MGMT20134 - Business Ethics and Sustainability

General Information

Unit Synopsis

This unit examines the interrelated topics of personal and business ethics and business sustainability. It critically reviews the socio-cultural environment in which business operates and how this can change dramatically between countries and cities. Ethical frameworks for managerial decision-making are critiqued with reference to various stakeholder groups and you will examine the debates surrounding sustainable development as they impact on organisations in their local and global contexts. The interactions between personal ethics and how ethics is managed within an organisation are also considered. Technological, societal and cultural sources of ethical challenges are reviewed and cases will be discussed outlining how various organisations might respond to these challenges.


Level Postgraduate
Unit Level 9
Credit Points 6
Student Contribution Band SCA Band 4
Fraction of Full-Time Student Load 0.125
Pre-requisites or Co-requisites There are no pre-requisites for the unit.

Important note: Students enrolled in a subsequent unit who failed their pre-requisite unit, should drop the subsequent unit before the census date or within 10 working days of Fail grade notification. Students who do not drop the unit in this timeframe cannot later drop the unit without academic and financial liability. See details in the Assessment Policy and Procedure (Higher Education Coursework).

Class Timetable View Unit Timetable
Residential School No Residential School

Unit Availabilities from Term 3 - 2023

Term 1 - 2024 Profile
Term 2 - 2024 Profile

Attendance Requirements

All on-campus students are expected to attend scheduled classes – in some units, these classes are identified as a mandatory (pass/fail) component and attendance is compulsory. International students, on a student visa, must maintain a full time study load and meet both attendance and academic progress requirements in each study period (satisfactory attendance for International students is defined as maintaining at least an 80% attendance record).

Assessment Overview

Recommended Student Time Commitment

Each 6-credit Postgraduate unit at CQUniversity requires an overall time commitment of an average of 12.5 hours of study per week, making a total of 150 hours for the unit.

Assessment Tasks

Assessment Task Weighting
1. Reflective Practice Assignment 50%
2. Presentation and Written Assessment 30%
3. Take Home Exam 20%

This is a graded unit: your overall grade will be calculated from the marks or grades for each assessment task, based on the relative weightings shown in the table above. You must obtain an overall mark for the unit of at least 50%, or an overall grade of ‘pass’ in order to pass the unit. If any ‘pass/fail’ tasks are shown in the table above they must also be completed successfully (‘pass’ grade). You must also meet any minimum mark requirements specified for a particular assessment task, as detailed in the ‘assessment task’ section (note that in some instances, the minimum mark for a task may be greater than 50%).

Consult the University’s Grades and Results Policy for more details of interim results and final grades

Past Exams

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Previous Feedback

Term 2 - 2022 : The overall satisfaction for students in the last offering of this course was 57.14% (`Agree` and `Strongly Agree` responses), based on a 41.18% response rate.

Feedback, Recommendations and Responses

Every unit is reviewed for enhancement each year. At the most recent review, the following staff and student feedback items were identified and recommendations were made.

Source: Unit coordinator reflection
Students struggling with moral dimensions and justifying ethical practice. Relativism may explain, but should not be advanced as a defence of these difficulties.
No significant change to content or assessment is recommended. Students must demonstrate an understanding of ethics and an ability to justify decisions.
Action Taken
Students must demonstrate their understanding of the moral dimensions to meet the learning outcomes of this unit. Hence, students are highly recommended to attend classes to participate in class activities to express their opinions on moral/ethical dimensions and ethical decision-making to develop their understanding throughout the term.
Source: Student evaluation
Response rate to student evaluation is too low
Engage students more effectively towards the end of term specifically relating to completion of the student evaluation survey.
Action Taken
More reminders via email and face-to-face through local facilitators will be notified before the end of the term.
Source: Self-reflection and teaching team
Importance of class attendance and engagement.
Highlight to students the importance of attending and participating in all class activities as these simulate real-world scenarios. Participation presents students with the opportunity to express their opinions while allowing them to learn how to make ethical decisions, particularly when facing ethical dilemmas.
Action Taken
Unit learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:

  1. Develop an understanding of the interconnections between business ethics, morality, law, sustainability, globalisation and evaluate their impacts on business and society
  2. Explain the aspects of business social responsibility and sustainability, including the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals, (SDGs) and how these impact upon business strategy
  3. Analyse the major ethical theories and frameworks and be able to utilise these in a contemporary business setting to enhance business decision making
  4. Develop an understanding of the management of ethics within an organisation and explore the role of tools and concepts such as corporate social responsibility, codes of ethics and conduct, and anti bribery strategies as a means of improving business and civil society
  5. Demonstrate commonly accepted professional ethical standards in the work place and in your behaviour toward others.

The unit does not link to any specific external professional accreditation.

Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Learning Outcomes
Assessment Tasks Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4 5
1 - Reflective Practice Assignment
2 - Presentation and Written Assessment
3 - Take Home Exam
Alignment of Graduate Attributes to Learning Outcomes
Advanced Level
Professional Level
Graduate Attributes Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4 5
1 - Knowledge
2 - Communication
3 - Cognitive, technical and creative skills
4 - Research
5 - Self-management
6 - Ethical and Professional Responsibility
7 - Leadership
Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Graduate Attributes
Advanced Level
Professional Level
Assessment Tasks Graduate Attributes
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
1 - Reflective Practice Assignment
2 - Presentation and Written Assessment
3 - Take Home Exam