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This subject critically examines the ways in which business organisations affect and are affected by the wider society in which they operate. That 'wider society' includes governments, communities, the natural environment and other stakeholders. It also includes global and local trends and forces, e.g., advances in technology, cultural diversity, economic and political forces. This subject explores the contested meanings and practices of ethical decision making in organisations and corporate social responsibility. It also examines how public issues and crises rise and fall over time, and how organisations respond (e.g., triple bottom line reporting). Such issues and crises include corporate financial scandals, anti-globalisation protests and climate change. This subject also considers the impact upon profitability, or the 'business case', for operating in an ethical and socially responsible manner. These themes constitute major strategic questions currently facing organisational managers and researchers.
Intended learning outcomes
- Appreciate the variety of social, political and economic forces, stakeholders and issues affecting business organisations today at the global and local levels.
- Identify and analyse current public issues in the interplay between businesses and their stakeholders, such as social justice, environmental degradation, varieties of globalisation, and privatisation.
- Critically evaluate the debates around the ethical and social responsibilities of business; identify the different ethical frameworks for engaging in those debates; and understand how business decision makers can respond to calls for ethical and social responsibility
- Apply the above learnings to real-world cases and situations.
High level of development: written communication; interpretation and analysis; critical thinking; receptiveness to alternative ideas.
Moderate level of development: oral communication; problem solving; application of theory to practice; synthesis of data and other information; evaluation of data and other information; accessing data and other information from a range of sources.
Some level of development: collaborative learning; team work.
Last updated: 6 December 2023