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This subject addresses the sustainability related challenges confronting business organisations, and how these can be overcome. Many organisations find it difficult to balance short and long-term objectives relating to economic, social and environmental outcomes. The subject addresses the complexity and multi-faceted nature of social and environmental issues and why they present significant challenges to organisations. Principles of sustainability will be discussed with reference to concepts such as corporate social responsibility, corporate political responsibility, triple bottom line thinking and creating shared value. It will then review how organisations respond to these challenges, both negatively and positively, and why they respond in these ways, including strategic, ethical and critical perspectives. The subject then addresses approaches that increase organisations’ capability for continuous renewal and long-term success, whilst also promoting social and environmental benefits. This will be done through a focus on topics such as managerial competencies and organisational capabilities for sustainability, stakeholder management, industry and transnational guidelines for sustainability, national regulation and self-regulation, and an integrated supply chain perspective.
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 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 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; and
- 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 societal and ethical issues in organised settings;
- oral and written communication;
- problem solving and collaborative learning; and
- synthesis of data and other information.
Last updated: 1 August 2021