Corporate Social Responsibility

llsms2905  2023-2024  Louvain-la-Neuve

Corporate Social Responsibility
5.00 credits
22.5 h + 7.5 h
Main themes
The course aims at providing tools enabling the students to elicit critical thinking on ethical, social and environmental issues raised by contemporary organizations. The specificity of the firms' impact on economic life will be addressed by analyzing the principles and practices covered by the field of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). CSR will be studied as a reflector of the modern firms' self-awareness process in terms of social responsibility and as a source of innovation in the face of today's challenges of competitiveness, sustainable development and transparent corporate governance. The theoretical references will moreover give way to more personal questioning periods developed by the students in terms of their own aspirations, perceptions and observations as citizens. All these elements foster personal change that in its turn conveys transformations within the chosen organizations.
Learning outcomes

At the end of this learning unit, the student is able to :

  • Understand the background of CSR and the local, European and global contexts in which CSR is currently developing.
  • Elicit critical thinking on ethical, social and environmental issues raised by contemporary organizations.
  • Apply CSR theories and frameworks to analyse organizational challenges to evaluate different scenarios in practice, with a view to propose recommendations for the organization.
  • Co-create your CSR/sustainability projects and get a feel for complex stakeholder dialogue in developing responsible and sustainable solutions.
  • Know your personal ethical values which can help you in the future to make better choices and give meaning to your private and professional life.
The course will cover the following Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) topics:
  • Defining CSR.
  • Comparing CSR to related concepts: ethics, compliance, and sustainability. 
  • Understanding who/what are an organization's stakeholders 
  • Analyzing forms of and motives for CSR.
  • Discovering CSR reporting and discussing the role of CSR-related labels and certifications.
  • Identifying washing and corporate hypocrisy.
  • Reflecting on the role of individuals in CSR.
  • Going further with critical perspectives on CSR.
Teaching methods
  • Lectures based on academic research illustrated by pratical examples. 
  • Practical sessions for the group case study.
  • Weekly reports with feedbacks. 
  • Discussions in class and practical sessions.
Evaluation methods
The course evaluation contains individual and group assignments. The grade is composed of two parts:
    - A case-study: the case-study is a work in group. Groups will deliver 4 reports and give 1 presentation during the 6 weeks. The case-study part accounts for 35% of the final grade. 
    - An individual exam. Each student will take an exam at the end of the course. This exam contains multiple-choice questions and open questions. The individual exam accounts for 65% of the final grade. 
    A student who does not pass the course in January will retake the individual exam only. Yet, points obtained for the case-study remain. The final grade for the second session is therefore composed of the case-study grade obtained during the first session (35%) and individual exam grade obtained during the second session (65%). 
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