ULMS Electronic Module Catalogue

The information contained in this module specification was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change, either during the session because of unforeseen circumstances, or following review of the module at the end of the session. Queries about the module should be directed to the member of staff with responsibility for the module.
Title Ethical and Sustainable Business Practice
Code MGTK722
Coordinator Dr AI Rostron
Work, Organisation and Management
Year CATS Level Semester CATS Value
Session 2023-24 Level 7 FHEQ Whole Session 15

Pre-requisites before taking this module (other modules and/or general educational/academic requirements):


Modules for which this module is a pre-requisite:


Programme(s) (including Year of Study) to which this module is available on a required basis:


Programme(s) (including Year of Study) to which this module is available on an optional basis:


Teaching Schedule

  Lectures Seminars Tutorials Lab Practicals Fieldwork Placement Other TOTAL
Study Hours           6



Timetable (if known)              
Private Study 126


EXAM Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late
CONTINUOUS Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late
Portfolio of evidence Reassessment Opportunity: 1000 word individual reflective report on personal learning from the module. Penalty for Late Submission: Standard UoL penalty applies Anonymous As    30       
Individual reflective report Reassessment Opportunity: 3000 word individual report based on a critical analysis and evaluation of a work-based ethical problem. Penalty for Late Submission: Stan    70       


This module aims to:

Enable students to reflect critically on the ethical nature of business and management, and the ethical implications of business strategy, decision making, and sustainability;

Support students to examine a range of ethical and sustainability issues arising from the global nature of contemporary businesses;

Provide students with a range of theoretical and practical tools with which to identify, and critically analyse ethical problems, and support effective decision making.

Learning Outcomes

(LE1) Internationally aware.
Students will explore the global challenges for managing ethically and for managing across different national and cultural values, contexts, and frameworks.

(LE2) A leader.
Students will reflect on the relationship between corporate and personal responsibility for ethical practice, and on the implications of such beliefs for their managerial decision-making and practice.

(LE3) A lifelong learner.
Students will take part in action learning and will have the opportunity to develop and practice this method as a form of life-long learning.

(LE4) Flexible and adaptable.
Students will understand the changing nature of work, organisations and the global environment and be challenged to analyse and evaluate the ethics and sustainability of business practices across different and changing contexts.

(LO1) Students will be able to identify and discuss the ethical and sustainability implications of global trends for businesses.

(LO2) Students will understand and critically evaluate a range of ethical theories and tools.

(LO3) Students will be able to critically analyse and evaluate business practices in terms of ethics and sustainability.

(LO4) Students will be able to critically reflect on their own personal ethics and the ethical responsibilities and consequences of a manager role.

(LRE1) Ethically aware.
Students will gain theoretical and practical tools with which to identify, analyse and evaluate ethical and sustainability challenges within and affecting organisations. Students will develop self-awareness of their personal values and ethical beliefs.

(LRE2) A problem solver.
Students will collaboratively and critically engage with, and seek to better understand and manage/resolve ethical and sustainability issues affecting them and members of their Action Learning group.

(LRE3) IT literate.
The nature of the module in terms of online delivery will enable students to develop skills in using a virtual learning/communications environment.

(LRE4) An excellent verbal and written communicator.
Students will have the opportunity to develop written and oral communication skills through virtual group discussions, Action Learning Groups and individual assessment.

(LRE5) Organised and able to work under pressure.
Students will be expected to plan scheduled work and meet assessment deadlines. This will be evident in the students’ independent management of their assignments and assessment deadlines.

(RE1) A team player.
Working within action learning groups, students will experience the value of peer support and critique, and actively collaborate to solve work-based problems.

Teaching and Learning Strategies

The module will primarily be delivered through eight weekly e-lectures, delivered through a variety of methods, covering key concepts, theories and case examples. These will be supported by individual online tasks, case studies, blogs, collaborative tasks and discussion boards, which will be used to develop and apply learning. These activities will be moderated by the module instructor. Students will also be directed to key academic and practitioner readings to further develop their learning.

Unscheduled Directed Student Hours: 10 hours

Description: The e-lectures will equate to 1.25 hours/week over 8 weeks undertaken asynchronously.
Attendance Recorded: Yes – tracked via the learning platform.

Students will also participate in eight weekly e-seminars where they will engage in peer discussion of key concepts and application to their own work contexts. Seminars will be conducted via a discussion board with input from the module instructor.

Unschedu led student hours: 8 hours
Description: The e-seminars will equate to 1 hour/week over 8 weeks undertaken asynchronously.
Attendance Recorded: Yes – tracked via the learning platform.

Additionally, students will participate in virtual action learning sets, where students will form small action learning groups and collaboratively choose and then work together to solve current ethical problems affecting group members. This will be facilitated by the module instructor.

Unscheduled student hours: 6 hours
Description: The action learning sets will take place over three sessions, equating to 2 hours per session, undertaken asynchronously.
Attendance Recorded: Yes, tracked via the learning platform.

Self-directed learning hours: 126 hours
Description: This will involve directed and independent reading, and independent research into ethical business and management practices.



Businesses, organisations and ethics. This introduces the subject of ethics, how it relates to business and organisations and whether and how business can or should be ethical. Key theories and approaches are introduced, including an ethics of care, which will be drawn on and developed throughout the module.

Sustainability. Sustainability is examined as a key ethical concept, including critically examining tensions and trade-offs between different forms of sustainability and different beneficiaries. Key theories and approaches are introduced.

Ethical frameworks across borders – the global context. The nature of global challenges for managing ethically is explored, including managing across different national and cultural values, contexts and frameworks. Students will examine a range of global ethical issues including employment relations and rights, sourcing labour, managing customer data, social and environmental sustainability, consumer standards, inequalities.

Personal ethics – the reflexive practitioner. Students will consider the nature and relationship between corporate and personal responsibility within an ethical framework. Students will be supported to critically and reflexively consider their own role and degree of agency within an organisation; their personal values; and the challenges of fulfilling competing demands of compliance and integrity.

Stakeholder management. Students will be introduced to methods of identifying and mapping organisational stakeholders. Students will explore ways of analysing stakeholders and their interests through an ethical framework, and how managers and organisations can manage their responsibilities towards stakeholders in the context of differing or competing interests.

Ethical and sustainable decision making. A range of key theories and approaches to ethical decision-making at the macro meso and micro-level will be introduced and critically examined.

Corporate Social Responsibility. Students will be introduced to the concept of CSR and its role in contemporary business. Students will critically evaluate the concept of CSR and its relationship to ethical and sustainable business practice, including the performative dimension of CSR as a form of corporate image and branding.

Managing ethically – putting it all together. Students will reflect on and apply learning from the module to develop their own informed answers to key questions: What does an ethical business look like? What does a sustainable business look like? And what does ethical management look like?

Recommended Texts

Reading lists are managed at readinglists.liverpool.ac.uk. Click here to access the reading lists for this module.