HR9719 - Responsible Business

What will I learn on this module?

This module will help you understand, anticipate, pre-empt and respond to ethical challenges in business. The module requires you to think about your own responsibility as a manager and the responsibilities of organizations in the context of contemporary challenges to business. You will be challenged by this module to think about the qualities of mind and character that are required to behave in a morally coherent way, about the types of institutional arrangements that promote and frustrate this. The module will enable you to think about ethical issues at the level of the individual, the institution and the wider material and ideational contexts that inform how such issues are understood.

How will I learn on this module?

The module will be delivered through a combination of online resources (including Discussion Board, webcasts, guidance notes), directed learning, independent learning, taught sessions using a variety of methods (debates, case studies, structured reflection) and case based assessment. Taught sessions focus on a specific level (individual, institutional, contextual) of ethical challenge. Specifically selected pre-readings are required before each taught session as the intellectual resources they provide will be useful as you consider and develop responses to the challenges that we will consider. The taught sessions will be facilitated by a team of academic specialists in the relevant area (e.g. virtue ethics, corporate governance, sustainability, social enterprise) who will provide ongoing formative feedback.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

Northumbria is amongst the world’s top 50 performing universities for publications in business ethics. This module has been developed by world leading academics, and is supported by extensive online and material resources and by both live and written case studies. Taught sessions provide opportunities for students to develop and test their ideas in a supportive but demanding environment which requires arguments and choices to be justified in the context of identified alternative actions and arguments.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at:
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team –

What will I be expected to achieve?

What will I be expected to achieve?
(SRS 0005)

Knowledge & Understanding:
On completion of this module you will be able to:
1. Demonstrate a critical understanding of the need for and range of justifications for responsible business;
2. Demonstrate a critical understanding of the implications of responsible business for both individual action and institutional priorities, governance and systems.

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
On completion of this module you will be able to:
3. Make theoretically and empirically informed arguments about the nature of responsible business.

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
On completion of this module you will be able to:
4. Demonstrate a personal commitment to responsible business practices.

How will I be assessed?

Formative assessment: In-class formative feedback will be given in respect of the coherence, complexity and quality of arguments presented in the context of a range of ethical challenges.

Summative assessment: The summative assessment for this module is an individual 3000 word assignment involving the analysis of and recommendations for an ethical dilemma at work





Module abstract

Is it possible to lead a good life as a business manager? This module will ask you to reflect on that question by exploring the ethical issues that you encounter as a business manager in the organisational and wider social contexts in which you work. The module will encourage you to consider the criteria by which ‘Responsible Businesses’ are best identified; these include the relationship between the organisation and its stakeholders, the possible tension between organisational goals and moral standards, and the ways in which managers cope with challenges to their ethical commitments by resisting pressure or by compartmentalising their ethical choices. These questions will be addressed through case-based teaching and assessment, supported by extensive online resources and material developed by one of the world’s 50 leading universities in the field of business ethics.

Course info

Credits 10

Level of Study Postgraduate

Mode of Study 15 months

Location Singapore

City Singapore

Start September, December, March or June

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing.

Full time Courses starting in 2023 are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but may include elements of online learning. We continue to monitor government and local authority guidance in relation to Covid-19 and we are ready and able to flex accordingly to ensure the health and safety of our students and staff.

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with additional restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors, potentially to a full online offer, should further restrictions be deemed necessary in future. Our online activity will be delivered through Blackboard Ultra, enabling collaboration, connection and engagement with materials and people.


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