SOEE1390 Introduction to Business, Environment and Corporate Responsibility

Reading List

Discovery module overview

Module Summary

Module Summary

What do Unilever, Marks and Spencer and Asda have in common? They are all tackling their environmental and social impacts through corporate responsibility programmes but they have completely different public images. Why? In this module you will learn how to tell the difference between green PR and sustainability innovation in enterprises small and large. Which stakeholders such as pressure groups, consumers and workers have the most influence over changing company behaviour for the better? How do managers make decisions that both are complex and have competing factors to improve sustainability practice in Brand companies and supply chains? The answers and critical company corporate responsibility strategies, ethics, barriers and opportunities will be covered in this module. Case studies of large and small enterprises will be analysed and discussed. An essential module for future business managers or concerned consumers. This module is open to all those interested no matter the background.

Objectives

On completion of this module, students will:

  • 1. Have a general understanding of the concepts and theories of corporate environmental management and more generally corporate responsibility.
  • 2. Be able to appreciate and debate the ethical issued facing companies in their operations.
  • 3. Have an understanding of the regulatory and stakeholder pressures on business.
  • 4. Have a general understanding of business approaches to the environmental management and corporate responsibility.
  • 5. Have knowledge of current best and worst business practice through case studies.

Syllabus

This module consists of lectures and workshops designed to provide grounding in the issues surrounding business, environment and corporate responsibility. It starts by outlining concepts and theories such as triple bottom line, natural step etc before reviewing the historical and contemporary ethical issues faced by companies across the globe.
The module examines both internal and external pressures and expectations from regulators and relevant stakeholders including labour, customers, regulators, suppliers, shareholders, communities, and special interest groups to meet economic, social, and environmental standards of performance.
The module introduces the strategies and tools companies can implement to balance economic value creation, environmental integrity, and social equity.
Throughout the module case studies of best and worst practice will be used to illustrate how different types of companies implement different levels of environmental management and corporate responsibility.

Learning Outcomes

The module places considerable emphasis on:

  • - recognising and using subject-specific theories, paradigms, concepts and principles;
  • - analysing, synthesising and summarising information critically, including prior research;
  • - referencing work in an appropriate manner;
  • - receiving and responding to a variety of information sources (eg textual numerical, verbal, graphical).

The module places moderate emphasis on:

  • - applying knowledge and understanding to address familiar and unfamiliar problems;
  • - communicating appropriately to a variety of audiences in written, verbal and graphical form;
  • - using the Internet critically as a means of communication and a source of information;
  • - developing the skills necessary for self-managed and lifelong learning (eg working independently, time management and organisation skills);
  • - identifying and working towards targets for personal, academic and career development;
  • - developing an adaptable and flexible approach to study and work.

The module places some emphasis on:

  • - collecting and integrating several lines of evidence to formulate and test hypotheses;
  • - recognising the moral and ethical issues of investigations and appreciating the need for professional codes of conduct;
  • - planning, conducting and reporting on investigations, including the use of secondary data;
  • - appreciating issues of sample selection, accuracy, precision and uncertainty during collecting, recording and analysis of data in the field and laboratory;
  • - identifying individual and collective goals and responsibilities and performing in a manner appropriate to these roles;
  • - recognising and respecting the views and opinions of other team members;
  • - evaluating performance as an individual and a team member.

Skills Outcomes

The module places considerable emphasis on:

  • - recognising and using subject-specific theories, paradigms, concepts and principles;
  • - analysing, synthesising and summarising information critically, including prior research;
  • - referencing work in an appropriate manner;
  • - receiving and responding to a variety of information sources (eg textual numerical, verbal, graphical).

The module places moderate emphasis on:

  • - applying knowledge and understanding to address familiar and unfamiliar problems;
  • - communicating appropriately to a variety of audiences in written, verbal and graphical form;
  • - using the Internet critically as a means of communication and a source of information;
  • - developing the skills necessary for self-managed and lifelong learning (eg working independently, time management and organisation skills);
  • - identifying and working towards targets for personal, academic and career development;
  • - developing an adaptable and flexible approach to study and work.

