Corporate Social Responsibility and Business Ethics

Academic year
Subject Area
Language of Instruction
Mode of Delivery
ECTS Credits
1st Cycle Studies

Recommended Prerequisites

General and technical knowledge regarding the main areas of business management.

Teaching Methods

In class theory exposition, discussion of concepts, analysis of real cases and moral dilemmas. In addition, during the semester students work in groups to develop management projects in not-for-profit organizations that have previously accepted to participate in this unit. All the projects are discussed and presented several times in class during the semester.

Learning Outcomes

Overall objectives
This course is designed for those who are inclined to reflect upon human behavior, interpersonal relations and models of social and economic organization in modern societies. Therefore, it specifically introduces students to the debate about the ethical implications of business practices and the responsibilities that bound organizations to society.

Specific objectives
To discuss the meaning and practical implications of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in contemporary business context; to study the main moral philosophy doctrines that apply to business management; analyse real cases that comprise moral dilemmas or corporate choices concerning CSR.

Generic competencies
Instrumental (Cognitive and Methodological) and Interpersonal

Specific competencies
Develop critical reasoning concerning the moral value of business practices and social sensitivity by working directly with not-for-profit organizations.

Work Placement(s)



1. Historical context of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)

2. Conceptions and objections of CSR

3. The process of CSR developing

4. CSR in Portugal: diagnoses and critical analysis of real cases

5. Ethical theories: egoism, deontology and teleology

6. The absolutism of Immanuel Kant

7. The utilitarianism of John Stuart Mill

8. Analysis of moral dilemas.

Assessment Methods

Final Assessment
Exam: 100.0%

Continuous Assessment
final exam : 30.0%
1 group assignment : 70.0%


ALBERONI, Francesço ; VECA, Salvatore - O altruísmo e a moral. 5ª ed.. Lisboa : Bertrand Editora, 2000.

ALMEIDA, Filipe Jorge Ribeiro de - Ética, valores humanos e responsabilidade social das empresas. Cascais : Princípia, 2010.

BOATRIGHT, John R. - Ethics and the conduct of business. 4th ed.. New Jersey : Prentice Hall, 2003.

GESTÃO ética e socialmente responsável : teoria e prática. Arménio Rego [et al.]. 2ª ed.. Lisboa : Editora RH, 2007.

KANT, Immanuel - Fundamentação da metafísica dos costumes. Lisboa : Edições 70, 2008.

MARÉCHAL, Jean-Paul - Ética e economia : uma oposição artificial. Lisboa : Instituto Piaget, 2006.

MILL, John Stuart - Utilitarismo. Lisboa : Gradiva, 2005.

MOREIRA, José Manuel - A contas com a ética empresarial. Cascais : Principia, 1999.

RESPONSABILIDADE social nas PME : casos em Portugal. Coord. Maria João Nicolau Santos. Lisboa : Editora RH, 2006.