- Class Number 7494
- Term Code 2960
- Class Info
- Unit Value 6 units
- Mode of Delivery In Person
- Dr Sarah Adams
- Dr Sarah Adams
- Class Dates
- Class Start Date 22/07/2019
- Class End Date 25/10/2019
- Census Date 31/08/2019
- Last Date to Enrol 29/07/2019
This course introduces students to the roles of corporations in society and their accountability, accounting and reporting issues in the context of sustainability and social justice. It examines issues in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), emphasising accountability for, and reporting of, the social and environmental effects of a corporation’s economic actions to stakeholders. This extends the corporation’s accountability beyond financial disclosures to shareholders and is predicated on the assumption that corporations have social responsibilities that are much broader than generating shareholder wealth.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
This course provides students with an appreciation of the broader issues of corporate performance and disclosure in the context of sustainability and social justice, and the opportunity to gain a sound understanding of:
- the socio-economic context and roles of corporations;
- the relevance of stakeholders in corporations and concepts of corporate responsibility, accountability and reporting;
- developments and practices in corporate social responsibility, accountability and reporting;
- regulatory and voluntary action in corporate social responsibility, accountability and reporting.
The specific learning outcomes identified at the commencement of the lecture material for each of the topics are an integral part of the course/above broad learning outcomes.
With the exception of a small number of regulatory best-practice publications, the topics for this course are founded on research-based academic journal publications consisting of empirical, theoretical and review articles.
Examination Material or equipment
Details regarding materials and equipment that is permitted in an examination room can be found on the ANU website:
Information regarding permitted examination materials for the course will be available on the examination timetable website when the examination timetable is released:
Readings for the course are available online through the ANU Library. Links to relevant articles will be provided each week on Wattle.
Some relevant readings include:
AccounAbility. 2008. AA1000 AccountAbility Principles Standard (AA1000APS). AccountAbilty: New York.
Aerts, W., Cormier, D. & Magnan, M. 2006. Intra-industry imitation in corporate environmental reporting: An international perspective. Journal of Accounting and Public Policy, 25, 299-331.
Banerjee, S. B. 2007. Corporate social responsibility: The good, the bad and the ugly. Critical Sociology, 34 (1), 51-79.
Carroll, A. B. 1991. The pyramid of corporate social responsibility: Toward the moral management of organizational stakeholders. Business Horizons, July-August, 39-48.
Carroll, A. B. 1999. Corporate social responsibility, evolution of a definitional construct. Business and Society, September, 38 (3), 268-295.
Chen, S. & Bouvain, P. 2009. Is corporate responsibility converging? A comparison of corporate responsibility reporting in the USA, UK, Australia, and Germany. Journal of Business Ethics, 87, 299-317.
Cherry, M. A. & Sneirson, J. F. 2011. Beyond profit: Rethinking corporate social responsibility and greenwashing after the BP oil disaster. Tulane Law Review, 85, 983-1038.
Clarkson, M. B. E. 1995. A stakeholder framework for analysing and evaluating corporate social performance. The Academy of Management Review, January, 20 (1), 92-117.
Clarkson, P. M., Li, Y., Richardson, G. D. & Vasvari, F. P. 2008. Revisiting the relation between environmental performance and environmental disclosure: An empirical analysis. Accounting, Organizations and Society, 33, 303-327.
Costanza, R., d’Arge, R., de Groot, R., Farber, S., Grasso, M., Hannon, B., Limburg, K., Naeem, S., O’Neill, R. V., Paruelo, J., Raskin, R. G., Sutton, P & van den Belt, M. 1997. The value of the world’s ecosystem services and natural capital. Nature, 387, May, 253-260.
Crawley, A. & Sinclair, A. 2003. Indigenous human resource practices in Australian mining companies: Towards an ethical model. Journal of Business Ethics, 45, 361-373.
Deegan, C. 2008. Environmental costing in capital investment decisions: Electricity distributors and the choice of power poles. Australian Accounting Review, 18 (44), 2-15.
Delfgaauw, T. 2000. Reporting on sustainable development: A preparer’s view. Auditing, 19, 67-74.
DesJardins, J. 1998. Corporate environmental responsibility. Journal of Business Ethics, 17, 825-838.
Dhaliwal, D. S., Li, O. Z. & Tsang, A. 2011. Voluntary nonfinancial disclosure and the cost of equity capital: The initiation of corporate social responsibility reporting. The Accounting Review, 86 (1), 59-100.
