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This subject addresses the ethical challenges confronting managers and marketers in contemporary business organisations. Ethically questionable practices can include sweatshop labour, the destruction of the natural environment, sex in advertising, and political lobbying and influence. But business and marketing can also demonstrate ethical leadership, for example through green products, cause-related marketing and sustainable supply chains. The subject will explore why firms respond in these ways from the context of debates on corporate social responsibility (CSR) and sustainability, including strategic, ethical and critical/political perspectives. The subject then addresses what ethical issues are important to specific stakeholder groups, including employees, consumers, governments and NGO activists.
Intended learning outcomes
On successful completion of this subject, students should be able to:
- appreciate the variety of social, political and economic forces, stakeholders and issues affecting business organisations today at global and local levels.
- identify and analyse current public issues in the interplay between businesses and their stakeholders, such as social justice, environmental degradation, and government regulation.
- critically evaluate the debates around ethics, social responsibilities and sustainability for business; identify the different ethical frameworks for engaging in those debates; and understand how managers and marketers can respond to calls for social responsibility and sustainability.
- apply the above learnings to real-world cases and situations.
On successful completion of this subject, students should have improved the following generic skills:
- critical thinking about ethical, societal and environmental issues in organised settings;
- oral and written communication;
- problem solving and collaborative learning;
- synthesis of data and other information.
Last updated: 1 August 2021