Week 0: Course Introduction & Orientation
The orientation material will introduce 'corporate social responsibility' and 'accountability' and help you get a head start to COMM5709. The material also provides an opportunity to familiarise yourself with the course structure, including the learning, teaching and support strategies, before your assessed participation begins in Week 1.
Unit 1: Corporate responsibility: History and Key Concepts
This Unit explores the origins of corporate responsibility and phases in its development. It examines stakeholder theory and its tension with shareholder theory, and introduces related concepts such as sustainability, corporate citizenship and the recent development of the sustainable development goals.
Unit 2: Business Models for Sustainability
This Unit brings together the concepts and theories from Unit 1 by looking at a model (with ethics at its foundation) that summarises the evolution of corporate sustainability. This model also aligns well with the topics that will be explored in subsequent units. The Unit then explores some applied business models such as the industrial ecology discipline, natural capitalism, cradle to cradle design and the Natural Step model of sustainability.
Unit 3: The Drivers and Business Case for Corporate Responsibility
This Unit examines some of the key drivers behind the growing practice of corporate responsibility, particularly over the past two decades and its relationship with corporate strategy.
Unit 4: Accountability and Reporting Performance and Assurance
This Unit examines corporate responsibility and sustainability reporting and assurance. We'll look at the structure of sustainability reporting, key concepts and examine leading reporting frameworks such as the Global Reporting Initiative's G4 Sustainability Reporting Guidelines, ISO 26000 Corporate Social Responsibility guidance, London Benchmarking Group Framework, the UN Global Compact Reporting Principles and Integrated Reporting from the International Integrated Reporting Council.
Unit 5: Environment, Natural Resources and Ecosystem Services
This Unit explores the concept of sustainable development and the triple bottom line and the role of business in relation to natural resource management (e.g. energy, waste, water and consumption of other natural resources) and wider societal implications (e.g. climate change and changes in ecosystem services).
Unit 6: Corporate Community Involvement and Social capital
This Unit focuses on the social dimension of corporate responsibility and sustainability, and how businesses intentionally interact with not-for-profits organizations and other stakeholders at the community level. Human rights as they relate to business and labour relations are also considered as well as developments relating to modern slavery legislation in Australia.
Unit 7: Course Reflection Week
This Unit provides a week for reflecting on what we have learnt so far and how we can / will / are using this in our own practice. This week will also provide the opportunity for students to identify any topics that they would like to learn more about or that they would like more explanation or discussion on.
Unit 8: Supply Chain Management, Traceability and Transparency
This Unit examines supply chain continual improvement, traceability and supply-chain auditing. The role of voluntary certification schemes are explored, business receptivity to them, along with business- supplier collaboration.
Unit 9: Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) and the Investment Community
This Unit explores the new analytical field of ESG risk appraisal as a way to examine how companies are managing and reporting risk, along with indices and measurement frameworks. This Unit also examines the influence of the investment community in corporate responsibility and recent initiatives such as the divestment movement.
Unit 10: Governance and the Board
In this Unit we consider the principles of good corporate governance in the context of corporate responsibility and accountability, along with business ethics and the role of the board versus management.
Unit 11: Corporate Political Activity, Technology and Citizens
This Unit will explore the role of corporate political activity in relation to corporate responsibility and examines recent examples. It looks at the role of technology such as social media and artificial intelligence and considers how corporate responsibility applies, and also looks at the role of citizens in affecting change.
Unit 12: The way forward: Future & current trends
The final Unit of this course considers what the path forward for Corporate Responsibility and Accountability and looks at the ability of organizations to transform and evolve. It also looks at current approaches and examples of how business leaders approach to business is changing.