Business Ethics and Sustainability

    Unit code: BMO5501 | Study level: Postgraduate
    (Generally, 1 credit = 10 hours of classes and independent study.)
    City Campus
    Victoria University Online
    VU Brisbane
    VU Sydney


    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. Students will understand the importance of various United Nations Sustainability Development Goals (SDGs) relating to governance, operations and culture through evidence-based research, case analysis, and evaluation, in understanding the importance of the SDGs.

    Learning Outcomes

    On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:

    1. Discriminate between key philosophical approaches to ethics, legal requirements, and a contention between moral and ethical decision making;
    2. Advocate a position on the ethical issues associated with narrow and broad approaches to doing business;
    3. Exemplify judgement in assessing alternative perspectives of corporate responsibility in the context of contemporary business issues;
    4. Evaluate the sustainability agenda and justify assessment of the implications for business;
    5. Evaluate and debate the role of social movements and institutional changes that promote business model innovation; and
    6. Communicate analysis to audiences demonstrating a high level of personal autonomy and accountability.


    For Melbourne campuses

    Assessment type: Assignment
    Grade: 30%
    Annotated Bibliography (Individual) to inform a Group Case Report (Group), and Reflective Journal submissions (Individual)
    Assessment type: Case Study
    Grade: 30%
    A selected company evaluation on ethics and sustainability in achieving competitive advantage (Individual)
    Assessment type: Project
    Grade: 40%
    Group project report & presentation (Group)

    Other locations

    For students studying at Victoria University Online
    Assessment type: Journal
    Grade: 10%
    Assessing ethical responsibilities of an organisation
    Assessment type: Assignment
    Grade: 40%
    Critical analysis of ethical imperatives within a select organisation
    Assessment type: Case Study
    Grade: 50%
    Examination of ethics and sustainability at Patagonia

    Required reading

    Selected readings will be made available via the unit VU Collaborate site.

    As part of a course

    This unit is studied as part of the following course(s):

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