Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2017-2018 (archived)


Department: Business School (Business)


Type Tied Level 3 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2017/18 Module Cap Location Durham
Tied to NN12
Tied to N205
Tied to N208
Tied to N201
Tied to N203
Tied to N207
Tied to N500
Tied to N506
Tied to N508
Tied to N501
Tied to N505
Tied to N507
Tied to N509
Tied to N510
Tied to N511


  • None


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None


  • This module provides a foundation upon which students can understand and critique the role of business in society. It provides a framework, based on the International Guidance Standard (ISO26000) for the critical analysis of corporate social and environmental responsibility, discusses responsibilities in relation to different stakeholder groups, and explores mechanisms for managing corporate responsibilities.


  • Introducing CR
  • Defining CR
  • Understanding CR: Corporate moral responsibility
  • Understanding CR: Normative ethical theories
  • Understanding CR: Alternative ethicial theories
  • Fundamental Practices: Stakeholders
  • Fundamental Practices: Society
  • Core Subject: Organisational Governance
  • Core Subject: Human Rights
  • Core Subject: Labour Practices
  • Core Subject: The Environment
  • Core Subject: Fair Operating Practices
  • Core Subject: Consumers
  • Core Subject: The Community
  • Integrating CR: Ethical Decision-making
  • Integrating CR: Organisational Justice
  • Integrating CR: Reporting & Accounting
  • Integrating CR: Systemic CR

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • To understand and critique the role and purpose of business in society
  • To understand ethical theory at a basic level and be able to apply it to business organisations
  • To understand ethical decision-making in a business context
  • To understand the nature of responsibility in business organisations and apply this analysis to different stakeholder groups
  • To understand and critique mechanisms for managing corporate responsibility
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Application of ethical decision-making in an organisational context;
  • Integration of corporate responsibility throughout an organisation;
  • Application of international standards (e.g. ISO26000) to organisations
Key Skills:
  • Research appropriate periodicals, websites, books, other references to draw together required information.
  • Having located relevant information from a variety of sources, to bring it together and present it in a coherent argument.
  • Consider issues from a range of perspectives and draw upon appropriate concepts/values to reach a critical assessment.
  • Think laterally and inventively, to develop original approaches in defining and solving problems.
  • Prioritise tasks, manage and achieve results on time and manage other constraints.
  • Construct grammatically correct and well written/spelt essays and reports, using the most appropriate style for the purpose.
  • Openly listen to and engage with alternative perspectives without prejudice, and question assumptions.
  • Seek, store, retrieve, synthesise, use and present information in ways appropriate to the task, including the use of computer applications to the level required as appropriate.

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

  • Teaching is by lectures and seminars. At least one external speaker will be invited to provide a practitioner perspective. Learning takes place through attendance at lectures, preparation for and participation in seminars (including a group seminar presentation), and private study. Formative assessment is by means of an individual assignment. Summative assessment is by means of a multiple choice examination and individual assignment. The multiple choice examination is based on the content of the lectures and the seminars. The individual assignment is designed to provide the students with an opportunity to demonstrate their understanding of the complexity and interrelationship of concepts and issues and their ability to relate what they have learned to relevant literature and draw on that to support their argument and discussion.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 20 1 per week 1 hour 20
Seminars 8 4 in term 1, 4 in term 2. 1 hour 8
Preparation and Reading 172
Total 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Examination Component Weighting: 25%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
One written examination (multiple choice) 1 hour 100% Same
Component: Assignment Component Weighting: 75%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
One individual assignment 2500 words 100% Same

Formative Assessment:

One individual assignment and a group seminar presentation.

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