The compulsory, dedicated to CSR course “Business Ethics and Corporate Governance” is a multi-disciplinary course in the interface of strategy, management, and social conduct and control of businesses, which aims at increasing the students’ awareness of ethical issues in leadership, decision-making and management, and to present and assess various forms of corporate governance models and approaches.
Ethics and Governance refer to issues of highest strategic importance for any business or organization, including public sector and NGOs. Business Ethics concerns initially individual values, competencies and behavior – the way we act and interact in our professional environment. It also concerns the social responsibility of a business towards its stakeholders and society at large. Corporate Governance can be defined as the system by which companies are monitored and controlled. As such, it includes formal rules, regulations and codes, as well as informal customs and processes. Governance is an evolving issue in the intersection of law, ethics – morality, and economic efficiency.
The elective course “Global Sustainability Strategies” gives a broad overview of Sustainability Strategies and Reporting Systems from both corporate and nonprofit perspectives. It covers legislations, related risks and opportunities, and takes a strategic perspective on organizations’ sustainability activities and the building of competitive advantage. Given the new and complex nature of incorporating sustainability into organizational strategy, students will identify the initial steps and strategic partners to include in the process, and learn how global guidelines (e.g., GRI, UN Global Compact, etc) can be applied and integrated for optimal benefit.
Moreover, the integration of CSR issues in core and elective MBA courses has been pursued. Examples of CSR activities in selected courses are presented and analyzed below.
|Indicative Courses||Integration of CSR Issues|
|Business Strategy||Strategizing in Non Profit Organizations|
|Marketing Management||Green Marketing: Current State and Impacts|
|International Business||Ethical Aspects of Global Operations – Export of high norms to 3rd world operations|
|Operations Management||Ecological aspects or operations – Green Design and Supply Chain|
|Global Supply Chain Management||Responsible Global Sourcing and Reversed Logistics|
|Innovation and Entrepreneurship||Sustainable Entrepreneurship and Green Technology Opportunities|
|Establishing & Sustaining Effective Managerial Interaction||Gender Issues: Effective Interactions between Male and Female Managers|
|Business Across Cultures: the Case of Balkans, Black Sea & Russia||Anticorruption Practices and Programs|
|Digital Marketing||Permission Marketing and Social Rights of Consumers|
|e-Commerce and Inter-Organizational Networks||Equal Opportunity in e-Commerce and e-Retailing|
As illustrations to some of the above CSR topics can be mentioned:
- In the International Business course, the problematic of adapting or making evolve local practices in host countries is discussed. Through case studies (Nike, Gucci, McDonalds), readings and group discussions the issue of how developed practices can be best exported for raising awareness and standard is also treated.
- In the course Global Supply Chain Management the issues of reversed logistics and responsible supply chain management are analyzed, both through readings and case studies. Moreover, strong emphasis is placed on the systemic role of logistics in the enterprise and social system as a whole.
- In the course Establishing & Sustaining Effective Managerial Interaction one among several issues related to ethics and non discrimination is the focus on women in business leadership and management. Guest speakers and student assignments for reflection are the main pedagogical means developed. Topics treated include “Being a woman manager”, “Women and their position in hierarchies”, and “Characteristics of woman managers and woman superiors”.
- In the course Business Across Cultures: the case of Balkans, Black Sea & Russia, one of the modules is dedicated to the problem of corruption in these markets. Several activities are deployed including: Definitions of corruption according to the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD); Discussion about guidelines for handling corruption; Teaching of a case study of corruption in Ukraine with student team work and discussion; and Invitation of a guest speaker presenting his/her company’s policy and approach to dealing with corruption, followed by Q&A sessions. Students thus get a comprehensive and multi-perspective view of the issues of corruption and are equipped with conceptual frameworks and tools for dealing with the problem in their future business practice.
- In e-Commerce and Inter-Organizational Networks the aspects of Electronic Commerce and Electronic Business in providing equal opportunities to disabled people, people living in isolated areas, and poor people are presented, illustrated and discussed. Issues include information search, social communication, e-commerce and entertainment.