MG476      Half Unit
Corporate Social Responsibility and International Labour Standards

This information is for the 2018/19 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Sarah Ashwin NAB 4.19


This course is available on the MSc in Accounting, Organisations and Institutions, MSc in Global Politics, MSc in Human Resources and Organisations (Human Resource Management/CIPD), MSc in Human Resources and Organisations (International Employment Relations and Human Resource Management), MSc in Human Resources and Organisations (Organisational Behaviour), MSc in Human Rights and MSc in Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship. This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.


Any social science background.

Course content

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is becoming an expected element of business strategy. This course critically evaluates CSR from a number of perspectives, drawing on material from a variety of different disciplines. Students analyse the emergence of CSR, its theoretical basis, the business case for the adoption of CSR programmes, as well as the social impacts of such policies. The opening lectures of the course focus on globalisation and international labour standards, and provide an understanding of how CSR relates to international regulatory institutions such as the International Labour Organisation. Subsequent lectures focus on the different aspects of CSR mentioned above, as well as topics such as comparative CSR. In terms of the impact and design of CSR policies, the course mainly focuses on issues relating to labour standards, but supplementary material on sustainability is also included. As well as traditional academic readings and case studies, students will critically examine publically available material such as corporate policies and reports. Seminars will follow a mixture of formats including group activities and presentations. The course will include one lecture from a CSR professional.


10 hours of lectures and 15 hours of seminars in the LT. 1 hour and 30 minutes of seminars in the ST.

Formative coursework

One 2,000 word essay in LT.

Indicative reading

Vogel, D. (2005) The Market For Virtue: The Potential and Limits of Corporate Social Responsibility, Washington D.C.: Brookings Institution Press.

Crane, A. et al. (2008) The Oxford Handbook of Corporate Social Responsibility, Oxford: OUP.

Locke, R. (2013) The Promise and Limits of Private Power: Promoting Labor Standards in a Global Economy, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press


Exam (60%, duration: 2 hours) in the summer exam period.
Essay (35%, 2000 words) and class participation (5%).

Key facts

Department: Management

Total students 2017/18: Unavailable

Average class size 2017/18: Unavailable

Controlled access 2017/18: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Communication
  • Commercial awareness