DiMaggio. P. J. & Powell, W. W. 1983. The iron cage revisited: Institutional isomorphism and collective rationality in organizational fields. American Sociological Review, 48 (2), 147-160.
Doane, D. 2002. Market failure: The case for mandatory and environmental reporting. New Economics Foundation.
Eccles, R. G., Ioannou, I., and Serafeim, G. (2014). The Impact of Corporate Sustainability
on Organizational Processes and Performance. Management Science 60 (11), 2835–2857.
Epstein, P. R., Buoncore, J. J., Eckerle, K., Hendryx, M., Stout, B. M. III, Heinberg, R., Clapp, R. W., May, B., Reinhart, N. L., Ahern, M. M., Doshi, S. K. & Glustrom, L. 2011. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1219, 73-98.
Ewing, J. 2015. Volkswagen says 11 million cars worldwide are affected in diesel deception. The New York Times, September 22: file:///U:/Semester%202%202016/NYTimes%20Volkswagen.pdf
Friedman, M. 1970. The social responsibility of business is to increase its profits. New York Times Magazine, 13, 32-33.
Global Reporting Initiative. 2016. GRI 101: Foundation. Global Reporting Initiative, Amsterdam.
Grabosky, P. N. 1994. Green markets: Environmental regulation by the private sector. Law & Policy, 16 (4), 419-448.
Green, J. M. 2009. Take the ‘Social’ out of CSR. Business Respect, 26 (1), February.
Heal, G. 2004. Corporate social responsibility – an economic and financial framework. Annual Conference of the Monte Paschi Vita.
Higgins, D. 2011. Why reflect? Recognising the link between learning and reflection. Reflective Practice, 12(5), 583-584.
International Integrated Reporting Council. 2013. The International <IR> Framework, IIRC: London.
Jensen, M. C. 2002. Value maximization, stakeholder theory, and corporate objective function. Business Ethics Quarterly, 12 (2), 235-256.
Joyner, B. E. & Payne, D. Evolution and Implementation: A study of values, business ethics and corporate social responsibility. Journal of Business Ethics, 41, 297-311.
Kolstad, I. 2007. Why firms should not always maximise profits. Journal of Business Ethics, 76, 137-145.
Laufer, W. S. 2003. Social accountability and corporate greenwashing. Journal of Business Ethics, 43, 253-261.
Lertzman, D. J. & Vrendenberg, H. 2005. Indigenous peoples, resource extraction and sustainable development: An ethical approach. Journal of Business Ethics, 56, 239-254.
Lovins, L. H. 2004. Natural capitalism: Path to sustainability? Natural Resources & Environment, Fall, 3-8.
Margolis, J., Elfenbeing, H. & Walsh, J. 2009. Does it pay to be good? A meta-analysis and redirection of research on the relation between corporate social and financial performance. Working Paper, Harvard University.
Melnyk, S. A., Sroufe, R. P. & Calantone, R. 2003. Assessing the impact of environmental management systems on corporate and environmental performance. Journal of Operations Management, 21, 329-351.
Mitchell, R. K., Agle, B. R. & Wood, D. J. 1997. Toward a theory of stakeholder identification and salience: Defining the principle of who and what really counts. The Academy of Management Review, 22 (4), October, 853-856.
O’Donovan, G. 2002. Environmental disclosures in the annual report. Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, 15 (3), 344-371.
OECD Report. 1995, updated. Alternatives to traditional regulation.
Porter, M. E. & Kramer, M. R. 2002. The competitive advantage of corporate philanthropy. Harvard Business Review, December, 57-68.
Porter, M. E. & Kramer, M. R. 2006. Strategy and society: The link between strategy and corporate social responsibility. Harvard Business Review, December, 75-92.
Rondinelli, D. A. 2002. Transnational corporations: International citizens or new sovereigns? Business and Society Review, 107(4), 3910413.
Rondinelli, D. & Vestag, G. 2000. Panacea, common sense, or just a label? The value of ISO 14001 Environmental Management Systems. European Management Journal, 18(5), October, 499510.
Scholtens, B. 2014. Indicators of responsible investing, Ecological Indicators, 36, 382-385.
Shergold. P. 2009. Global financial crisis and economic downturn: Implications for corporate social responsibility. Issues Paper No. 1. Centre for Social Impact.
Sinclair, D. 1997. Self-regulation versus command and control? Beyond false dichotomies. Law & Policy, 19(4), October, 529-559.
Starik, M. 1995. Should trees have managerial standing? Toward stakeholder status for non-human nature. Journal of Business Ethics, 14 (3), 207-217.
