Corporate Social Responsibility
Corporate social responsibility focuses on how managers can implement strategies in relation to corporate social responsibility issues in their organisation. This course explores the relationship between the self-interest of the corporation to create economic value and generate profits, and the concept of sustainability and the responsibilities of business to the society in which it operates. It focuses on the economic, ecological, legal and ethical considerations involved in addressing the responsibilities of businesses to all of the corporate stakeholders, including shareholders, employees, customers, regulators, suppliers, communities, civil society organizations and society generally. Some of the topics covered include conceptualization of responsibility and sustainability, ethical underpinning of social responsibility, CSR-Management, tools for CSR-Management and political CSR.
In this module we will examine ethical issues in the context of business theory and practice. The primary aim of the course is to deepen students’ awareness of ethical issues and provide them with useful conceptual tools to guide analysis and decisions as well as improve business practices. In the process of exploring these issues and raising questions, we will draw on a wide body of theories including philosophy (ethical theories), moral psychology, organizational theory, and the broader social sciences. In this course students will jointly examine thoughtfully ideas and perspectives in the field of business ethics and corporate social responsibility and extend these ideas to managerial practice and decision making. Furthermore, this should enhance students’ moral sensibility and expand their capacity for moral inquiry, dialogue, and decision making in ways that will be useful to resolve ethical issues encountered in one’s working life at the individual, organizational, and societal levels.
Philosophy for Social Sciences
Core of philosophy of social science is reflection about the way research in these fields proceeds. It entails knowledge about concepts, operationalization, statements and theories. This knowledge should be reflected in the light of the most important research goals (theoretical and practical): Understanding, Description, Explanation, Prediction and Design (Action). Furthermore, this module intends to increase participants’ awareness of key ontological and methodological issues in social science research and, thus, explores several philosophical issues concerning the nature of social scientific theory. Topics to be covered will include some of the following: paradigms in the social sciences, truth and validity, social ontology and the nature of 'social facts', reductionism and methodological individualism, the explanation and interpretation of action, the role of values in social science. This includes discussion of major perspectives in philosophy of social science: Critical Rationalism, Hermeneutics, Social Constructivism, Critical Theory and Pragmatism.
International Management Control
Over the past few years, management control for international companies has undergone tremendous changes. Today, international companies are facing several key challenges: The first one is to get relevant information for the management of the international company. For this reason cost accounting methods have emerged that address currency and inflation issues. The second challenge is to make sure that their management control systems are effectively implemented in every country but respecting national differences in management accounting. Further challenges are: how are foreign subsidiaries evaluated? Which transfer price is accepted by tax authorities? How should a management control system be designed in order to optimize supply chain performance?
The overall objective for the modules is to develop an understanding of the design on management accounting systems in an international company and their effectiveness for management control in an international environment. One major objective is to evaluate the essential concepts and techniques used in the management control process in an international company.
Management Control and Management Accounting
This course presents the fundamentals of management control and management accounting. In this respect, the course will make students familiar with internal accounting procedures and tools. It will help them to realize that cost management is an important issue for ensuring the competitiveness of (international) firms.
Students acquire knowledge on fundamental issues of management control and management accounting systems. They will learn concepts of cost accounting and can assess how companies make their pricing decisions. They will understand the importance of performance measurement, incl. metrics, figures and ratios and will be able to evaluate and adjust those. Students will develop skills to identify and monitor critical accounting/control techniques. Topics: Management control systems; budgeting & variance analysis; target costing; performance management; incentive systems; balanced scorecard.