MPH_COSR Corporate Social Responsibility

Faculty of Economics and Administration
Autumn 2017
Extent and Intensity
0/2/0. 5 credit(s). Type of Completion: zk (examination).
Earl Arvid Molander (lecturer), Ing. Petr Smutný, Ph.D. (deputy)
Ing. Michal Jirásek, Ph.D. (assistant)
Guaranteed by
Ing. Petr Smutný, Ph.D.
Department of Corporate Economy - Faculty of Economics and Administration
Contact Person: Mgr. Jana Nesvadbová
Supplier department: Department of Corporate Economy - Faculty of Economics and Administration
Prerequisites (in Czech)
(! BPH_COSR Corporate Responsibility )
Course Enrolment Limitations
The course is also offered to the students of the fields other than those the course is directly associated with.
The capacity limit for the course is 20 student(s).
Current registration and enrolment status: enrolled: 0/20, only registered: 0/20, only registered with preference (fields directly associated with the programme): 0/20
fields of study / plans the course is directly associated with
Course objectives
This primarily on-line course, CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY AND SUSTAINABILITY FROM A BUSINESS MANAGEMENT PERSPECTIVE, is designed to introduce the international business or economics student to how non-economic factors in the corporate environment influence business operations and decision-making. These non-economic factors include: the actions of government and non-governmental organizations, social issues, culture, changes in technology, international relations and ecological problems in particular as they are presented to the business enterprise and manager as issues of corporate social responsibility and sustainability.


It is important to understand that this course is taught from the perspective of the enterprise, with the business manager or enterprise as the focal decision maker. The student who successfully completes this course will have the majority of the analytical tools necessary to confront the full range of issues that fall within the broad framework of “corporate social responsibility” or “CSR” and sustainability.