Suchman, M. C. 1995. Managing legitimacy: Strategic and institutional approaches. The Academy of Management Review, 20 (3), 571-610.
United Nations Environmental Programme. 2013. GEO 5-for Business: Impacts of a changing environment on the corporate sector.
Willis, A. 2003. The role of the global reporting initiative’s sustainability reporting guidelines in the social screening of investments. Journal of Business Ethics, 43, 233-237.
Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:
- written comments
- verbal comments
- feedback to whole class, groups and individuals
ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). The feedback given in these surveys is anonymous and provides the Colleges, University Education Committee and Academic Board with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement. The Surveys and Evaluation website provides more information on student surveys at ANU and reports on the feedback provided on ANU courses.
As a further academic integrity control, students may be selected for a 15 minute individual oral examination of their written assessment submissions.
Any student identified, either during the current semester or in retrospect, as having used ghost writing services will be investigated under the University’s Academic Misconduct Rule.
Email and the Wattle Course Website
Email and the Wattle course website are the preferred ways of communication.
If necessary, the lecturer and tutors for this course will contact students on their official ANU student email address. Students should use this email address when contacting staff as spam filters used by ANU may not allow other email addresses to be received. Information about your enrolment and fees from the Registrar and Student Services' office will also be sent to this email address.
Students are expected to check the Wattle site for announcements about this course, e.g. changes to timetables or notifications of cancellations. Notifications of emergency cancellations of lectures or tutorials will be posted on the door of the relevant room.
|Week/Session||Summary of Activities||Assessment|
|1||What is corporate responsibility?|
|2||Concepts of social and environmental responsibility; reflective practice|
|3||Normative ethics||Tutorials: practice in-class exercise|
|4||Indigenous cultural awareness, sustainability and responsibility||Tutorials: in-class exercise (5%)|
|5||Strategic CSR||Tutorials: group presentations|
|6||Forces for change||Tutorials: in-class exercise (5%)|
|7||Measuring and reporting on responsibility and sustainability||Tutorials: group presentations Optional submission of Learning Journal for feedback|
|8||Integrated reporting and sustainability assurance||Tutorials: group presentations|
|9||Theories of voluntary disclosure (I)||Tutorials: in-class exercise (5%)|
|10||Theories of voluntary disclosure (II)||Tutorials: group presentations|
|11||Environmental management systems||Tutorials: in-class exercise (5%) Submission: Learning Journal and Reflective Essay (20%)|
|12||Alternative business models - social businesses, social enterprise, cooperatives and mutuals||Tutorials: group presentations|
Please see Wattle for tutorial registration.
Tutorial signup for this course will be done via the Wattle website. Detailed information about signup times will be provided on Wattle. When tutorials are available for enrolment, follow these steps:
1. Log on to Wattle, and go to the course site.
2. Click on the link “Tutorial enrolment”
3. On the right of the screen, click on the tab “Become Member of ……” for the tutorial class you wish to enter.
4. Confirm your choice
If you need to change your enrolment, you will be able to do so by clicking on the tab “Leave group…” and then re-enrol in another group. You will not be able to enrol in groups that have reached their maximum number. Please note that enrolment in ISIS must be finalised for you to have access to Wattle.
|Assessment task||Value||Due Date||Return of assessment||Learning Outcomes|
|Task 1: Tutorial Presentation (10%)||10 %||19/08/2019||25/10/2019||1,2,3,4|
|Task 2: In-class assessments (20%)||20 %||12/08/2019||25/10/2019||1,2,3,4|
|Task 3: Learning Journal and Reflective Essay (20%)||20 %||16/10/2019||30/10/2019||1,2,3,4|
|Final Examination (50%)||50 %||31/10/2019||28/11/2019||1,2,3,4|
* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details
ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines, which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Misconduct Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:
The ANU is using Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website. In rare cases where online submission using Turnitin software is not technically possible; or where not using Turnitin software has been justified by the Course Convener and approved by the Associate Dean (Education) on the basis of the teaching model being employed; students shall submit assessment online via ‘Wattle’ outside of Turnitin, or failing that in hard copy, or through a combination of submission methods as approved by the Associate Dean (Education). The submission method is detailed below.
Moderation of Assessment
Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.
Tutorials provide the opportunity to consolidate and deepen your learning in the course. Students are expected to read all relevant materials prior to each class, and prepare answers to the set tutorial questions. Tutorial participation will not be marked in this course.
