For this week’s seminar, we would like you to discuss your ideas for the assessment. Note
that unlike previous seminars, this session is entirely student led. This means that the tutor
will not provide an overview of the assessment, as this is outlined in the module handbook
and lecture recording, but they will facilitate a discussion of your ideas as well as answer any
questions you have about the assessment brief.
In advance of this seminar, you may want to think about the following questions for each
essay, and come prepared to discuss these with your tutor and other students. Note that the
purpose of these questions is to help you think analytically and critically about each essay
question, and you should use them when researching and writing your essay. We will revisit
these questions in the seminar for weeks 29 and 30.
Essay Question 1
What does creating shared value (CSV) mean?
Why did Porter and Kramer develop an alternative approach to CSR?
What are the three ways in which companies can adopt a shared value approach?
To what extent is Porter and Kramer’s theory an alternative to CSR? For this, see Crane
et al.’s (2014) important critique of CSV.
Who are Unilever and what is their approach towards sustainability?
Which of Unilever’s sustainability activities relate to CSV?
Who is a ‘stakeholder’ and which scholar is the best known advocate of stakeholder
According to Freeman, why should companies consider the views and interests of their
stakeholders? How does this differ from the ethical approach / rationale?
What are the similarities and differences between CSV and the stakeholder
List the stakeholders that Unilever mentions and consider if there are any stakeholders /
groups not mentioned.
What reason(s) does Unilever give for engaging with stakeholders (e.g. instrumental,
ethical)? What evidence can you find on Unilever’s website to support this.
Critically discuss the extent to which Unilever adopts the shared
value or stakeholder perspective of corporate sustainability.
Essay Question 2
What is Friedman’s view of CSR?
Does Milton Friedman support profit at all cost?
What do Porter and Kramer (2011) say about Milton Friedman, and how is their approach
How would those authors from a stakeholder or human rights (deontological ethics)
perspective respond to Milton Friedman’s view?
How are companies today different from those that Friedman was referring to when he wrote
his famous article in 1970?
Which aspects of Milton Friedman’s views of CSR are relevant today? Which are outdated?
Which companies are good examples of Milton Friedman’s perspective, and which show that
his views are no longer relevant?
Search DMU’s electronic journals here, or google scholar, for articles on Milton Friedman.
How many did you find? Which of these are from good quality journals?
What are the benefits and limitations of CSR, and how do these relate to Milton Friedman’s
Essay Question 3
What are the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)?
Outline the benefits and limitations of the SDGs?
How do the SDGs relate to corporate sustainability?
Outline the different debates about the role that businesses should play in contributing
towards the SDGs? How do these link to the different sustainability perspectives?
How are businesses currently addressing the SDGs?
Which SDGs have received the most and least attention by businesses? Why is that?
Why may business actors not be able to effectively contribute towards the SDGs?
List companies you think will make a good case study. Why is that?
Looking at the company you’ve selected, think about the following:
o Which SDGs do they focus on?
o What reason(s) do they give for focussing on these SDGs? Can you link this to a
sustainability perspective (e.g. instrumental, ethical, stakeholder, etc.)?
o Do you think they have identified all the SDGs they impact on or have they left some out?
Why is that?
o List the different commitments, actions and targets the company makes for each SDG.
Based on this, how well do you think the company has contributed towards and
integrated the SDGs? How do you know this? What have you compared this to?