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 3
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 1 - 2019

Term 1 - 2019 Profile
Term 3 - 2019 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. Examination 40%
2. Reflective Practice Assignment 30%
3. Presentation and Written Assessment 30%

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

No previous feedback available

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: Direct feedback and commentary in reflection assessment.
Several students provided commentaries that they would like more discussion in class around application of ethical concepts.
Informed discussion relies on student undertaking pre-reading. Students will be encouraged to apply the concepts through consideration of experiences that are of greater relevance to their personal situations as practicing managers or full time international students from diverse cultural backgrounds.
Action Taken
An increased number of cases were developed and utilised as the basis for discussion in class. These were also used as part of the reflective assessment assignment with students having to review their decision making for each of the cases
Source: Formal feedback
Several students have raise the issue of more timely feedback on assessment tasks
Greater use of Feedback studio in turnitin will allow more timely and effective feedback on written assessment. The use of in-class presentations also provides immediate feedback to students on application of ethical concepts and general professional skills and this strategy will continue.
Action Taken
Turnitin was set as the required feedback mechanism for all campuses and deliveries. This assisted in meeting feedback and assignment returns.
Source: Teaching team as assessors of student submission.
Lack of effectiveness of the individual essay to adequately convey understanding and application of ethical concepts.
The main recommendation is the removal of the essay and its replacement with a formal exam at the end of term. A second individual assessment task, a reflective essay, currently due at the end of term, will be redesigned to focus on the introductory topics and the due date will be brought forward to mid term so that students receive feedback during the term regarding their progress. A change unit proposal has been completed and approved by the Management and Innovation Discipline Group in October, 2018.
Action Taken
Unit learning Outcomes

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

  1. investigate the interconnections between business ethics, sustainability and globalisation; and evaluate the differences between ethics, legal requirements and cultural factors in a business setting;
  2. explain the various aspects of business sustainability and how these impact upon business strategy;
  3. critique the major ethical theories and frameworks and be able to compare these in a contemporary business setting;
  4. discuss the management of business ethics within an organisation and explore the role of tools such as Codes of Conduct, Risk Management frameworks and gift policies in asssisting such management; and
  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 - Examination
2 - Reflective Practice Assignment
3 - Presentation and Written Assessment
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
1 - Examination
2 - Reflective Practice Assignment
3 - Presentation and Written Assessment