ETHICS AND CORPORATE GOVERNANCE ISSUES

SHE Level 5
SCQF Credit Points 20.00
ECTS Credit Points 10.00
Module Code MMN423988
Module Leader Jane Burt
School Glasgow School for Business and Society
Subject Finance and Accounting
Trimester
  • B (January start)

Pre-Requisite Knowledge

Standard Programme Entry Requirements

Summary of Content

This module explores the key issues in corporate governance and the extent to which the present arrangements secure corporate accountability. As the UK is seen to be a front runner in corporate governance it will be based around UK practice, with US and global influences being addressed. It also will incorporate a theoretical and practical understanding of ethics; the intention is to set out a broad groundwork for the coverage of ethical issues in relation to business and the professions, from a UK and global perspective. PRME-related issues/topics are covered. For all topics studied, students will require to demonstrate critical thinking, two way communication and personal effectiveness skills. In addition, students will receive 8 hours of 'practices' throughout the semester, allowing students' access to industry speakers. The aim is to 'put theory in to practice'.

Syllabus

-360b7 Theoretical aspects of corporate governance -360b7 The development of corporate governance codes b7 Corporate accountability: To shareholders and beyond b7 The main aspects of good governance b7 The responsibilities of the board, effectiveness and diversity b7 Executive incentives b7 The developing role of board and other committees, non-executive directors b7 The control environment b7 The developing role of internal audit and risk management b7 Relationships within the corporate governance framework: Executive directors, shareholders, other stakeholders, audit committees, internal audit and external audit b7 The external auditor and corporate governance b7 The role of institutional investors and financial analysts in corporate governance b7 International corporate governance b7 Ethics, Morality & Values b7 The Role of Ethical Theories b7 Ethical Decision-Making: The Influence of Individual and Situational Factors b7 Professionalism & Professional Behaviour (including Establishing a Code of Ethics) b7 Whistle-blowing b7 Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability b7 International Business Ethics

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of the module the student should be able to:1. Demonstrate a systematic understanding of the nature of corporate governance and accountability.2. Critically evaluate current developments in corporate governance from a knowledge base that is informed by recent research and practice.3. Compare and contrast a range of ethical theories and examine their impact on decision-making within a business context.4. Demonstrate a critical understanding of and apply the key principles of ethical and professional behaviour in business.5. Extrapolate from existing research and scholarship, practice and international developments to identify revised approaches to practice to improve standards of performance and accountability and ethical behaviour.6. Demonstrate the ability to engage in two way communication by making individual oral presentations to a small group and participating in group discussions on the basis of prior knowledge and reading.

Teaching / Learning Strategy

The MSc Accounting and Finance programme is geared towards the development of business skills that encourage responsible leadership, internationalisation and professionalism, aiming to engage students in analysis, research and discussion of contemporary, real life issues. The teaching and learning strategy aims to embed these attributes. Face to face contact involves three hours of class contact per week: normally 2 lectures and 1 seminar. Lectures will be used to highlight the key issues in a specific topic and point the way towards relevant journal articles and other appropriate literature. Students will be then expected to prepare for following week's lectures on each topic by engaging in literature searches, undertaking relevant reading and preparing responses to discursive and where necessary, computational questions. The lectures will adopt a variety of teaching styles including seminar style contributions such as group discussion to enhance intellectual, critical and analytical skills. For more applied topics, students will be required to attempt relevant problem or scenario based questions prior to the lectures taking place, providing the basis for deepening professional skills, knowledge and understanding. Module classes are conducted in workshop format providing a mix of tutor led, student led and group learning. Extensive use is made of VLE to complement and support the face to face and independent learning elements of the module as well as enhancing the student learning experience and engagement. The V LE site used as a repository for resources including key readings such as scanned material, journal articles, book chapters, digital book chapters, web-links, embedded video clips but also for interactive forums such as discussion boards and blogs. The teaching and learning strategy includes hours hours of practicals to complement the face to face delivery of the module and independent learning through such activities as specialist speakers, site visits related to project management and other academic community activities to enhance the learning experience such as an away-day to develop dissertation topics from within the distinct module areas. GCU Learn, as a blended learning tool, is utilised in order to provide online access to lecture materials, and seminar materials in the form of journal articles, e-books, documentaries, latest subject-specific news articles and up-to-date professional ethics and corporate governance codes as prescribed by both industry and professional bodies. The module also provides online access to relevant academic support materials such as GCU's reference guide and Academic Journal Guide, whilst embedding GCU's SMILE and SMIRK facility to enhance online learning in all areas of academic work.

Indicative Reading

Essential : Solomon J. Corporate Governance and Accountability: J Wiley & Sons, Chichester Fisher, C. and Lovell, A. (2013), Business Ethics and Values, (4th edn), Essex: Prentice Hall Recommended : Mallin C. A., (2013) 4th edition Corporate Governance; Oxford University Press: Oxford Tricker B., (2013) 2nd edition Corporate Governance: Principles, Policies and Practices: Oxford University Press; Oxford Crane, A. and Matten, D., (2010) Business Ethics, (3rd edn), Oxford: University Press -3 Stanwick, P. and Stanwick, S. (2014), (2 nd Edn), Understanding Business Ethics, Thousand Oaks, CA, Sage Publications; Trevino, L. & Nelson, K. (2014), Managing Business Ethics, (6 th Edn), Hoboken, Wiley & Sons Various prescribed journal articles taken from journals such as Corporate Governance, Corporate Governance - An International Review, International Journal of Auditing; Journal of Business Ethics; Business Ethics Quarterly, Business and Society Review, Journal of Organisational Behaviour, Strategic Management Journal

Transferrable Skills

On completion of this module students will be able to demonstrate an enhanced ability to: 1. Make presentations to small groups. 2. Engage in two way oral communication in discussion with a peer group. 3. Think creatively about a range of approaches and options for corporate accountability and ethics, requiring the organisation of thoughts, analysis, synthesis and critical appraisal. 4. Perform effectively in the areas of data and time management.

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Practicals (FT) 8.00
Seminars (FT) 12.00
Assessment (FT) 20.00
Independent Learning (FT) 8.00
Lectures (FT) 24.00
Independent Learning (FT) 128.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Coursework 2 n/a 20.00 45% Facilitation of seminar and participation - Marks will be awarded when students facilitate a seminar and also their participation over the 12 weeks. Distance Learners will be awarded marks for their participation/contribution on discussion board over the 12 week trimester.
Coursework 1 n/a 80.00 45% 4000 word essay