This is an on-campus course. Attendance at all teaching events, while not compulsory, is expected in line with “Code of Practice for Teaching and Learning”, clause 2 paragraph (b).
Centrally administered examinations through Examinations, Graduations & Prizes will be timetabled prior to the examination period. The due date listed in the assessment summary is the earliest possible date. Please check ANU Timetabling for further information. Exam scripts will not be returned.
Assessment Task 1
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4
Task 1: Tutorial Presentation (10%)
Students will form groups of two within tutorials in Week 2 for this assessment task. Each group will be allocated one week in the semester (either Week 5, 7, 8, 10, or 12) to present to their tutorial on a contemporary corporate responsibility issue in the media.
Further details on the topic and requirements of the presentation will be provided in Week 1.
The presentations will be marked according to the rubric below. Note that some criteria are marked for the group, and some for individual presenters.
|Criteria||High Distinction||Distinction||Credit Pass||Pass||Fail|
Suitable case identified and explained cogently. Significance of case is clearly and convincingly conveyed.
Suitable case identified, and summarised effectively and coherently. Strong reasoning why case is of significance.
Suitable case identified. Reasonable summary/ explanation of case, with some reasoning why case is significant.
Suitable case identified. Basic summary/ explanation of case; minimal reasoning as to significance of case.
Unsuitable (or repeat) case chosen. Poor attempt at summarising or explaining case/topic and why it is of significance.
Outstanding application of theory/concepts to case/example showing clear understanding of key concepts. Critical analysis used incisively throughout.
Good application of theory/concepts to case/example showing good understanding of key concepts. Clear evidence of critical analysis.
Reasonable application of theory/concepts to case/example showing understanding of key concepts. Content shows elements of critical analysis.
Basic application of theory/concepts to case/example showing understanding of basic ideas. Content mainly descriptive.
No or limited application of theory/concepts. Content is nearly all descriptive.
The presentation is extremely effective in engaging and conveying ideas to the audience.
The presentation is effective in engaging and conveying ideas to the audience.
The presentation has aspects that engage and convey ideas to the audience.
The presentation able to convey main ideas, but is limited in ability to engage audience.
The presentation fails to capture the interest of the audience and/or is confusing in what is communicated.
Presentation is well-paced and kept to time limits.
Presentation kept to time limits and paced clearly.
Presentation kept to time limits but some issues with pacing.
Some issues with timing and pacing.
Failure to keep to appropriate time limit.
Presenter is extremely clear, confident, professional and speaks with a lively tone. Speaks without reference to notes. Excellent use of eye contact, gestures, and body language to effectively engage the audience
Presenter is clear and confident. Minimal reference to notes. Effective use of eye contact, gestures, and body language to effectively engage the audience
Presenter speaks clearly but at times monotonous, only occasionally reads from notes. Efforts made to use eye contact, gestures, and body language to engage the audience.
Presenter can be mostly understood, but lacks clarity. Presenter reads at times from notes/screen and makes limited efforts to engage audience through eye contact, gestures, or body language.
Presenter cannot be heard and/or speaks unclearly that s/he cannot be understood. Presenter reads from notes/screen. Presenter does not attempt to engage the audience through eye contact, gestures, or body language.
Assessment Task 2
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4
Task 2: In-class assessments (20%)
This assessment task will take place during tutorials in four weeks of the semester (weeks 4, 6, 9, 11). Each of the four exercises will be worth 5%.
During these weeks, the first part of the tutorial will include a class discussion of key concepts and questions from the week’s topic. This aspect of the tutorial will not be assessed. The final 30 minutes of the tutorial will involve students working individually to complete a written exercise response to a question that relates to the on that week’s tutorial topic or apply theory to a case study for that week (and the preceding weeks). In order to do well, you must come prepared for your tutorials by having done the readings assigned for that week, and attended or listened to the lecture.
Students will have access to their notes and computers during these exercises. Students will have to submit their work on the exercise at the conclusion of the 30 minute exercise, and their marks and feedback will be returned the following week.
A practice version of the tutorial exercise will be conducted in week 3. Students will have the option to submit their work from the practice exercise for marking by their tutor to provide formative feedback on their performance in this assessment task. There will be no marks awarded for the practice version of the tutorial exercise.
This assessment task must take place during a student’s enrolled tutorial. Students cannot attend a substitute tutorial during the weeks of the tutorial exercises without the express, written consent of the course convenor provided in advance of the tutorial (n.b. note that this will only be granted in substantiated cases of illness or misadventure).
