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Introduction to Corporate Responsibility


Module description

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) can be understood as a management concept and process that integrates environmental and social concerns into business operations. As such it affects business interactions with stakeholders ranging from employees to society at large. Whilst short-term economic gains can still be pursued without taking into account the long-term social and environmental impacts of business operations, such business practices are unsustainable. Moreover, global challenges such as climate change, the global financial crisis and high-profile corporate scandals have increased the pressure on businesses for more accountability and responsibility. As a result, managers are increasingly required to understand such issues and integrate them into their everyday management practice. Practitioners who have such knowledge are in high demand in the job market.

In this module we introduce you to the concept of corporate social responsibility, ensuring a cohesive definition of CSR and how it can be operationalised and applied in today’s business environment. You will acquire the necessary knowledge to debate the importance of CSR issues in your organisation, build a business case for engaging in CSR and help your organisation to better address social and environmental concerns.

Indicative syllabus

  • Understanding global environmental, social and economic pressures
  • A historical overview of the concept of CSR
  • Definitions of the concept of CSR and comparisons with similar concepts such as sustainability, corporate citizenship, etc
  • Operationalisation of CSR
  • The business case for CSR
  • Strategies for implementing CSR

Learning objectives

By the end of this module, you should be able to:

  • define and summarise the concept of CSR
  • review alternative definitions, their strengths and weaknesses
  • argue the business case for CSR
  • develop strategies for implementing CSR.