- Class Number 7363
- Term Code 3060
- Class Info
- Unit Value 6 units
- Mode of Delivery In Person
- Dr Colleen Hayes
- Dr Colleen Hayes
- 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.
The topics for this course are founded on research-based academic publications, including empirical, theoretical and review articles; newspaper articles; audio-visual materials; and regulatory and best-practice publications.
Examination Material or equipment
Details regarding materials and equipment that is permitted in an examination 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:
Recommended resources/readings - Available via the library, online or will be provided.
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.
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.
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. Available online
Eccles, R. G., Ioannou, I., & Serafeim, G. 2014. The Impact of Corporate Sustainability on Organizational Processes and Performance. Management Science 60 (11), 2835–2857.
Ewing, J. 2015. Volkswagen says 11 million cars worldwide are affected in diesel deception. The New York Times, September 22: Available online
EY. 2017. Is your nonfinancial performance revealing the true value of your business to investors? Available online
Friede, G., Busch, T., & Bassen, A. 2015. ESG and financial performance: aggregated evidence from more than 2000 empirical studies. Journal of Sustainable Finance & Investment, 5 (4), 210-233.
Friedman, M. 1970. The social responsibility of business is to increase its profits. New York Times Magazine, 13, 32-33.
Gatti, L., Vishwanath, B., Seele, P., & Cottier, B. 2019. Are we moving beyond voluntary CSR? Exploring theoretical and managerial implications of mandatory CSR resulting from the new Indian companies Act. Journal of Business Ethics, 160, 961-972.
Global Reporting Initiative. 2016. GRI 101: Foundation. Global Reporting Initiative, Amsterdam. Available online
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. Available online
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.
Jensen, M. C. 2002. Value maximization, stakeholder theory, and corporate objective function. Business Ethics Quarterly, 12 (2), 235-256.
Joyner, B. E. & Payne, D. 2002. 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.
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.
OECD Report. 1995, updated. Alternatives to traditional regulation. Available online
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.
Sheehy, B. 2015. Defining CSR: Problems and solutions. Journal of Business Ethics, 131, 625-648.
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.
United Nations Environmental Programme. 2013. GEO 5-for Business: Impacts of a changing environment on the corporate sector.
United Nations Environmental Programme. 2019. GEO 6 Global Environmental Outlook. Cambridge University Press.
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.
*Additional readings may be specified – refer to individual Topic Lecture Notes for the final list.
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.
|Week/Session||Summary of Activities||Assessment|
|1||Foundation: Corporations, shareholder primacy and stakeholder views of the firm and corporate social responsibility (CSR), corporate social performance (CSP), stakeholders, ethics.||No tutorial|
|2||Market failure, externalities, sustainability: natural capital, social capital & cultural capital, ethics.||Tutorial Questions Topic 1 Reflective Journal submission 1 due|
|3||Forces for change: liberalisation, globalisation, technology, and the markets for capital, products & labour.||Tutorial Questions Topic 2 Reflective Journal submission 2 due|
|4||Forces for change: market for capital continued: responsible investment & business risk.||Tutorial Questions Topic 3 Reflective Journal submission 3 due|
|5||The business case for CSR.||Tutorial Questions Topic 4 Reflective Journal submission 4 due|
|6||CSR and economic responsibility/core business, ethics.||Tutorial Questions Topic 5 Journal Report due|
|7||Aboriginal cultural learning.||Tutorial Questions Topic 6|
|8||CSR and the role of government.||Tutorial Questions Topic 7 Shareholder Proposal submission due|
|9||CSR Reporting: practices, approaches and frameworks||Tutorial Questions Topic 8 On-line Test 1 due|
|10||Theories of voluntary disclosure.||Tutorial Questions Topic 9|
|11||Greenwashing and critical theory||Tutorial Questions Topic 10 Reporting Practices Case Study submission due|
|12||Measurement and management of environmental impact||Tutorial Questions Topic 11 On-line Test 2 due|
Please see Wattle for tutors’ information.
This course includes live on-line tutorials. 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|
|Tutorial Participation & Contribution||10 %||03/08/2020||30/10/2020||1,2,3,4|
|Reflective Journal||20 %||03/08/2020||28/08/2020||1,2|
|Journal Report||10 %||03/09/2020||18/09/2020||1,2|
|Shareholder Proposal||15 %||22/09/2020||09/10/2020||1,2,3,4|
|On-line Test 1||15 %||09/10/2020||16/10/2020||1,2,3,4|
|Reporting Practices Case Study / Report||15 %||22/10/2020||03/12/2020||1,2,3,4|
|On-line Test 2||15 %||29/10/2020||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.