At the end of Modules 3-12, we also offer a special note on the perspective of the entry-level employee, someone like yourselves who would encounter CSR and sustainability issues in an entry-level position. These notes emphasize that while the key decisions in this area will be made by managers, often entry-level employees are asked to contribute to those decisions in important ways.
  • The course structure will consist of a total of 12 Modules organized into four separate Installments (A, B, C and D) of three Modules each. In general, it is expected that the student will complete each module weekly. Although there is no requirement to do so on a weekly schedule, submission of case analysis have deadlines associated with the Module and week in which they are scheduled. In general, this will mean that an assignment for week 1 is due by Monday of week 2. However, in order to proceed to a subsequent Installment, the student should complete reading the materials in the three Modules in the preceding Installment.
  • Always feel free to ask questions by email if you do not understand any of the conceptual content assignments. The only required assignments will be your analysis and decision of the assignment or case for the week.
  • The course strategy is to introduce the background and conceptual foundations of the course in the first three Modules (Installment A) and then in subsequent Modules introduce key topic areas, the models and tools of analysis for these topic areas, and how to apply them to the issues of CSR and Sustainability as they are presented to enterprises and managers. This application of models and tools for analysis is then demonstrated in a case analysis exercise in each Module from Modules 4-10.
  • Installment A
  • Week 1. September 30-October 4 One hour Orientation for Syllabus Review
  • Module 1 Introduction to the Course. Overview of the Conceptual Content and the Corporate and Managerial Decision Making Perspective of the Course.
  • Case #1a. Sample Student-Written CSR Case and Case Analysis
  • Case #1b. Sample Student-Written Ethics Case and Case Analysis
  • Case #1c. Sample Student-Written Political Strategy Case and Case Analysis
  • ASSIGNMENT: Send to Professor Molander the completed Questionnaire by Monday of Week 2
  • Week 2. October 7-11
  • Module 2 The History of CSR and Sustainability in the US and Developed Countries:*
  • Case #2. Historical Perspective: Corporate Social Responsibility for Protecting Groups that Cannot Speak for Themselves: Children
  • Case #2a. Regulating Reproductive Risks in the Workplace
  • Case #2b. Tris and the Children’s Sleepwear Industry
  • Case #2c. Infant Formula Marketing in Developing Countries
  • Case #2d. Kellogg’s and Ready-to-Eat Cereal Nutrition
  • Case #2e. Internet Companies and Data-gathering from Apps for Children
  • Case #2f. MacDonald’s and Childhood Obesity
  • *The majority of these Case 2 elements are in abridged form, drawn from the professor’s casebook, Responsive Capitalism: Case Studies in Corporate Social Conflict.
  • ASSIGNMENT: Send your answer to the following question to Professor Molander:Why are societies all around the world constantly having to challenge corporations regarding their irresponsibility toward children in so many areas of business? (maximum length: 100 words) Due by Monday of Week 3.
  • Week 3. October 14-18
  • Module 3 Property Rights and Social Contract
  • Case #3. Google´s Privacy Policy
  • ASSIGNMENT: Comment on the following statement, indicating the extent to which you agree or disagree with the statement (maximum length: 100 words): “Given the marketable value of user information, it is inevitable that internet-based invasions of privacy will only continue and grow and avoid significant government regulatory interference.” Due by Monday of Week 4.
  • Installment B
  • Week 4. October 21-25 Professor visits for 3 hours of lectures
  • Module 4 Non-governmental Organizations (NGOs) and Other New Stakeholders Challenging Business
  • Case #4. Greenpeace and Genetically-modified Food
  • Week 5. October 28-November 1
  • Module 5 Environmental Monitoring
  • Case #5. Apple Oversight of Its iPad Supplier in China
  • Week 6. November 4-8
  • Module 6 Analysing and Diagramming Power Relations
  • Case #6. Chelsfield Partners LP Struggles to Build an Office Tower in Warsaw
  • Installment C
  • Week 7. November 11-15
  • Module 7 Environmental Forecasting and Scenario Building, Forecasting EU and EU Country Decision-Making
  • Case #7. Google and the Clash across Europe over the Value of a Click.
  • Week 8. November 18-22
  • Module 8 The Public Policy Process in a Pluralist Democracy
  • Case #8. CNOOC´s Mixed Experience Making Acquisitions in North America
  • Week 9. November 25-29
  • Module 9 Developing a Political Strategy
  • Case #9. How Starbucks Avoids Taxation in the UK (& EU)
  • Installment D
  • Week 10. December 2-6 Professor visits for discussion of student-written cases
  • Module 10 Business Ethics and Resolving Ethical Dilemmas
  • Case #10. SAC Capital Faces an Insider Trading Ethics Investigation
  • Week 11. December 9-13
  • Module 11 Sustainable Business Practice and Sustainable Development
  • Case #11a. Energy Companies´Reuse of "Fracking" Water
  • Case #11b. Migros´ 35-year History of Social Audits
  • Week 12. December 16-20 Final Comprehensive Case Analysis due at the end of the week
  • Module 12 Organisational Impediments to Implementing Corporate Social Programs
  • In US business schools, similar courses (which go by many different names) typically use a large, hardcover textbook that focuses primarily on the business environment in the US.
  • Such a textbook is therefore not useful for a course taught to an international student audience with a strong international focus.
  • Rather, we rely on a series of short readings and cases focused on key topics, with assignments to highlight the major issues that each topic presents to the business manager and develop one’s analytical skills and their decision making dilemmas.
  • There are limited materials requirements for the course:
  • 1. The Syllabus uploaded in the Study Materials -> Learning Materials (see the weblink at the bottom of this page)
  • 2. Modules and Accompanying Cases uploaded in the Study Materials -> Learning Materials (see the weblink at the bottom of this page)
  • 3. Student Cases for Discussion, to be distributed via email in Week 9
Teaching methods
The course will be offered primarily on-line, supplemented by one hour orientation for syllabus review (during the first week), 3 hours of lectures on October 21 (08:30-11:30, if needed a back-up session can be arranged 13:00-16:00) and a day-long intensive session of discussions of student written-cases on December 2.
Assessment methods

The course requires the submission of some preliminary, ungraded assignments in Weeks 1-3 and a minimum of four (4) written analyses of the cases associated with Modules 4-10. It also requires preparation of a case of your own choosing and an accompanying analysis. Your cases will be discussed during the day-long intensive session during the week of December 2-6. There is a final comprehensive case analysis that will be due in Week 12 in mid-December.

Evaluation of case analyses: Case analyses will be evaluated on the basis of completeness and clarity. Most importantly, do you use the information in the case and the appropriate tools of the course in answering the questions at the end of the case? Where appropriate, have you clearly indicated why you have chosen one strategy or decision over other options?


The method of grade calculation will be as follows:

25% Weekly Case Analyses (best 5 of 7 case analyses for Modules 4-10 (due on Tuesday of the following week)
20% Case You Write (due on Friday of Week 8)
20% Analysis of Your Own Case (due at the end of Week 11)
15% In-Class Analysis of Other Students´ Cases (Week 10)
20% Final Comprehensive Case (due during Week 12)
100% Total
Language of instruction
Further Comments
Study Materials
The course is taught annually.
Information about innovation of course.
This course has been innovated under the project "Inovace studia ekonomických disciplín v souladu s požadavky znalostní ekonomiky (CZ.1.07/2.2.00/28.0227)" which is cofinanced by the European Social Fond and the national budget of the Czech Republic.

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The course is also listed under the following terms Spring 2018, Autumn 2018, Spring 2019, Autumn 2019, Spring 2020, Autumn 2020, Spring 2021.
  • Enrolment Statistics (Autumn 2017, recent)
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