Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2014-2015 (archived)


Department: Business School (Business)


Type Tied Level 4 Credits 15 Availability Available in 2014/15 Module Cap
Tied to N1K017 Full Time MBA


  • None


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None


  • To explore the concept of global sustainability as it relates to business and other organisations;
  • To consider the role and purpose of business and other organisations in relation to other actors in society
  • To review current trends in Corporate Social Responsibility and Corporate Governance;
  • To explore the management of change inside organisations to enable them to respond to significant multiple external challenges including commercial and sustainability imperatives.


  • Global ecological sustainability and the impact on and responsibilities of organisations
  • The role and purpose of business and other organisations
  • Corporate Social Responsibility
  • Stakeholder theory
  • Corporate Governance
  • Management of change – models of transactional and transformational change

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • By the end of the module students should be able to:
  • Critically evaluate the requirements of global ecological and social sustainability on business and other organisations
  • Critically evaluate the role and purpose of business and other organisations in relation to other actors in society
  • Critically evaluate trends in Corporate Social Responsibility and Corporate Governance in the light of stakeholder theory
  • Critically evaluate models for the management of change in organisations
  • Demonstrate advanced knowledge and understanding of: - the parameters for global ecological and social sustainability - stakeholder theory and its relation to Corporate Social Responsibility and Corporate Governance - theories and models of the management of change
Subject-specific Skills:
  • By the end of the module students should:
  • Be competent in accessing and assimilating literatures of an advanced nature in global ecology, sustainability, stakeholder theory and change management
  • Be competent in applying them to organisational practice
Key Skills:
  • The ability to communicate effectively: communicating complex ideas orally and in writing;
  • The ability to think critically and creatively and to argue coherently

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • The module is delivered in blocks, timetabled internally, hence the number/frequency/duration of individual blocks may vary but the overall total contact time will be 40 hours.
  • Blocks typically involve a mixture of lecture input, groupwork and feedback, supported by guided reading. Lectures will be used to deliver core knowledge and explain theories and models; it is also expected that an external speaker will deliver a lecture and contribute to a subsequent discussion in one of the sessions. Groupwork will involve activities such as the discussion of a paper or a case study set in advance with students preparing material to feed back during a plenary session. The material covered in lectures and groupwork will include a global perspective on the issues that sustainability gives rise to and, while being focused on business organisations, will not be exclusively so. Outside of class time students will be expected to read widely and prepare for the following class.
  • Formative assessment will consist of writing up answers to one of the case studies.
  • Summative assessment will consist of an individual assignment based on an organisation of the student’s choice (but agreed in advance with the Module Leader) in which the various aspects of the module are applied to consider what the organisation would have to do to move to be sustainable in the medium to long term.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Teaching blocks - combination of lectures, groupwork, case studies and discussion 40
Preparation and Reading 110
Total 150

Summative Assessment

Component: Assignment Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Individual assignment in essay format 4,000 words 100% Rework original submission

Formative Assessment:

1,500 word individual assignment in essay format based on one of the case studies discussed during class and covering the same topics as the summative assignment.

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University