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.
Assessment Task 1
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4
Tutorial Participation & Contribution
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. Students are expected to attend all tutorials and it is mandatory, therefore, that you register for a tutorial.
Here, you will be assessed on your overall PARTICIPATION in class discussions. Marks will be allocated for regular, meaningful spoken contribution to class discussions and debates. The final mark for the semester will be based on each student's best of eight tutorials across the 11 weeks. This is NOT an attendance mark. If you attend all of the tutorials but do not participate in class discussions, do not expect to pass this part of the assessment.
Weekly Marking Guidelines:
1 mark - Demonstrate an 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, and regulatory and voluntary action in corporate social responsibility, accountability and reporting, as per the weekly tutorial topic.
0 mark - Does not demonstrate an 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, and regulatory and voluntary action in corporate social responsibility, accountability and reporting, as per the weekly tutorial topic.
Feedback: Progressive feedback will be provided on participation by Week 6.
Further information on this assessment will be provided in the first week of tutorials, Week 2.
Assessment Task 2
Learning Outcomes: 1,2
You are required to prepare a weekly journal over a four-week period in which you reflect on what constitutes corporations' responsibility to society drawing on the materials covered in the first four topics of the course and the weekly directions provided as part of the scenario that provides the setting for this assignment task and Assignment Task 3 (see below). The submissions are due in Weeks 2 to 5 respectively, and each carries a weighting of 5 marks. Your journal submissions are to be submitted via Turnitin on a weekly basis. You will be provided with feedback on a weekly basis (i.e., at the end of the week of submission). The task will involve a scenario (see Task) and require you think about how the materials covered in Topics 1 to 4 inclusive prompted you to think about corporate social responsibility in a different way to your understanding of the concept before undertaking this course, and/or how it raised important questions about your understanding of what corporations’ responsibility to society and the environment currently are, and/or ought to be, as well as why your insights (what you have learnt) matter to you now, and in the future.
The specific requirements of the assignment, including the learning outcomes and assessment criteria, will be made available in the first week of the Semester. The assignment will be individual-based, not group-based.
The due date listed in the assessment summary is the due date of the first submission, and the return date listed is the return date of the first submission.
Assessment Task 3
Learning Outcomes: 1,2
You will be required to prepare a short business report on your key learning outcomes from your four-week journal entries, including taking into consideration the feedback provided, on what you believe to be the responsibility of corporations to society and the environment and why your understanding matters to you now and in the future. The specific requirements of the assignment, including the learning outcomes and assessment criteria will be released in week one of the Semester as part of the scenario that also frames Assessment Task 2 referred to above. Therefore, the specific requirements of the assignment will be released along with those for Task 2, in week one of the semester. The assignment will be individual-based, not group-based and submitted via Turnitin.
Assessment Task 4
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4
You are required to prepare a shareholder proposal to a corporation, requesting that the corporation undertake a course of action on a specific topic, for example, climate change, at the firm’s forthcoming annual meeting. The proposal must include an informed statement addressed to the firm, clearly setting out the reasons why you consider it should implement your proposed course of action. The specific requirements of the assignment, including the learning outcomes and assessment criteria will be released in week four of the Semester. The assignment will be individual-based, not group-based and will be submitted via Turnitin.
Assessment Task 5
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4
On-line Test 1
You are required to complete an on-line test based on the learning outcomes identified in the lecture materials for Topics 3, and 5 to 7, inclusive. The test will consist of multiple choice and short-answer questions. Guidance on the subject matter of the test, and instructions for completing the test will be provided in Week 7 of the semester. The test will be completed and submitted via Wattle.
Assessment Task 6
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4
Reporting Practices Case Study / Report
You are required to prepare a short business report on the case study provided. The assignment will involve evaluating the reporting disclosures in the sustainability report of a corporation against the GRI G4 reporting disclosure requirements. The task will be framed by the learning outcomes in Topic 9. Details of the assignment will be released in Week 6 of the Semester. The assignment will be submitted via Turnitin.
Assessment Task 7
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4
On-line Test 2
You are required to complete an on-line test based on the learning outcomes identified in the lecture materials for Topics 8, 10 and 11. The test will consist of multiple choice and short-answer questions. Guidance on the subject matter of the test, and instructions for completing the test will be provided in Week 10 of the semester. The test will be completed and submitted via Wattle.
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. 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. 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 governance, corporate social responsibility, accounting and society, accounting history.
Dr Colleen Hayes