73541 - Accounting Ethics and Social Responsability

Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2017/2018

Learning outcomes

The aim of the course is to provide knowledge on the various dimensions of ethics, accounting and accountability, social responsibility for organisations. Thus, this course explores organisations, accounting, ethics, corporate social responsibility and sustainability themes.

How to integrate ethics in business (and organisations in general) and use corporate social responsibility and sustainability tools.

The course includes conceptual bases of organisations, stakeholders, corporate social responsibility, business and ethical environment, business and government in global society, the corporate and the natural environment.

At the end of the course students will be able to understand:

- why the relationship between business and society is becoming more complex?

- why business people and professionals need to be interested in ethics and accountability?

- why business face the need of public scrutiny?

- can ethics be understood and applied in everyday business and how?

- can ethical behaviour contribute to profitability?

- what do we mean by corporate social responsibility, sustainable development and sustainability management and reporting?

- why ecological and environmental problems have forced business and governments to take actions?

Course contents

This course will review the organisations, accounting, ethics, corporate social responsibility and sustainability themes. The course provides a working knowledge of the current and emerging issues associated to all these aspects.

The focus of this course is on accounting, management, ethics, social responsibility, sustainability and accountability.

The outline of the course is based on the following topics:

1) Introduction: Organisations, Corporations and its Stakeholders

2) Managing Public Issues and Stakeholder Relationship

3) Corporate Social Responsibility and Citizenship

4) Ethics and Ethical Reasoning

5) Organizational Ethics

6) Sustainability Reporting and Frameworks for Sustainability Reporting

7) Sustainable Development and Global Business

8) Managing for Sustainability

This course is organized in one unit of 30 hours outlined in 8 classes.


  • Lawrence, A.T., Weber, J., (2017), Business and Society. Stakeholders, Ethics, Public Policy, McGraw-Hill Education.

    Further readings will be communicated during the course.

Teaching methods

Teaching methods and, possibly, guest speakers

The pedagogical approach is based on a combination of lectures, interactive classes, seminars, research, use of papers, discussion questions, case study and working groups.

Potential guest speakers will be invited to lecture on contemporary issues.

Assessment methods

Intermediate examination

An intermediate one hour examination will be held during the course, in December. It will consist of an essay question. For this reason is highly recommended to follow the course (which will be organised in 8 units).

Group Class presentation

Case write-up. The groups will consist of approximately three students who will select the case organisation to be analysed.

The case will consist of group work which analyses a particular Italian or international organisation with specific of accounting, ethics, corporate social responsibility and/or sustainability reporting.

The Group Class presentation is part of the final mark of this course.

End of term examination

A final one hour examination will be held at the end of term (during late December) and it will consist of a number of essay questions related to different elements of the course programme as well as some multiple choices. During the course a potential list of exam essay questions will be anticipated.

Teaching tools


International articles

Case study method

Discussion questions

Individual written assignment

Group Class presentation

Office hours

See the website of Federica Farneti