UCL School of Management

Module Fact Sheet

MSIN0157: Global Corporate Social Responsibility


Warning message

This is a past version of this module for MSIN0157 18/19.
Click here for the current version.
Taught by
7 (Masters)
MSc Management Route B, SoM MRes and SoM PGT affiliate students only
Term 1
Delivery method
3-hour block (x 10 weeks) comprising lectures (20 hours) and seminars (10 hours)
40% 2,000-word individual essay, 40% 3,000-word group project, 20% class participation
Previous Module Code

Course overview


In every country and each sector,  corporations have human rights impact and responsibilities. Corporate-related human rights issues have ranged from killings in Nigeria‚Äôs oil-rich Delta to labour abuses against migrant cleaners in London.  With the increasing globalization of business operations and media exposure, stakeholders are successfully insisting that companies be held to international human rights standards. To their detriment, many corporate leaders have failed to keep pace.

This module addresses the human rights dimensions that future corporate leaders need to understand for a variety of multinational operations. It also examines frameworks of corporate social responsibility (CSR), which companies have often used to manage their human rights impact. Moreover, the module discusses the key schools of business ethics, which serve as a foundation for both CSR and business and human rights.

The module is case-based, with students analysing recent corporate cases from across the world. The lectures and readings provide the theoretical framework for understanding emerging challenges in business and human rights.

Learning outcomes

The aims of this module are to:

  • Explore the meaning of human rights standards and understand their importance in business

  • Analyse the ways in which multinational companies manage human rights liability

  • Manage human rights strategies in a global context

  • Understand how companies respond effectively to criticism of human rights-related issues

  • Explore emerging challenges in business and human rights

Topics covered

  • Explanations of human rights and their relation to business

  • Antecedents and evolution of business and human rights in the global context

  • Implementation of human rights strategies in a global context, including within CSR programs

  • Issues encountered by multinational companies in managing human rights impacts

  • How companies handle legal liability for human rights-related issues.

  • Future potential of business and human rights in a global context

  • Criticism of various approaches to business and human rights

Assessment summary

100% coursework components, comprising:

  • 40% is based on a 2,000-word individual essay
  • 40% is based on a 3,000 word group project
  • 20% is based on class participation

Essential reading

Clapham, A (2007). Human Rights: A Short Introduction. Oxford: Oxford UP.

Griseri P. & N. Seppala (2010). Business Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility. Andover, Hampshire: Cengage.

Current case studies on human rights-related challenges faced by multinational businesses.

Past versions of this module

MSIN0157 18/19

MSING032B 16/17

Last updated Friday, 27 September 2019