The module places some emphasis on:

  • - collecting and integrating several lines of evidence to formulate and test hypotheses;
  • - recognising the moral and ethical issues of investigations and appreciating the need for professional codes of conduct;
  • - planning, conducting and reporting on investigations, including the use of secondary data;
  • - appreciating issues of sample selection, accuracy, precision and uncertainty during collecting, recording and analysis of data in the field and laboratory;
  • - identifying individual and collective goals and responsibilities and performing in a manner appropriate to these roles;
  • - recognising and respecting the views and opinions of other team members;
  • - evaluating performance as an individual and a team member.

Assessment and teaching

Assessment and teaching

Exams

Exam type Exam duration % of formal assessment
Standard exam (closed essays, MCQs etc) 2 hr 0 mins 100
Total Percentage (Assesment Exams) 100

Private Study

  • - 22 hours reading, 1hr per lecture
  • - 58 hours for workshop and tutorial preparation
  • - 68 hours preparation for exam.

Progress Monitoring

  • - Feedback on understanding of key theories in tutorial groups.
  • - Feedback on MCQ formative test on key terms, tools, theories and concepts.
  • - Feedback on sustainability reporting exercise.

Teaching methods

Delivery type Number Length hours Student hours
Workshop 22 1 22
Lecture 22 1 22
Tutorial 8 1 8
Private Study Hours 148
Total Contact Hours 52
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits) 200

Reading List

Reading List
ACBE (2002) Sustainability Reporting ? a status report and recommendations for future action, Department of the Environment Advisory Committee on Business and Environment, London. Online at http://www.defra.gov.uk/environment/acbe/pubs/sustainreport/acbe_sustainreport_2.pdf
ACCA (2001a) An Introduction to Environmental Reporting, Certified Accountants Educational Trust, London. Online at http://www.accaglobal.com/pdfs/environment/ACCA-RJ1-002.pdf
ACCA (2001b) Environmental, Social and Sustainability Reporting on the World Wide Web: A guide to best practice, Certified Accountants Educational Trust, London. Online at http://www.accaglobal.com/pdfs/environment/ACCA-RJ3-002.pdf
ACCA (2004) Towards transparency: Progress on global sustainability reporting 2004, Certified Accountants Educational Trust, London. Online at http://www.accaglobal.com/pdfs/environment/towards_trans_2004.pdf
AccountAbility (2003) AA1000 Assurance Standard, AccountAbility, London. Online at http://www.accountability.org.uk/aa1000/default.asp?pageid=52
Adams and Harte (1999) Towards Corporate Accountability for Equal Opportunities Performance, ACCA Occassional Research Paper No.26, Chartered Association of Certified Accountants, London.
Bennett, M., James, P. & Kinkers, L. (Eds.) (1999), Sustainable Measures: Evaluation and Reporting of Environmental and Social Performance, Sheffield: Greenleaf Publishing
Blair, A. & Hitchcock, D. (2001), Environment and Business, London: Routledge.
Charter, M. & Tischner, U. (Eds.) (2001), Sustainable Solutions ? Developing Products and Services for the Future, Sheffield: Greenleaf.
Crane, A. & Matten, D. (2004), Business Ethics: A European Perspective, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
DEFRA (2006) Environmental Reporting: General guidelines, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, London. Online at http://www.defra.gov.uk/environment/business/envrp/envkpi-guidelines.pdf
FEE (2000) Towards a Generally Accepted Framework for Environmental Reporting, (January) Fédération des Experts Compatables Européens (FEE), Brussels. Online at http://www.fee.be/search/default_view.asp?content_ref=284
FEE (2004) FEE Call for Action: Assurance for Sustainability, Fédération des Experts Comptables Européens. Online at http://www.fee.be/search/default_view.asp?content_ref=256
GEMI (2004) Transparency: A Path to Public Trust, Global Environmental Management Initiative. Online at http://www.gemi.org/Transparency-PathtoPublicTrust.pdf
Gray, R., Owen, D and Maunders, K. (1987) Corporate Social Reporting: Accounting and accountability, Prentice Hall, London.
Journals:
Accounting and Business Research
Accounting, Auditing and Accountability
Accounting, Organisations and Society
Accounting Horizons
Accounting Review
Business and Society Review
Business Strategy and the Environment.
Corporate Citizenship Journal of Corporate Citizenship
Corporate Environmental Strategy [journal to be purchased expected arrival January 2007]
v.5-9, 1998-2002 ? abstract only on Science Direct
Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management (formally Eco Management and Auditing).
Environmental Management
European Environment
Greener Management International
Long range planning
Journal of Environmental policy and planning.
Sustainable Development

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