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IB147-15 Management of Global Risks

Warwick Business School
Undergraduate Level 1
Module leader
Camilla MacLean
Credit value
Module duration
10 weeks
100% coursework
Study location
University of Warwick main campus, Coventry
Introductory description

A quick read of most our daily news highlights how we are facing a number of significant global risks. Sustainability, diversity loss, climate change, global warming, data privacy, trade wars, and rising inequality are key current global risks. How should or can today's manager respond to these risks?

In this module we analyse the most significant social issues encountered by t he contemporary managers. Some of the 'social' or non-market issues we explore include:

surveillance and data privacy ,
business and human rights ,
labour rights in supply chains , and
sustainability and climate change .
However, we go beyond a simple one dimensional business perspective to explore these issues as risks to the environment and risks to communities, as well as risks to business; in doing so, we adopt a multi-risk perspective.

Module web page

Module aims

To enable students to understand the wider social and political environment of business activity.
To examine the different forms of governance to which firms are subject, and to which they in turn contribute through the lens of key non-market issues.
To examine how companies use corporate political activity, corporate social responsibility, and corporate governance to navigate contemporary opportunities and challenges arising from a multinational company's social, natural, political, and regulatory environment.
To present empirical puzzles through case studies and other examples, and to present concepts, theories and wider evidence to enable these puzzles to be understood.

Outline syllabus

This is an indicative module outline only to give an indication of the sort of topics that may be covered. Actual sessions held may differ.

Module Introduction and ESG Risk Management
Sustainability and Private Environmental Governance
Governance: Corporate Responsiblity vs Corporate Accountibilty
Transnational Labour Governance
Corporate Responses to Ethical Consumers
'Trust Me': Non-finanical Reporting
Social Risks: Big Data or Big Brother?
Business and Human Rights: Conflict Minerals
Led by Inferiors? Business and Politics
Academic Writing, Assessment, and Assignment

Learning outcomes

By the end of the module, students should be able to:

  • Understand and recognise the different risks in a firm's natural, social, and political environments,
  • Understand and recognise the different forms of socio-economic governance that surrounds business activity, particularly MNC activity, and the constraints and opportunities that they present to firms
  • Understand and recognise different range of possible managerial responses in addressing global risks in a firm's natural, social, and political environments.
Indicative reading list

There is no single core text that covers this set of issues and concerns. The module will draw on assigned readings from a range of texts, eg:

Bebbington, J., Larrinaga, C. and Moneva, J.M., 2008. Corporate social reporting and reputation risk management. Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, 21(3), pp.337-361.
Bekefi, T. and Epstein, M.J., 2008. Measuring and managing social and political risk. Strategic Finance, 89(8), p.33.
Brennan, N.M. and Solomon, J. (2008). ‘Corporate governance, accountability and mechanisms of accountability: An overview’, Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal, 21(7): 885-906.
Contractor, F.J., 2016. Tax avoidance by multinational companies: Methods, policies, and ethics. AIB Insights, 16(2), p.10.
Danna, A. and Gandy, O.H., 2002. All that glitters is not gold: Digging beneath the surface of data mining. Journal of Business Ethics, 40(4), pp.373-386.
De Jongh, D., 2004. A stakeholder perspective on managing social risk in South Africa: responsibility or accountability?. Journal of corporate citizenship, (15), pp.27-31.
Levy, D.L. and Kolk, A., 2002. Strategic responses to global climate change: Conflicting pressures on multinationals in the oil industry. Business and Politics, 4(3), pp.275-300
Epstein, M.J., 2018. Making sustainability work: Best practices in managing and measuring corporate social, environmental and economic impacts. Routledge.
Hofmann, H., Schleper, M.C. and Blome, C., 2018. Conflict minerals and supply chain due diligence: an exploratory study of multi-tier supply chains. Journal of Business Ethics, 147(1), pp.115-141.
Kock, C. J., Santaló, J. and Diestre, L. (2012), Corporate Governance and the Environment: What Type of Governance Creates Greener Companies?. Journal of Management Studies, 49: 492–514.
Locke, R., Fei, Q. and A. Brause (2007). Does monitoring improve labor standards? Lessons from Nike. Industrial & Labor Relations Review, Vol 61 (Issue 1): pp.3-31.
McKellar, R., 2017. A short guide to political risk. Routledge.
Reinecke, J. and Donaghey, J. (2015). After Rana Plaza: Building coalitional power for Labour rights between unions and (consumption based) social movement organisations. Organisation, Vol 22(5), pp. 720-740.
Scherer, A. G., Palazzo, G. and Seidl, D. (2013), Managing Legitimacy in Complex and Heterogeneous Environments: Sustainable Development in a Globalized World. Journal of Management Studies, 50: 259–284.
Smith, N.G. (2008). Consumers as Drivers of Corporate Social Responsibility, in: A, Crane et al (eds) The Oxford Handbook of Corporate Social Responsibility. Oxford. Oxford University Press, pp 384-411 (look for Chapter 12 of the e-book).
Spar, D.L. and L.T. La Mure (2003): The Power of Activism: Assessing the Impact of NGOs on Global Business, California Management Review, 45(3): 78-101.

Subject specific skills

Demonstrate analytical skills at the appropriate level for 1st year undergraduate learning.

Transferable skills

a) an ability to learn from and make use of written reference material;
b) demonstrate development of research skills; and
c) demonstrate an ability to apply abstract concepts to practical cases.

Study time

Type Required
Lectures 20 sessions of 1 hour (13%)
Seminars 9 sessions of 1 hour (6%)
Private study 47 hours (31%)
Assessment 74 hours (49%)
Total 150 hours
Private study description

No private study requirements defined for this module.


No further costs have been identified for this module.

You do not need to pass all assessment components to pass the module.

Assessment group A1
Weighting Study time
Individual Assignment 75% 54 hours

Essay Assignment

Group Presentation 15% 11 hours

Seminar presentation.

Participation 10% 9 hours

Participation in activities on a weekly basis via my.wbs

Feedback on assessment

in-class and on my.wbs


This module is Core optional for:

  • Year 1 of UGEA-RN21 Undergraduate German and Business Studies