BB208 - Business Ethics and Sustainability

Credit Points: 15 credit points

Workload: 36 hours

Prerequisite: BB103 Management Principles

Co-requisite: N/A

Aims & Objectives

This is a second year Core Unit in the Bachelor of Business, Major in Management. For Course Learning Outcomes and further information relating to Bachelor of Business program please visit our website:

This Unit focuses on key theoretical and practical approaches to business ethics and sustainability relevant to contemporary business environments. This Unit will develop your understanding of ethics at an individual and organisational level, and highlights the importance of good governance in a range of organisational settings such as marketing communication and human resource management. It also examines the meaning of sustainability and how it is achieved and measured. This Unit assumes a prior knowledge of basic management theory.

Unit topics include:

  • Ethical theory and its application in contemporary business environments
  • Sustainability: managing for the triple bottom line
  • Sustainability and the environment
  • Contemporary issues in ethical decision making
  • Responsibility and accountability: managing stakeholder relations and reputational risk
  • Corporate Governance and policy: responsible and accountable frameworks
  • Ethical Human Resources management and practice
  • Marketing and communication: managing stakeholder goodwill (primary and secondary stakeholders)
  • Managing personal, professional and company ethics in the workplace.

Learning Outcomes

The Course learning outcomes applicable to this unit are listed on the Melbourne Institute of Technology website:
At the completion of this unit students should be able to:
a. Explain the nature of business ethics and sustainability.
b. Apply an ethical and corporate governance perspective to organisational and management issues.
c. Identify practical techniques to integrate sustainable practices into businesses.
d. Evaluate the extent to which an organisation utilises responsible HRM practices and effective marketing communication practices to promote sustainability.
e. Apply ethical knowledge and theory to make decisions when dealing with ethics in business through unit assessments.


Assessment Task Due Date A B Unit Learning Outcomes
1. Formative Assessment Week 3 - 5% a
2. Contribution and Participation in class Weeks 1-12 - 5% a-e
3. Weekly Online discussion forum[Individual] Weeks 1-12 - 30% a-e
4. CSR research report[Individual] Week 6 20% - b.c,d
5. Sustainable Practice Report(Group)(20% Group mark + 10% Individual mark=30%) and Presentation(10% Individual) Weeks 11-12 30% 10% a-e
TOTALS   50% 50% 100%

Task Type: Type A: unsupervised, Type B: supervised.

Contribution and Participation (5%)

This unit has class participation as an assessment. The assessment task and marking rubric will follow the Guidelines on Assessing Class Participation ( Further details will be provided in the assessment specification on the type of assessment tasks and the marking rubrics.

Teaching Methods

NOTE: All School of Business units 3-hour workshops Flipped Classroom Mode. 

Textbook and Reference Materials

Note: Students are required to purchase the prescribed text book and have it available each week in class.

Prescribed Text Book

  • Crane, A., Matten, D., Glozer, S., & Spence, L. (2019). Business ethics: Managing corporate citizenship and sustainability in the age of globalization (5th ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Other recommended references

  • Emerson, L. (2013).  Writing Guidelines for Business Students (5th ed.). South Melbourne, Australia:Cengage Learning Australia.
  • Parboteeah, K. P., & Cullen, J. B. (2019). Business Ethics (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Routledge.


  • Business and Society Review.
  • Business Ethics Quarterly.
  • Journal of Business Ethics.

Check the unit Moodle page for additional recommended readings throughout the trimester.

The Referencing style for this using is APA: See the MIT Library Referencing webpage: and the Unit Moodle page for additional referencing support material and weblinks.

Graduate Attributes

MIT is committed to ensure the course is current, practical and relevant so that graduates are “work ready” and equipped for life-long learning. In order to accomplish this, the MIT Graduate Attributes identify the required knowledge, skills and attributes that prepare students for the industry.
The level to which Graduate Attributes covered in this unit are as follows:

Ability to communicate Independent and Lifelong Learning Ethics Analytical and Problem Solving Cultural and Global Awareness Team work Specialist knowledge of a field of study


Levels of attainment Extent covered
The attribute is covered by theory and practice, and addressed by assessed activities in which the students always play an active role, e.g. workshops, lab submissions, assignments, demonstrations, tests, examinations.
The attribute is covered by theory or practice, and addressed by assessed activities in which the students mostly play an active role, e.g. discussions, reading, intepreting documents, tests, examinations.
The attribute is discussed in theory or practice; it is addressed by assessed activities in which the students may play an active role, e.g. lectures and discussions, reading, interpretation, workshops, presentations.
The attribute is presented as a side issue in theory or practice; it is not specifically assessed, but it is addressed by activities such as lectures or tutorials.
The attribute is not considered, there is no theory or practice or activities associated with this attribute.