University of Technology, Sydney

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21874 Corporate Governance and the Sustainable Enterprise

Warning: The information on this page is indicative. The subject outline for a particular session, location and mode of offering is the authoritative source of all information about the subject for that offering. Required texts, recommended texts and references in particular are likely to change. Students will be provided with a subject outline once they enrol in the subject.

Subject handbook information prior to 2019 is available in the Archives.

UTS: Business
Credit points: 8 cp

Subject level:


Result type: Grade and marks

There are course requisites for this subject. See access conditions.


This subject examines best practice management and oversight in the face of new priorities and challenges for top teams and boards, resource constraints and other transformative trends, shifting stakeholder expectations, new thinking on concepts of organisational value and performance, and on the purpose of business itself. The central theme is the conflicting obligations and expectations faced by managers and board directors in dealing with these emerging ‘soft law’ issues. The subject provides contemporary perspectives that build on other EMBA subjects (eg Integrative Strategy and Leadership, Strategic Value Chain Management, and Strategic Marketing). The subject is divided into three integrated components: the sustainability imperative and how to manage this complex agenda within organisations, the role and responsibilities of the Board, and the core principles of corporate governance law and regulation.

Subject learning objectives (SLOs)

Upon successful completion of this subject students should be able to:
1. Understand the corporate governance framework within which business operates in Australia
2. Evaluate the performance of Boards and understand the core obligations of directors
3. Identify appropriate strategies for Boards when faced with business challenges
4. Analyse risk and value implications and understand the drivers for corporate sustainability
5. Critically evaluate sustainability performance and claims and apply an organisational change perspective to encourage the shift to sustainability within organisations

Course intended learning outcomes (CILOs)

This subject also contributes specifically to the following program learning objectives:

  • Demonstrate a high level of personal autonomy and accountability for professional practice that adheres to the principles of responsible corporate governance and social responsibility (4.1)

Contribution to the development of graduate attributes

The subject contributes to the objectives of the course by integrating legal, governance, and sustainability elements of business decision-making. The subject contributes to a better understanding of the complexity of business behaviour and control and how this may contribute to the sustainable enterprise. The subject explores what may be fundamental to the creation of lasting, high-performance organisations in rapidly changing business, environmental and social environments. The subject develops students’ ability to critically assess different frames of reference when analysing corporate governance and sustainability.

This subject contributes to the development of the following graduate attributes:

  • Attitudes and values

Teaching and learning strategies

The subject is delivered with lectures, group discussions and case examples of companies confronted by corporate governance crises, sustainability issues or other legal and moral dilemmas. Classes involve a combination of lectures, videos, role-plays, case studies, scenario modelling, stakeholder dialogue and simulation exercises. Resources are employed to give more direct insights into business practice including company materials, and web resources including the governance and sustainability websites of corporations. Students are encouraged to develop forensic skills in the analysis of corporate governance disclosures, the investigation of sustainability issues, and the resolution of corporate moral dilemmas, and are encouraged to acquire knowledge and skills of how to develop higher standards of corporate governance, stakeholder engagement and sustainability strategies. UTS web-based communication tool (UTSOnline) will be used to share information and encourage interaction between staff and students. Students will receive regular feedback in class and via UTS Online from week 3 onwards.

Content (topics)

  • Responsibility and sustainability challenges facing corporations.
  • Contemporary perspectives on corporate performance, accountability and sustainability.
  • The primary mechanisms of corporate governance including the role of the board, directors’ duties, executive incentives, and business values in setting strategic direction.
  • The integration of governance and sustainability in strategic change for enterprises and economies.
  • The legal and regulatory framework within which businesses and in particular corporations operate in Australia.


Assessment task 1: Sustainability Report (Individual)


This addresses subject learning objective(s):

3, 4 and 5

This addresses program learning objectives(s):


Weight: 35%

Participants will be given a recommended structure for their Powerpoint presentation. They will submit an electronic copy of that presentation before close of business on 9 August. Presentations will be graded on the coherence of their analysis and on the persuasiveness of their recommendations. They will NOT be graded on their use of Powerpoint.

Assessment task 2: Case Analysis (Individual)


This addresses subject learning objective(s):

1, 2 and 3

Weight: 35%

Participants will be given a recommended structure for their PowerPoint presentation. Presentations will be graded on the coherence of their analysis and on the persuasiveness of their recommendations. They will NOT be graded on their use of PowerPoint.

Assessment task 3: Case Analysis (Group)


This addresses subject learning objective(s):

1, 2, 3, 4 and 5

Weight: 30%

Minimum requirements

To pass the subject, students must achieve at least 50% of the final overall grade.

Recommended texts

Benn, S., Edwards, M., & Williams, T. M. 2018. Organizational change for corporate sustainability (Fourth edition). Abingdon, Oxon; New York, NY: Routledge.

Clarke, T. and Branson, D. 2012. Handbook of Corporate Governance, London and Los Angeles: Sage

Clarke, T. 2017. International Corporate Governance: A Comparative Approach, London and New York: Routledge.

Other resources

List of lecture readings included in UTS online under subject documents.