) Controversies in Management: Issues, Debates, Answers  (2nd Edn). London: Routledge.