2023-2024 / GEST3753-1

Business Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility


24h Th

Number of credits

 Master in law (120 ECTS) (Econonomic and social law, minor in management)4 crédits 
 Master in management, professional focus in law4 crédits 
 Master in management (120 ECTS)4 crédits 
 Master in management (120 ECTS) (Management of Transitional Organizational Systems (MOST))4 crédits 
 Master in business engineering (120 ECTS)4 crédits 
 Extra courses intended for exchange students (Erasmus, ...)4 crédits 


Virginie Xhauflair

Language(s) of instruction

English language

Organisation and examination

Teaching in the first semester, review in January


Schedule online

Units courses prerequisite and corequisite

Prerequisite or corequisite units are presented within each program

Learning unit contents

Unlike many management courses, this course doesn't not seek to equip the student with an "ethics & CSR toolbox" but is designed to enable the student to understand ethical issues in a complex and critical way. Therefore, this course won't teach you simple answers to complex ethical issues. Instead of providing easy and quick answers to questions such as "What do I have to do?" or "How do I have to do it?", we wish to teach you how to ask good questions, i.e. complex questions, extending the scope of analysis, considering a broad network of stakeholders, questioning the foundations of an ethical stance, differentiating facts and discourses, etc.

Moreover, we don't want to preach a particular viewpoint, a particular representation of the world, a desired structuration of the society but rather, to put into perspective different discourses on ethics & CSR, different ethical postures, different ways to operationalize ethics daily in the company.

In brief, a problem-oriented, reflexive and ethically sensitive course linked to economic activities and managerial practices. Throughout the different lectures, conferences and case studies, students will approach the ethical phenomenon through different perspectives. Students will indeed be able to appreciate Business Ethics & CSR as a general discourse (Unit 1), a plurality of ethical theories (Unit 2), a diversity of organizational equipments (Unit 3) and, finally, as business model innovation (Unit 4).

At the end of this course, students can expect to have developed problem-making, ethical reasoning and debating skills.


Learning outcomes of the learning unit

This course aims to:

  • introduce students with core Business Ethics & CSR related concepts
  • adopt a multi-level perspective on Ethics & CSR
  • support students' ability to perceive and address the ethical nature of everyday business and social life
  • support the development of investigative and analytical competencies
At the end of this course, students can expect to have developed problem-making, ethical reasoning and debating skills.

Learning outcomes of the course:

This course contributes to the following Intended Learning Outcomes :

  • ILO-4 : To acquire the capacity to research autonomously and methodically the information needed to solve a complex, transversal management problem, 
  • ILO-5 : Integrate autonomously researched information, tools, knowledge and context to build and propose, either individually or as part of a team, original, creative and viable solutions to concrete complex management problems, whether real or simulated, taking into account, when necessary, the human, social and legal context.
  • ILO-7: Being capable of professional team work
  • ILO-9 : Developing a critical sense (arguing)
  • ILO-10 : Developing a transversal, global vision 
  • ILO-14: Faced with a management problem, suggesting solutions that are ethical and socially responsible and that respect the principles of good governance.

Prerequisite knowledge and skills

none required

Planned learning activities and teaching methods

The teaching of this course relies on virtual lectures, conferences featuring guest speakers, required readings and case studies sessions.  The virtual lectures and conferences are given in English, cases sessions are facilitated in English or French.



Mode of delivery (face to face, distance learning, hybrid learning)

Blended learning

Additional information:

Virtual lectures will be used to teach part of the course theoretical contents. These lectures are taught online via video pills available on Lol@. These pills are divided into four units:

  • Unit 1: Macro level - Ethics as a Discursive Phenomenon
  • Unit 2: Meso level - Ethics as a Philosophical Phenomenon
  • Unit 3: Micro level 1 - Ethics as an Organizational Equipment
  • Unit 4: Micro level 2 - Ethics as Business model
Scientific articles complement the video pills and provide additional information regarding the theoretical contents. These articles are an integral part of the course and are considered exam content, as are the video clips.
During 2 live case sessions, students will be confronted with concrete examples of controversial Business Ethics and CSR issues related to real companies and organizations. Students will conduct an in-depth analysis of an ethical issue linked to an organization. The first case session will aim at applying the contents and concepts presented in Units 1 & 2, the second case session will relate the case to Units 3 & 4 contents.
3 conferences will be organized and feature BE & CSR experts and profesionnals from various organizations.. These conference are an integral part of the course. They allow to teach certain points of theory, and/or to illustrate them. Their testimonials will allow you to better grasp how businesses and organizations deal with those issues in their strategy definition and daily management. These conferences will take place in person. Attendance to the conferences is mandatory, as they are part of the course contents, and out of respect for the guest speakers. Wherever possible, conference will be podcasted, to allow you to rewatch it later. 

Recommended or required readings

Scientific articles complement the video pills and provide additional information regarding the theoretical contents. These articles are an integral part of the course and are considered exam content, as are the video clips.  These articles are to be found on Lol@ in the "Readings Corner".


Exam(s) in session

Any session

- In-person

written exam ( multiple-choice questionnaire )

Additional information:

Your final grade will be based on a written exam that will cover the entirety of the course contents, i.e. the video pills, the required readings, the case sessions and the conferences. The final exam will be organized in person. It will take the form of a multiple-choice questions exam, covering points of theory, some of the content of the 3 lectures, and the analysis of ethical issues or dilemmas as practiced in the case sessions. 


As attendance to case sessions is mandatory, your final grade will be reduced by one point for each unjustified absence.

Work placement(s)

Organisational remarks and main changes to the course

This course is taught in hybrid learning mode. There is no weekly slot reserved in your schedule, apart from 2 case sessions, 3 conferences and 1 Q&A session.

Students registered to the course will be divided into several groups. Although the dates of the 3 conferences and the Q&A session are common to all students, the dates for the 2 case sessions depend on the group you belong to. A google sheet for group registration will be accessible on Lol@ in the "Groups Corner".

In case of late registration to the course, please contact asap Mr Romain David (r.david@uliege.be). 


Teacher: Virginie Xhauflair - v.xhauflair@uliege.be 
Teaching assistant: Mr Romain David - r.david@uliege.be 

Association of one or more MOOCs