- Class Number 7331
- Term Code 3060
- Class Info
- Unit Value 6 units
- Mode of Delivery In Person
- Dr Sarah Adams
- Dr Sarah Adams
- Class Dates
- Class Start Date 27/07/2020
- Class End Date 30/10/2020
- Census Date 31/08/2020
- Last Date to Enrol 03/08/2020
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. The teaching approach taken in this course is also based on research on effective online instruction pedagogy.
Readings for the course are available online through the ANU Library. Links to relevant articles will be provided each week on Wattle.
Links to relevant recommended resources will be provided each week on Wattle.
Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:
- written comments
- verbal comments
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.
|Week/Session||Summary of Activities||Assessment|
|1||Concepts of responsibility|
|2||What is corporate responsibility?|
|3||Powerful stakeholders: consumers, government, investors|
|5||Normative Ethics||Shareholder resolution (25%)|
|6||Initiatives for measuring and reporting environmental responsibility|
|7||Initiatives for measuring and reporting social responsibility|
|8||Accounting approaches: Global Reporting Initiative, Integrated Reporting, Assurance|
|9||Theories of voluntary disclosure (I)|
|10||Theories of voluntary disclosure (II)||Business Report (25%)|
|11||Indigenous cultural awareness and sustainability|
|12||Alternative business models|
There are no scheduled tutorials for this course. The course will be run with asynchronous online engagement through discussion boards. 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|
|Shareholder resolution (25%)||25 %||24/08/2020||04/09/2020||1,2,3,4|
|Business Report (25%)||25 %||14/10/2020||28/10/2020||1,2,3,4|
|Discussion Board (20%)||20 %||30/10/2020||04/11/2020||1,2,3,4|
|Reflective Essay (30%)||30 %||05/11/2020||03/12/2020||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 Academic Integrity . 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.
Online participation provides the opportunity to consolidate and deepen your learning in the course. Students are expected to review all materials posted on Wattle each week, and prepare answers to the set questions. Students are also expected to engage with the materials, teaching staff and other student colleagues through the discussion board.
Assessment Task 1
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4
Shareholder resolution (25%)
This assessment involves two items completed individually and submitted through Wattle:
(A) Shareholder proposal (15%)
You will be required to prepare a proposal to a publicly-listed corporation of your choice, requesting that that the corporation undertake a course of action on a specific topic of your choice (e.g. climate change) at the corporation’s next annual general meeting. The proposal has two parts: (i) a short shareholder resolution outlining specifically the actions you desire the corporation to undertake; and (ii) a supporting statement clearly setting out the reasons why it should implement your proposed course of action. This will follow the format adopted by shareholder activists in Australia.
(b) Video to shareholders (10%)
You are also asked to prepare a 2-3 minute video to support your written proposal. You should imagine that this video is directed at other shareholders to convince them to support your shareholder resolution. Therefore, you should try to present a summarised version of your shareholder proposal, but in a compelling and interesting visual format (try to stand out from the crowd!). Try to ensure your video has a clear central message, and that it demonstrates your oral communication and presentation skills.
The specific requirements of the assignment, including assessment criteria and marking rubric will be released in Week 1.
Assessment Task 2
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4
Business Report (25%)
You will choose one of Australia’s largest corporations (i.e. from the ASX50) and will undertake a critical review of their most recent (i.e. 2019 or 2020) Sustainability or Corporate Responsibility Report. You will be required to develop an analysis framework to shape your analysis of this report, which can reflect your own interests, but which should draw upon the course content, existing reporting frameworks, and your own review of the scholarly literature on corporate sustainability disclosure. You are required to present your findings in a structured business report that will be submitted on Wattle. The report should be addressed to the company, presenting your views on the strengths and weaknesses of the report, and your recommendations for improving it in future.
You have the option to complete this assessment task individually or in a group. The requirements for group submissions will be slightly different. Academic Skills will run a Zoom workshop on report writing in business for BUSN3017 students in Week 7.
The specific requirements of the assignment, including assessment criteria and details of the groupwork option will be released in Week 5.
Assessment Task 3
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4
Discussion Board (20%)
You are required to regularly post and comment on the course materials and your own additional research via the online Discussion Board throughout semester. For this assessment item, you need to contribute in two ways:
- presenting your own ideas and thoughts on the materials. This may include (but is not limited to): posting links to relevant resources (e.g. media articles, company websites, reporting standards, etc.) explaining how these are examples of the theory/concepts we have covered in the course; offering your own thoughts, ideas or critical analysis of the weekly required readings; or finding other relevant scholarly literature and explaining how it helps deepen your understanding of the course materials; AND
- engaging with the contributions made with other students. This may include (but is not limited to): responding constructively with posts by other students through explaining how or why you agree with them; suggesting areas where you may interpret things differently or could strengthen arguments; picking up on a point made by other students and elaborating on it with your own evidence; or drawing together or summarising themes across multiple posts for that week.
Remember throughout to be constructive and civil throughout the semester, and to respect the opinions of your fellow student colleagues.
As a stimulus to this discussion, we will post some prompt questions related to the course material for each week. A detailed marking rubric will be posted to Wattle in Week 1. A mark will be awarded at the end of semester for your engagement across the whole semester. In order to provide you with an indication of your performance on your contributions, qualitative feedback on your contributions to the discussion board will be given in Week 3 and Week 6.
Assessment Task 4
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4
Reflective Essay (30%)
This assessment task involves two written items completed individually and submitted together via Turnitin on Wattle.
(A) A learning journal (15%)
You are required to regularly record your 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 you have learned that week (i.e. don’t summarise the course materials), but also show the development of your thoughts and ability to apply concepts and theory.
(B) A reflective essay (15%)
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.
As you may not be familiar with reflective assessment, there will be a range of supports made available for completing this assessment available from Week 1. This includes a recorded lecture from Academic Skills on reflective practice, written guides, and a Zoom Workshop in Week 11.
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.
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 of assessment tasks without an approved extension are penalised at the rate of 5% of the possible marks available per working day or part thereof. Late submission of assessment tasks is not accepted after 10 working days after the due date, or on or after the date specified in the course outline for the return of the assessment item. Late submission is not accepted for take-home examinations.
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. Extensions may be granted 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