Responsible Business: Sustainability, Compliance and Control Issues


Content, progress and pedagogy of the module

The purpose of this module is to shed light on the social responsibility, compliance, and accountability-control issues that arise in a global business setting. The subject matter is treated as a key for developing critical insight into the world-wide regulatory challenges faced by corporations in implementing environment, social and climate change related reporting obligations, imposed both at the domestic and international level. The module takes the question regarding the practical relevance of three topics – social responsibility, compliance and management control/accountability – in the global context.

Firstly, it traces the theories regarding the types and interpretations of corporate social responsibility (CSR), and it illustrates the numerous ways of making sense of it, according to the diverse assumptions about its nature and characteristics. It explores how a range of global emerging social, environmental and political issues impact corporate governance, risk management and strategy policies related to sustainability. Subsequently, it covers the development of the concept of social responsibility and how this is implemented by organizations, what its impact is, and potential future developments.

Secondly, the module examines the legal and moral compliance issues and challenges related to these issues are faced by organizations operating in global business contexts. The regulations, standards, and guidance directives that address issues such as environmental compliance, competition, anti-bribery, social responsibility, UN sustainable development goals, ethical leadership and climate change transparency will be considered in this part of the module.

Thirdly, the module examines the management control implications. It looks at the definition and interpretation of management control/accountability and at what constitutes the ethic of accountability. In doing so it examines the way social actors (and, to a certain extent, organizations), can situate themselves as members of an ongoing community that affects, and is affected by them. The implications drawing from the interdependence between actors, gatekeepers (such as governments, auditors and regulators), and communities (e.g. the implementation of evaluation criteria, management control mechanisms required to meet relevant regulatory requirements) will be addressed in this part of the module. 

Learning objectives


The objective is that the student after the module possesses the necessary knowledge on:

  • contextualizing, reviewing and justifing the role of (1) social responsibility; (2) compliance; (3) and management control in organizations that operate across the world.
  • synthesizing and exemplifying the similarities and differences in the way corporations deal with the tensions generated by the need for being competitive at all costs and the need for being sustainable.


The objective is that the student after the module possesses the necessary skills in:

  • selecting and applying appropriate management control techniques and evaluate the information challenges and opportunities they offer to organizations operating in a dynamic global context.
  • critically addressing global business responsibility issues through competent, context-specific communication skills.
  • applying appropriate theoretical concepts to situations and cases that characterize global businesses, and synthesize arguments for justifying or critiquing companies’ activities and regulations.


The objective is that the student after the module possesses the necessary competency in:

  • demonstrating an application of knowledge and different forms of reasoning to analyse issues currently being experienced by multinational companies with regard to issues related to (1) social responsibility; (2) compliance; (3) and management control.
  • critically assessing the management control challenges faced by global corporations with regard to constructing and maintaining a reputation that can reflect responsible involvement with communities and attention to societal dynamics.

Type of instruction

For information see § 17.



Name of examResponsible Business: Sustainability, Compliance and Control Issues
Type of exam
Written exam
Individual examination.
Assessment7-point grading scale
Type of gradingInternal examination
Criteria of assessmentThe criteria of assessment are stated in the Examination Policies and Procedures

Facts about the module

Danish titleAnsvarlig virksomhed: Bæredygtighed, overholdelse og control problemer
Module codeKAØKS202212
Module typeCourse
Duration1 semester
Language of instructionEnglish
Location of the lectureCampus Aalborg
Responsible for the module


Study BoardStudy Board of Economics and Business Administration
DepartmentAalborg University Business School
FacultyFaculty of Social Sciences and Humanities