SOAS University of London

School of Finance and Management

Management and Society

Module Code:
FHEQ Level:
Year of study:
Year 1
Taught in:
Term 1

From an interdisciplinary perspective, module confronts the relationship between business and society, their impact one another, and how they manage that impact. Module  explores changing nature of their relationship  in global and historical contexts.

Some of the discussions may include: How does business and management influence our society? Theorists argue that our society is becoming like Starbucks or like MacDonalds, Ritzer argued about MacDonaldisation  and later Starbuckisation  of the Society. Further, module will also give some historical perspective on globalisation, and discuss who profits the most and why is that so? How do gender, race, class, disability and sexuality affect workers and their relationship with their employers? These issues and many mere will be explored within the module.

The module also  includes, but it is not limitesdto various contemporary issues such as environmental management and climate change, technological 'disruption', and political economy and the way it shapes and informs the relationship between business and society. 

In this module students discuss a wide range of theoretical perspectives which allows them to compare, contrast and critique. It will also build skills of argumentation and synthesis, as well as application through the use of real world scenarios.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

At the end of this course students should be able to:

  • Understand and communicate contemporary issues confronting international businesses and its relationship to the society 
  • Analyse and present the complex ethical, ecological and social responsibilities of management and the various organisational challenges in dealing with them
  • Demonstrate a critical understanding of the impact of globalisation on international businesses
  • Understand and evaluate the links between contemporary management decisions and the way it shapes up the social contexts, local, regional and global societies
  • Evaluate and apply key concepts and theories learned.


  • Two hours of lectures per week for 11 weekd (including revision)
  • One hour of tutorials per week for 9 weeks

In addition to the 31 taught hours students will be expected to undertake 119 hours of independent study.

Scope and syllabus

  • Historical perspective on the relationship between society and businesses
  • Weber's Iron cage and its consequences on the societal development
  • Macdonaldisation and Starbuckisation of the society
  • The role of corporate elites and strategy-making
  • Shareholder and Stakeholder dilemma
  • Social class, gender, race and disability
  • Technological Disruption
  • Climate Change, Environmental Management
  • Greenwashing
  • Consumer Culture 
  • Changing the meaning of value in social context, changing nature of relationships within the society
  • Business models and strategy and their influence on society

Method of assessment

  • One 2 hour unseen examination (70%)
  • One Essay (30%)

Suggested reading

Core Reading
  • Anne Lawrence, James Weber (2019)  Business and Society: Stakeholders, Ethics, Public Policy
  • 16th edition, McGraw-Hill Education
  • Ananda Das Gupta (ed). (2019). Ethics, Business and Society Managing Responsibly, Sage Pub.(selected chapters)
  • Ritzer, G. (2012), The McDonaldisation of society, 5th edition, London: Sage
  • Dean, P and Ritzer, G. (2015) Globalization: A Basic Text, 2nd Edition, Willey
  • Linstead, S.L., Fulop, L. and Lilley, S. (2009) Management and Organisation: A Critical Text. Basingstoke: Palgrave
  • Ritzer, G. (2015). Prosumer Capitalism, The Sociological Quarterly 56 (2015) 413–445 
Additional Reading
  • Journal of Business and Society 
  • Rasche, A., Morsing, M., and Moon, J. (2017) Corporate Social Responsibility: Strategy, Communication, Governance. Cambridge University Press.


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules