Managing for Ethics and Sustainability

The details
Essex Business School
Colchester Campus
Undergraduate: Level 6
Monday 15 January 2024
Friday 22 March 2024
27 November 2023


Requisites for this module



Key module for

BA LN10 Business Economics,
BA LN11 Business Economics (Including Year Abroad),
BA LN12 Business Economics (Including Placement Year),
BA LX10 Business Economics (Including Foundation Year)

Module description

This 10-week module is an introduction to Business Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility, with a particular focus on issues of Sustainability and Environmental Governance.

In this module you will explore the origins, practice and theory of business ethics and corporate social responsibility. You will be provided with the conceptual and theoretical resources to critically examine recent developments in corporate practice in a globalising world, in which business organisations are being expected to take on new responsibilities for social wellbeing and environmental sustainability. Identifying the particular assumptions that inform, but also constrain, the practices of corporate social responsibility and sustainability, this module explores a number of cases and perspectives to facilitate critical examination of the ethics and sustainability of business today.

Module aims

The aims of this module are:


  • To provide an understanding of the practice and theories of business and management as a complex and contested ethical terrain.
  • To provide an appreciation of the emergent disciplines of Business Ethics, Corporate Social Responsibility and Corporate Sustainability and enable students to identify, explore and critique their contributions.
  • To develop students’ appreciation of the basis of ethical reflexivity and agency and awareness of potential inhibitors to their expression in an organised context.
  • Through class discussion, reading, participation and assessment, to develop students’ abilities to engage in critical argumentation that is informed by, and sensitive to, their own and others’ ethical perspectives and values.

Module learning outcomes

By the end of this module students will be expected to be able to:

  1. Understand a range of ethical factors in, and perspectives, practices and critiques of, business and organisation.

  2. Demonstrate greater sensitivity and awareness of implied and explicit ethical assumptions and beliefs in their own and others’ argumentation.

  3. Critically analyse, using appropriate concepts and theory, management and business practices and the contribution of the fields of Business Ethics, Corporate Social Responsibility and Corporate Sustainability with a focus on enhancing accountability in business.

Module information

Indictive Syllabus

  • Introduction: What is Business Ethics?
  • CSR and the Rise of the Corporate Sustainability Agenda
  • Ethics in Theory and Practice
  • Tools and Techniques of Business Ethics Management
  • Ethics and the Employment Relationship
  • Ethics, Consumers and Suppliers
  • Civil Society and Business Ethics
  • Regulating Business Ethics, the Role of Politics
  • Corporate Governance and ESG Reporting
  • Ethical Alternative Organisations/Summing Up

Learning and teaching methods

This module will be delivered via:

  1. One 1-hour lecture per week
  2. One 1-hour seminar per week

In the seminars we will discuss and debate empirical and theoretical research on business ethics, CSR and corporate sustainability and consider examples from contemporary organisational practice. Details of the necessary reading and preparation required for the lectures and the seminars will be provided on Moodle and on the module’s Reading List (on Talis).


This module does not appear to have a published bibliography for this year.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Coursework weighting
Coursework   Assignment 2 - Group Presentations    20% 
Coursework   Assignment 1 - Discussion Journal (2000 words)  21/03/2024  40% 
Coursework   Assignment 3 - Essay (1300 words)  25/04/2024  40% 

Exam format definitions

  • Remote, open book: Your exam will take place remotely via an online learning platform. You may refer to any physical or electronic materials during the exam.
  • In-person, open book: Your exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer to any physical materials such as paper study notes or a textbook during the exam. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, open book (restricted): The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer only to specific physical materials such as a named textbook during the exam. Permitted materials will be specified by your department. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, closed book: The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may not refer to any physical materials or electronic devices during the exam. There may be times when a paper dictionary, for example, may be permitted in an otherwise closed book exam. Any exceptions will be specified by your department.

Your department will provide further guidance before your exams.

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%


Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Ms Sandra Moog, email:
Raysa Rocha, David Watson & Samantha Woodward



External examiner

University of Birmingham
Associate Professor of Human Resource Management & Organisational Behaviour
Available via Moodle
Of 80 hours, 30 (37.5%) hours available to students:
0 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
50 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s), module, or event type.


Further information
Essex Business School

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