This unit critically reviews the socio-cultural environment in which business operates. Ethical frameworks for decision making will be critiqued and students will construct the debates surrounding contemporary corporate responsibility and sustainable development as they impact on organisations in their local and global contexts. Emphasis will be on how new pressures on businesses arise, and how effective the various models that structure organisational responses are to these dynamic and emergent challenges.

Unit details

Victoria University Online
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Credit points:
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Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:
  1. Discriminate between key philosophical approaches to ethics;  
  2. Discriminate between ethics, legal requirements, and religious doctrine as they impact on contemporary business and be able to critically comment upon the role of culture in ethical decision making;  
  3. Advocate a position on the ethical issues associated with various systems through analysis, critique and the presentation of corroborating evidence;  
  4. Exemplify judgement in assessing alternative perspectives of corporate responsibility in the context of contemporary business issues;  
  5. Evaluate the sustainability agenda and justify assessment of the implications for business;  
  6. Evaluate and debate the role of social movements and institutional changes to business operations; and  
  7. Communicate analysis to audiences demonstrating a high level of personal autonomy and accountability.  


Melbourne campuses

Students studying under the VU Block Model.

Assessment type Description Grade
Presentation Case analysis and animated presentation 20%
Report Group case study report 30%
Case Study Case study on ethics and sustainability in achieving competitive advantage (Individual) 50%

Other locations

Assessment type Description Grade
Journal Assessing ethical responsibilities of an organisation 10%
Assignment Critical analysis of ethical imperatives within a select organisation 40%
Case Study Examination of ethics and sustainability at Patagonia 50%

Where to next?

As part of a course

This unit is studied as part of the following courses. Refer to the course page for information on how to apply for the course.

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