The University of Southampton

MANG6291 International Corporate Social Responsibility

Module Overview

This module covers the development of the concept and the meaning of the terms ‘corporate social responsibility’ (CSR) in an international context; 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 and their managers make decisions and conduct their activities. The module also explores how businesses can develop and adopt sustainable business models to secure a positive future for themselves and the world in which they operate. In the process, the module considers how CSR can lead to innovation, new business opportunities and towards solutions to many of today’s business, social and environmental problems. A key aim of the module is to enable students to understand the role and responsibilities of business and managers/owners in the context of the wider society and the future global challenges.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

to highlight some of the issues relating to business in society in the light of current global issues, and show how business can be both part of the problem and part of the solution. CSR is a topic of growing importance, for example 95% of the 250 largest global companies now report on their CR activities compared to 45% in 2002

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

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

  • how CSR can be integrated into a company’s strategic objectives and embedded into management practices and company policies;
  • the social and environmental impacts of business;
  • stakeholder theory and how to use a variety of stakeholder management tools;
  • CSR reporting and verification;
  • corporate governance and alternative business models.
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • adopt multiple and competing perspectives in constructing written and oral arguments;
  • analyse a range of complex issues and present an informed personal viewpoint;
  • summarise information and present in a concise form;
  • debate the role and effectiveness of specific CSR initiatives.
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • develop skills in critical thinking and presenting different points of view;
  • develop skills in seeking out information from a range of online sources;
  • develop skills in group work and group discussions for the class based group exercises.


• What is CSR: Carroll model, CSR activities, distinction between responsible business practices and corporate philanthropy? • Drivers for CSR from society: globalisation, power of corporations, lack of international regulation, human rights issues, poverty/inequity, externalities, sustainability and climate change. • Drivers for CSR from business: reputation, eco-efficiency, stakeholder pressure (e.g. customers, employees), regulatory pressure, legitimacy concerns. • CSR as soft regulation: ISO26001, ISO14001, UNPRME, codes of conduct. • CSR reporting and verification. • Stakeholder theory and practice. • Corporate governance and alternative business models (e.g. co-ops, social enterprise, stakeholder boards). • Sustainable business models – how to integrate CSR and sustainability into Human Resource and management practices.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching methods will combine lectures with practical exercises and class discussions. Structured ‘homework’ assignments are also carefully designed to enable reflective learning and engagement with key issues. Students will be exposed to multiple perspectives (business, NGOs, accreditation and rating agencies and other stakeholders).

Independent Study63
Total study time75

Resources & Reading list

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

Good corporation.

Corporate critic.

Cannon, T. (2012). Corporate Responsibility: Governance, Compliance and Ethics in a Sustainable Environment. 

Chandler, D & Werther, W. B. (2014). Strategic Corporate Social Responsibility: Stakeholders, Globalization and Sustainable Value Creation. 

UN global compact.


Article 13.

Business in the Community:.

Tricker, B. (2014). Corporate Governance: Principles, Policies, and Practices. 

Ethical performance.

Blowfield, M. & Murray, A. (2008). Corporate Responsibility: A Critical Introduction. 



Group sessions


MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework  (1500 words) 50%
Examination  (1 hours) 50%


MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework  (1500 words) 50%
Examination  (1 hours) 50%


MethodPercentage contribution
Examination  (1 hours) 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External


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:


Recommended texts for this module may be available in limited supply in the University Library and students may wish to purchase the mandatory/additional reading 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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