Global Corporate Social Responsibility

Julie Rothbardt, ,
Monmouth College


This course will look at global corporate social responsibility (CSR) from an interdisciplinary perspective. Students will learn of the historical aspects of ethics (from a cultural, philosophical and political perspective) and analyze how these aspects influence today's business decisions. Course deliverables include case study analysis, a critical writing assignment, and discussion leadership.

Course Size:

Course Format:
Lecture only

Institution Type:

Course Context:

This course in designed as a sophomore level course as part of an Integrated Learning Studies curriculum. Students will have completed an introduction to the liberal arts course in their freshman year, and then self-select into a global perspectives course such as this one. The major study makeup of the participants is interdisciplinary. This is a new course in the Integrated Studies curriculum.

Course Content:

This course will focus on the following components of CSR: financial transparency, human right, environmental impact, philanthropy, impact on local communities, the quality of products and services, and the treatment of employees. The course will incorporate videos of content experts, case studies, current articles and readings on the development of global civilizations.

Course Goals:

1. Students will study the foundations of ethical reasoning from an historical and cultural perspective, with the goal of heightening their sensitivity to the social and ethical issues involved in broader questions of corporate strategy and planning from a global perspective. Students will develop ethical and philosophical foundations for making business decisions, specifically addressing how business firms actually evaluate environment impacts, and how business firms do and should adapt to environmental forces.

2. Students will develop an understanding of how business influences its environment, specifically focusing on environmental justice, local impact, and global relationships.

3. Students will develop a tolerance for ambiguities in dealing with business-government-society -issues about which knowledgeable observers have different views, and with problems for which there are no clear solutions.

4. This course will help students articulate their analysis of forces in the business-government-society relationship, by using an interdisciplinary approach and appropriate analytic methods.

5. This course is aimed at helping the students cultivate a sensitivity to the impact of environmental forces as they impinge upon the operation of firms.

Course Features:

2 speakers are tentatively planned for the course: one focusing on the CSR activities of a multinational corporation, and the other discussing the issues of cybersecurity. Students will be asked to present their analysis projects at the campus scholars' day.

Course Philosophy:

This course was proposed to meet the changing needs of a contemporary, business-based course for the global perspectives segment of the integrated studies program at Monmouth College. This course supports the campus-wide initiative of integrating business and science in the liberal arts.


Students will focus on two case studies - one focusing on environmental justice and one focusing on a universal understanding of CSR. There will be 1-2 exams measuring the knowledge of key concepts of CSR, and one written analysis of the CSR practices of a global corporation.


References and Notes:

Steiner & Steiner, (2011). Business, Government and Society (13th Ed.) McGraw-Hill.
Steger, Manfred B. Globalization: A Very Short Introduction, Oxford University Press, 2007

Additional readings will be included from the following:

By Klaus Schwab , Global Corporate Citizenship: Working with Governments and Civil Society" Foreign Affairs, January, February, 2008

Rhys Jenkins, "Globalization, Corporate Social Responsibility and Poverty, International Affairs, Volume 81, Issue 3, pages 525–540, May 2005

Crane A. Maten D. Corporate social responsibility : readings and cases in a global context, London: Rutledge. 2008

Steven K. May, George Cheney and Juliet Roper, The Debate over Corporate Social Responsibility, Oxford University Press, 2007

David Vogel, The Market for Virtue: The Potential And Limits of Corporate Social Responsibility , Brookings Institution Press, 2006

Schuyler, M. (2008, November). Win the Talent War With Flexibility, Environmentalism, and Community Involvement. Compensation & Benefits for Law Offices, 8(11), 4-6.

Brown, G. (2007, August). CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY. Occupational Hazards, 69(8), 16-21.

Cohen, W. (2009, Winter2009). What Drucker taught us about social responsibility. Leader to Leader, 2009(51), 29-34.

Benn, S. & Bolton, D. (2011). Key Concepts in Corporate Social Responsibility. (1st Ed.). Sage Publications.

Additional videos and news articles related to the topics being discussed.