Business Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility

Enseignant(s): Gonin Michaël
Cursus: Master
Type d'enseignement: Cours
ECTS: 4.5
Langue(s) du cours: Anglais
Semestre(s): SP-2020

The first part of the course will address the key concepts related to ethics and CSR (business ethics, instrumental vs. authentic CSR, social business, stakeholder management, etc) as well as the context in which ethics and CSR-related issues are to be dealt within today’s business companies and nonprofit organisations (globalization, pluralization, individualization, specialization, and the changing business-society and business-NPO relations).

In the second part, students will learn and apply the strategies and tools available at individual, organizational, and institutional level to face and solve at best ethics- and CSR-related issues. We will also look at how ethics and CSR impact, and are impacted by, the broader organisational strategy and culture – and so contribute to the overall strategic positioning of a for profit or not-for-profit organisation. Finally, we will address the various forms of business-NPO collaboration.

In the third part, specific topics and case studies will be addressed either through the group presentations or, for topics not chosen by student groups, by the teacher: ethics and CSR in SMEs; CSR, marketing and consumption / lifestyle (alternative consumptions, local, green, fair trade…); the limits of business ethics and CSR; CSR and new technologies…

Pedagogy: throughout the term, various interactive forms of teaching will be used to help students not only acquire knowledge but integrate and apply it in plenary discussions and case studies. A minimal amount of required reading will also be given to foster discussions. Finally, group projects will allow students to study in-depth a topic or case of their choice and discuss it with the rest of the class.

An important place will be given to case studies and guest speakers presenting their way of managing and coping with such issues in practice.


Through the course, students will:

1) gain a formal understanding of the reasons for, challenges related to, and opportunities provided by, ethics- and CSR-related issues in business and nonprofit organisations.

2) understand the ongoing evolution of the context, challenges, and structure of the relations between business companies and civil society organisations and its implications for ethics in business and cooperations between business firms and NGO/NPO.

3) be part of an interactive class dynamic in which they learn and apply personal and managerial tools to handle ethics- and CSR-related issues as part of strategic and operational management duty in business and nonprofit organisations.

4) acquire in-depth knowledge of one self-chosen specific sub-topic or case study and present it to the class.