Students that fail to attend the in-class assessment in their enrolled tutorial will be allocated a mark of 0 for that tutorial exercise.
More details will be provided on this assessment item in tutorials in Week 2.
Note: marks will be released progressively throughout the semester.
Due Date: The due date listed in the assessment summary is the earliest possible date.
Return Date: The return date listed in the assessment summary is the latest possible return date.
Assessment Task 3
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4
Task 3: Learning Journal and Reflective Essay (20%)
This assessment task involves two written items completed individually and submitted together via Turnitin on Wattle (due date: 12pm, Wednesday 16th October 2019) :
(A) A learning journal (10%)
Students are required to regularly record their learning journey through the course over the semester. It is suggested that this is completed every 1-2 weeks. It is important that this journal is reflective, and not descriptive. That is, the journal should not simply record what the student has done that week, but also show the development of your thoughts and ability to apply concepts and theory.
(B) A reflective essay (10%)
Students are required to prepare a reflective essay on their learning in the course over the semester, and responds to a set question. It is important that this essay is reflective, not descriptive.
To support students in developing their reflective practice and preparing for this assessment task, a range of educational support is provided in-class. The Week 2 lecture will provide a detailed discussion about reflective practice. Students will also complete a reflective task during tutorials in Week 2 to get them to start thinking reflectively. Students will also have the option to submit a draft learning journal in Week 7 to gain feedback on their reflective writing prior to final submission of the two items in Week 11.
Late submission not permitted. If this item is not submitted (without an extension) by the due date, a mark of 0 will be awarded.
More details about the requirements of this assessment task will be provided in Week 1, including the detailed rubric that will be used to mark this assessment item.
Assessment Task 4
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4
Final Examination (50%)
Centrally administered examinations through Examinations, Graduations & Prizes will be timetabled prior to the examination period. The due date listed in the assessment summary is the earliest possible date. Please check ANU Timetabling for further information. Exam scripts will not be returned. Students may review their exam scripts by appointment during scheduled sessions at the RSA School Office.
Academic integrity is a core part of the ANU culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically, committing to honest and responsible scholarly practice and upholding these values with respect and fairness.
The ANU commits to assisting all members of our community to understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. The ANU expects staff and students to be familiar with the academic integrity principle and Academic Misconduct Rule, uphold high standards of academic integrity and act ethically and honestly, to ensure the quality and value of the qualification that you will graduate with.
The Academic Misconduct Rule is in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Very minor breaches of the academic integrity principle may result in a reduction of marks of up to 10% of the total marks available for the assessment. The ANU offers a number of online and in person services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. Visit the Academic Skills website for more information about academic integrity, your responsibilities and for assistance with your assignments, writing skills and study.
You will be required to electronically sign a declaration as part of the submission of your assignment. Please keep a copy of the assignment for your records. Unless an exemption has been approved by the Associate Dean (Education) submission must be through Turnitin.
For some forms of assessment (hand written assignments, art works, laboratory notes, etc.) hard copy submission is appropriate when approved by the Associate Dean (Education). Hard copy submissions must utilise the Assignment Cover Sheet. Please keep a copy of tasks completed for your records.
Late submission not permitted. If submission of assessment tasks without an extension after the due date is not permitted, a mark of 0 will be awarded.
Accepted academic practice for referencing sources that you use in presentations can be found via the links on the Wattle site, under the file named “ANU and College Policies, Program Information, Student Support Services and Assessment”. Alternatively, you can seek help through the Students Learning Development website.
Feedback on assignments will be provided via the Turnitin system and the Wattle grade system.
Extensions and Penalties
Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure. The Course Convener may grant extensions for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.
Resubmission of Assignments
The resubmission of assignments in not permitted in this course
Distribution of grades policy
Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes.
Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.
Support for students
The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).
- ANU Health, safety & wellbeing for medical services, counselling, mental health and spiritual support
- ANU Diversity and inclusion for students with a disability or ongoing or chronic illness
- ANU Dean of Students for confidential, impartial advice and help to resolve problems between students and the academic or administrative areas of the University
- ANU Academic Skills and Learning Centre supports you make your own decisions about how you learn and manage your workload.
- ANU Counselling Centre promotes, supports and enhances mental health and wellbeing within the University student community.
- ANUSA supports and represents undergraduate and ANU College students
- PARSA supports and represents postgraduate and research students
Corporate social responsibility, social impact, not-for-profits, mutuals and cooperatives.
Dr Sarah Adams