30281 - CSR & ETHICS IN BUSINESS
Course taught in English
Synchronous Blended: Lessons in synchronous mode in the classroom (for a maximum of one hour per credit in remote mode)
Sustainable development goals, ecological problems, the globalization of supply chains, and the growing social and ethical conflicts have a significant impact on business and decision-making processes. As a result, companies are increasingly expected to address these challenges by developing appropriate policies and practices. This seminar aims to provide students with fundamental concepts and an initial understanding of the ethical and strategic implications of corporate responsibility and sustainability. From a management perspective, the seminar seeks to acquaint participants with the complexity of these decisions and the business opportunities that arise from adopting a proper stakeholder management approach. To achieve these objectives, we engage students in active learning through highly interactive lectures, mini-case studies, and plenary discussions. Additionally, we provide real-world evidence through leadership examples from managers and practitioners.
- Internal mechanisms of decision-making processes
- Ethical decisions and dilemmas: trade-offs arisen in the context of corporate social responsibility (CSR) and sustainability
- Business ethics, CSR, and corporate sustainability: concepts and definitions
- Strategic approach to CSR and sustainability: competitive opportunities, legitimacy and risks.
- Implementation of CSR and sustainability practices
The course provides students with foundational knowledge and skills to:
- Comprehend the intricate nature of decision-making processes and the factors that influence them.
- Recognize the moral aspects inherent in decision-making processes and their impact on outcomes.
- Analyze the key challenges associated with sustainable development, including environmental, social, and economic dimensions.
- Differentiate between sustainability, corporate social responsibility (CSR), business ethics, stakeholder theory, and social entrepreneurship, understanding their distinct concepts and implications.
- Grasp the significance of CSR and ethics for businesses, recognizing the value they bring in terms of reputation, stakeholder relationships, and long-term sustainability.
- Understand the business case for CSR, exploring the interconnections between a firm's financial performance and its social and environmental performance.
- Elaborate on the relationships between financial and social performance, examining if and how responsible and ethical practices can contribute to a company's overall success and competitiveness.
- Provide business examples of CSR and sustainability.
- Identify the importance of the moral and social issues on decison making processes.
- Recognize the distinctive features of a sustainable and responsible company.
- Evaluate and discuss the CSR and sustainability strategy of a company.
- Outline the main characteristics of a social enterprise.
- Face-to-face lectures
- Guest speaker's talks (in class or in distance)
- Case studies /Incidents (traditional, online)
- Individual assignments
- Group assignments
The course employs various teaching approaches to promote active learning processes.
Interactive Lectures: The course includes interactive lectures where students actively participate through discussions, questions, and group activities. This encourages engagement, critical thinking, and knowledge application.
Mini-Case Studies: Mini-case studies are utilized to present real-world scenarios related to CSR and sustainability. Students work in groups or individually to analyze the cases, identify ethical dilemmas, and propose solutions. This fosters critical thinking, problem-solving, and decision-making skills.
Group Discussions: The course incorporates plenary discussions where students exchange ideas, share perspectives, and debate different viewpoints. This collaborative learning approach encourages active participation, enhances communication skills, and promotes a deeper understanding of the subject matter.
Guest Speakers: The course invites managers, practitioners, and experts from the field of CSR and sustainability to share their experiences and insights. Students have the opportunity to interact with industry professionals, ask questions, and gain practical knowledge from real-world examples. This enriches the learning experience and provides valuable industry perspectives.
For both attending and non-attending students, the final evaluation in the course is expressed as "pass or fail." However, the assessment methods used to evaluate students differ depending on their attendance status. The evaluation for attending students will be based on:
- Compulsory Attendance: Attending students are required to attend all the seminar sessions, and their attendance is verified by the teachers. No class exchanges are permitted.
- Individual Written Exam: Attending students will undergo an individual written exam. The exam will consist of open-ended questions that assess their understanding and application of basic theories and concepts related to CSR and ethical problems in a business context.
- Group Activities: Attending students are expected to engage in different group activities that are developed during the lessons. These activities may involve case analyses, group discussions, presentations or other collaborative tasks related to CSR and ethical problems in business.
For both attending and non-attending students, the final evaluation in the course is expressed as "pass or fail.
In the case of non-attending students, the evaluation will be based on an individual project that covers the different parts of the teaching material. The project will assess the student's understanding of the basic theories, constructs, and facts related to the course topics.
The individual project will serve as the sole basis for evaluation and will carry a weightage of 100%.
Please note that the exact details of the individual project, including the specific topics to be covered and the assessment criteria, will be provided by the teachers. It is advisable for non-attending students to reach out to the instructors for any clarifications or further guidance regarding the project.
The course material, including the specific topics and content, will be communicated to all students at the first session of the course. At the beginning of the course, the instructors will provide an overview of the material that will be covered throughout the duration of the course. They will share the necessary readings, resources, and any additional materials that will be used for teaching and learning purposes.
For non attending students: Please note that the exact details of the individual project, including the specific topics to be covered and the assessment criteria, will be provided by the teachers. It is advisable for non-attending students to reach out to the instructors for any clarifications or further guidance regarding the project.