The University of Southampton

MANG3062 Corporate Social Responsibility (SIM)

Module Overview

This module covers the development of the concept and the meaning of the term corporate social responsibility; how CSR is being implemented in today’s corporations, its impact and likely future directions. The module summarises the latest thinking of the strategic significance of CSR, and how CSR goes to the heart of the way in which businesses make decisions and conduct their activities. In the process, the module demonstrates how CSR can lead to innovation, new business opportunities and towards solutions to many of today’s long-standing business, social and environmental problems. A key aim of the module is to enable you to understand the role of business in the context of the wider society and the future challenges, such as sustainable development, that face us in the future

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

This module covers the development of the concept and the meaning of the term corporate social responsibility; how CSR is being implemented in today’s corporations, its impact and likely future directions.

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • The relevance of stakeholder theory and the role and importance of CSR in 21st Century organisations
  • The changing role and expectations of business in society
  • The extent to which business can meet the challenges of sustainable development
  • How CSR is being practiced in various organisations
  • The strategic significance of CSR for business
  • The role and importance of non-financial reporting
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Critically evaluate existing CSR initiatives, and appropriate courses of managerial action from a range of alternatives
  • Apply logical and critical analysis to complex ethical issues
  • Present convincing and well-argued cases for particular CSR-related decisions
  • Be aware of, and understand, the appropriate relevant research literature
  • Synthesise information and write and debate analytically on the subject
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Confidently present a particular course of action and justify it with reference to theoretical literature and relevant examples
  • Contribute successfully to a peer work group


Historical context, theoretical overview of CSR, stakeholder theory and stakeholder management; Cross cultural issues, partnerships with NGOs, Sustainability issues: how business is responding to the challenge of sustainable development; Role of finance-related metrics e.g. Dow Jones sustainability index, FTSE4Good. Initiatives such as UN Global Compact, Ethical Trading Initiative; Strategic CSR – business case for CSR, reputation risk; CSR in global supply chains; Ethical investment; Trade, labour and corporate citizenship in a globalising world; Introduction to ethical theories. Application of ethics to real life business dilemmas; Applied CSR: Case studies: how other companies and industries manage CSR; Standards, codes of conduct, professional bodies, guidelines; Social Reporting and accounting; Support agencies: CSR service providers; Future trends: emergence of CSR legislation, shift from corporate responsibility to corporate accountability, Career development for CSR professionals.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Typically you will study the module over 4 weeks with the first 2 weeks having intensive teaching in the form of lectures, and seminars which will include individual and group practical exercises, workshops, case studies. The following 2 weeks will be organised self-study (reading designated texts, journal papers and critical discussion with peers), and preparation of assessed coursework. You will be expected to play a highly interactive part in lectures and seminars. Where an examination is involved this will take place at the end of Semester at a designated time. An on-line revision session will prepare you for assessment. As with all programmes in the Faculty, student learning will also be supported by published course materials and Blackboard: the University's virtual learning environment.

Wider reading or practice25
Preparation for scheduled sessions25
Follow-up work25
Completion of assessment task25
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Business and Society; Business Ethics: A European Review. ,0 , pp. 0.

Crane, A., Matten, D., Spence, L. (2008). Corporate Social Responsibility: Readings and Cases in a Global Context. 

The Journal of Business Ethics. ,0 , pp. 0.

Blowfield, M. & Murray, A. (2008). Corporate Responsibility: a critical introduction. 





MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework 50%
Examination  (1.5 hours) 50%


MethodPercentage contribution
Examination  (1.5 hours) %


MethodPercentage contribution
Examination  (1.5 hours) 100%


Costs associated with this module

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In addition to this, students registered for this module typically also have to pay for:

Books and Stationery equipment

Recommended texts for this module may be available in limited supply in the University Library and students may wish to purchase the core/ recommended text as appropriate

Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

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