Module Overview

Ethics and Governance

In this course, students learn about the responsibilities facing business leaders today. The course examines the legal, ethical, and economic responsibilities of corporate leaders. It also gives students knowledge about the management and governance systems leaders can use to promote responsible conduct by companies and their employees, and shows how personal values can play a critical role in effective leadership. Economic globalization has raised a number of unique challenges to managers and businesses. These include increased social scrutiny of the impact that international trade and investment have had on working conditions, environmental conditions and human rights. The purpose of this module is to examine how corporations are and should be responding to these challenges. For what should corporations be held responsible? How can companies learn to anticipate and better manage challenges to their social and environmental performance? What are the strengths and shortcomings of the principle of corporate social responsibility?

Module Code

CGVE 9000

ECTS Credits


*Curricular information is subject to change

Ethical Decision Making

Nature of Ethics. Ethical Theories. Teleology. Utilitarianism. Deontology. Kant. Social Justice. Virtue Ethics. Ethical Decision making models. Kohlberg’s Stages of Moral Development. Values and Ethics in the context of leadership.

Business Ethics.

Arguments for & against Business Ethics. Common Ethical problems. Individual and situational influences on ethical decision making. Approaches to ethics in organisations – Compliance & Integrity based approaches. Culture of ethics in business

Corporate Governance

Overview of Corporate Governance including the History and Development of Corporate Governance. Theories of Corporate Governance including Agency Theory, Stewardship Theory and Resource Dependence Theory. Systems of Corporate Governance – UK and Ireland, European and US.

Legal Framework of Governance

Combined Code of Corporate Governance – Provisions of Combined Code, Regulation V Principles Based Approach. Provisions of Companies Acts 1963-2013 – Specifically the Establishment of the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement under the 2001 Act and the New Companies (Auditing and Accounting) Act 2003, International Developments including Sarbanes-Oxley.

Director Responsibilities

Board of Directors – Composition, Roles and Responsibilities. Duties of Directors. Director Remuneration. Composition, Role and Responsibilities of Main Board Sub-Committees – Audit, Remuneration and Nominations Committees

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)

Nature of Corporate Social Responsibility. Pyramid of Corporate Social Responsibility. Stakeholder Theory versus Shareholder Theory. Corporate Social Responsibility and financial performance. Corporate Social Disclosure. CSR offices and officers. Link between CSR and marketing. Operations issues in CSR. Managing the message of stakeholder involvement. The business case for CSR. Decentralizing CSR to avoid a one-size-fits-all approach across the organization. Integrating CSR initiatives in customer and supplier agreements.

Managing Risk and Decision Making

Interacting successfully with government, NGOs, and stakeholders.. Identifying current vulnerabilities and predicting future pitfalls related to business practices. Developing preparation and prevention processes for handling crisis scenarios.

The content will be delivered through a blended approach of lectures and guest seminars.  Case studies will be used to stimulate and guide discussion.  Class sessions will consist of collaborative case discussions, exercises, and discussions of theoretical frameworks for interpreting business ethics, governance, social responsibility and social & environmental accounting.

The class contact for the module may be delivered remotely & synchronously using suitable online technologies.  

Module Content & Assessment
Assessment Breakdown %
Formal Examination50
Other Assessment(s)50