University of Technology Sydney

21832 Organisational Sustainability: Analysis and Practice

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 2024 is available in the Archives.

UTS: Business: Management
Credit points: 6 cp

Subject level:


Result type: Grade and marks

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


This subject provides students with a framework for incorporating sustainability into business strategies and practices of organisations including supply chains. It provides an opportunity to systematically understand the relationship between business, wider society and the natural environment. It provides essential skills for future managers to transform complex sustainability challenges into business opportunities.

Subject learning objectives (SLOs)

Upon successful completion of this subject students should be able to:
1. examine contributing factors to the sustainability problems faced by society and the planet
2. analyse the key elements of human and environmental sustainability which have implications for organisational decision-makers, including corporate managers
3. discuss the cultural and strategic challenges faced by organisations in adopting sustainability strategies and practices in relation to stakeholders
4. evaluate the relationship between environmental/social risk and corporate performance
5. apply key concepts and techniques of voluntary reporting, sustainable business models and certification systems that could progress organisations towards social and environmental sustainability

Contribution to the development of graduate attributes

Managing for Sustainability provides participants with the skills, concepts and systematic body of knowledge required to incorporate sustainability issues into organisational strategies and practices and so supports the graduate attribute of Social Responsibility and Cultural Awareness. The subject develops students’ ability to critically assess their existing frames of reference when it comes to analysing organisational sustainability, and integrates concepts and techniques from diverse disciplinary areas, so supporting the graduate attribute of Intellectual Rigour and Innovative Problem Solving. Understanding stakeholder relationships is fundamental to the development of lasting, high-performance organisations and the subject aims to develop the necessary skills in stakeholder dialogue and management, supporting the graduate attribute of Communication and Collaboration. The subject is oriented around a developmental change model and emphasises the practical application of current industry frameworks and tools to support the graduate attribute of Professional and Technical Competence in corporate sustainability.

This subject also contributes to the development of the following program learning objective(s) for the Master of Management courses:

  • Apply critical thinking and advanced analytical skills to develop creative solutions that respond to community, Indigenous and business needs within a management context (1.1)
  • Interact with colleagues and stakeholders to work effectively in teams and deliver agreed project outcomes (2.2)

Teaching and learning strategies

Classes adopt a blended learning approach that combines inquiry based and experiential learning techniques. Through a flipped learning approach students are directed to access pre-read materials for each main content area. During the first weeks of the session, students will answer several short answer questions through an online module and receive feedback in their Week 3 workshop. Lectures are delivered in a dialogic style to maximize critical engagement with the foundation concepts. Students experience collaborative learning experiences through engagement in-class with role plays, systems mapping activities, case studies, scenario modelling, stakeholder dialogue and simulation exercises. Teams develop during session and create a sustainable business development plan through in-class creative brainstorming activities and they continue the development of this project outside of class time. Several classes will be delivered in an online format and students will engage with the learning materials and complete assessment items. The learning management system is used to share information and encourage interaction between staff and students.

Content (topics)

  • Concepts of sustainability
  • Drivers of business sustainability
  • Models of sustainable business
  • Sustainable design, procurement, production and supply chain management
  • Evaluating and Managing risk in sustainable organisations and supply networks
  • Relationships between human and ecological sustainability
  • Leadership and change for sustainability
  • Sustainable consumption and new business models


Assessment task 1: Sustainable Business Analysis (Individual)


This addresses subject learning objective(s):

2, 3 and 5

Weight: 40%

600-800 words

  • Application of key theoretical concepts to analyse sustainability practice
  • Critically evaluate sustainability principles and apply to the business context
  • Quality of analysis derived from evidence
  • Validation and quality of professional recommendations for business development

Assessment task 2: Case Study Analysis and Report (40% Individual and 20% Group)*


This addresses subject learning objective(s):

1, 2, 3, 4 and 5

Weight: 60%

Maximum of 20 Powerpoint slides annotated with supporting text and references in the notes pages.

Each student will speak for five minutes with an additional five minutes allocated to the group recommendations and reflections.



  • Identifies key human and ecological sustainability issues facing the impacted organisations and communities
  • Demonstrate relationship between ecological/social risk and organisational performance in critical analysis and recommendations
  • Discuss the cultural and strategic challenges implicated in adopting recommendations


  • Articulate the contributing factors to the sustainability challenge posed
  • Synthesis, prioritisation and proposed roadmap/sequencing of individual recommendations
  • Justification of overall recommendations
  • Collaboration and cohesion in presentation

*Note: Late submission of the assessment task will not be marked and awarded a mark of zero.

Minimum requirements

Students must achieve at least 50% of the subject’s total marks in order to pass the subject.

Required texts

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

Additional required weekly readings and other recommended resources are available on Canvas in weekly modules and the reading list.