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Unit of study_

SIEN6002: Managing Sustainability

Semester 1, 2023 [Normal day] - Remote

Organisational sustainability is a critical part of the contemporary managerial practice, focusing on organisations' economical, social and environmental impact. This unit critically evaluates the intentions, practices and outcomes of organisational sustainability initiatives. By applying relevant theoretical frameworks, students are encouraged to enhance their understanding of the role and responsibilities of management, the impact of organisations on employees, and the wider societal and environmental implications of contemporary organisational trends. With an emphasis on the human dimensions of organisational actions, this unit builds on foundational units of study in Management, Industrial Relations and Human Resource Management.

Unit details and rules

Unit code SIEN6002
Academic unit Strategy, Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Credit points 6
Assumed knowledge


Available to study abroad and exchange students


Teaching staff

Coordinator Christopher Wright,
Type Description Weight Due Length
Supervised exam
Final exam
Written exam
40% Formal exam period 2 hours
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Small continuous assessment Tests
30% Multiple weeks 15 minutes
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO3
Assignment group assignment Assignment
30% Week 13
Due date: 26 May 2023 at 23:59
2500 words
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
group assignment = group assignment ?

Assessment summary

Class Tests: Students will participate in a number of short 15 minute class tests (weeks 3, 5,7, 9 and 11) which will review their comprehension of required readings and core concepts outlined in previous lectures and learning sessions. The test will require both multiple choice and short written answers. Tests will be attempted online via Canvas.


Students will work in groups over the semester and develop a poster reviewing a specific sustainability issue. The aim of the poster is to tackle a sustainability dispute and explore this through the theoretical lens of critique and justification (Boltanski & Thevenot, 2006). This theoretical framework will be explained and developed in class through various exercises.

Groups will present their poster in class in week 13. They will then submit a formal written essay outlining their poster by Thursday 3rd June. The essay will detail the sustainability issue you investigated, the findings and central argument. It should include an introduction, main body (including sub-sections) and a conclusion.

Final exam: The exam is designed to test both your content knowledge of core sustainability issues as well as your ability to analyse and evaluate information, identify a problem and analyse it using theories and concepts. The exam will include longer essay questions and/or a case study of an organisational scenario that integrates material covered in the unit of study. You will be asked to support your answers with examples.

Assessment criteria

The University awards common result grades, set out in the Coursework Policy 2014 (Schedule 1).

As a general guide, a high distinction indicates work of an exceptional standard, a distinction a very high standard, a credit a good standard, and a pass an acceptable standard.

Result name

Mark range


High distinction

85 - 100

Awarded when you demonstrate the learning outcomes for the unit at an exceptional standard, as defined by grade descriptors or exemplars outlined by your faculty or school. 


75 - 84

Awarded when you demonstrate the learning outcomes for the unit at a very high standard, as defined by grade descriptors or exemplars outlined by your faculty or school.


65 - 74

Awarded when you demonstrate the learning outcomes for the unit at a good standard, as defined by grade descriptors or exemplars outlined by your faculty or school.


50 - 64

Awarded when you demonstrate the learning outcomes for the unit at an acceptable standard, as defined by grade descriptors or exemplars outlined by your faculty or school. 


0 - 49

When you don’t meet the learning outcomes of the unit to a satisfactory standard.

For more information see

For more information see guide to grades.

Late submission

In accordance with University policy, these penalties apply when written work is submitted after 11:59pm on the due date:

  • Deduction of 5% of the maximum mark for each calendar day after the due date.
  • After ten calendar days late, a mark of zero will be awarded.

Academic integrity

The Current Student website  provides information on academic integrity and the resources available to all students. The University expects students and staff to act ethically and honestly and will treat all allegations of academic integrity breaches seriously.  

We use similarity detection software to detect potential instances of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breach. If such matches indicate evidence of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breaches, your teacher is required to report your work for further investigation.

You may only use artificial intelligence and writing assistance tools in assessment tasks if you are permitted to by your unit coordinator, and if you do use them, you must also acknowledge this in your work, either in a footnote or an acknowledgement section.

Studiosity is permitted for postgraduate units unless otherwise indicated by the unit coordinator. The use of this service must be acknowledged in your submission.

Simple extensions

If you encounter a problem submitting your work on time, you may be able to apply for an extension of five calendar days through a simple extension.  The application process will be different depending on the type of assessment and extensions cannot be granted for some assessment types like exams.

Special consideration

If exceptional circumstances mean you can’t complete an assessment, you need consideration for a longer period of time, or if you have essential commitments which impact your performance in an assessment, you may be eligible for special consideration or special arrangements.

Special consideration applications will not be affected by a simple extension application.

Using AI responsibly

Co-created with students, AI in Education includes lots of helpful examples of how students use generative AI tools to support their learning. It explains how generative AI works, the different tools available and how to use them responsibly and productively.

WK Topic Learning activity Learning outcomes
Week 01 Introduction - What is Sustainability? Online class (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3
Week 02 The Business Case for Sustainability Online class (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3
Week 03 Climate Change: the Sustainability Challenge of our Times Online class (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3
Week 04 Corporate Environmentalism Online class (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3
Week 05 Corporate Political Activity and Sustainability Online class (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3
Week 06 Social Sustainability Online class (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3
Week 07 Social Movements for Sustainability Online class (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3
Week 08 Sustainable solutions? Climate reality Online class (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3
Week 09 Organisational Culture, Emotions & Sustainability Online class (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3
Week 10 Managing Sustainability & Organisational Change Online class (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3
Week 11 The GBR: Case Sudy of a Sustainability Crisis Online class (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3
Week 12 Critically Evaluating Sustainability: Alternative Paths in the Anthropocene Online class (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3
Week 13 Poster presentations Online class (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5

Attendance and class requirements

Attendance at weekly classes is expected as a requirement of this Unit of Study.

Study commitment

Typically, there is a minimum expectation of 1.5-2 hours of student effort per week per credit point for units of study offered over a full semester. For a 6 credit point unit, this equates to roughly 120-150 hours of student effort in total.

Required readings

Weekly required readings will be available online via the Readings tab on the Canvas site for the Unit of Study.

In addition the follwing text book will be used throughout the 13 weeks of the Unit (available via the Library or can be purchased online via Amazon or Book Depository):

Nyberg, D., Wright, C. & Bowden, V. (2022). Organising responses to climate change: The politics of mitigation, adaptation and suffering. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Learning outcomes are what students know, understand and are able to do on completion of a unit of study. They are aligned with the University's graduate qualities and are assessed as part of the curriculum.

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. Recommend and justify integrated human resource, organisational and industry strategies, policies and implementation approaches that are appropriate to support organisational sustainability objectives in particular contexts
  • LO2. Use suitable research methods and information technologies to acquire, analyse and interpret data, concepts and theories salient to addressing particular organisation related sustainability issues and challenges and formulate appropriate findings, recommendations and remedies
  • LO3. Question, assess and respond independently and creatively to assumptions, propositions and debates within sustainability related human resource and organisational theory and practice
  • LO4. Prepare and present professional reports that address sustainability-related problems and make recommendations that are coherent, persuasive, and appropriate for the situation
  • LO5. Influence others to work collaboratively to recommend and report on policies and strategies to address complex human resources and organisational problems related to sustainability

Graduate qualities

The graduate qualities are the qualities and skills that all University of Sydney graduates must demonstrate on successful completion of an award course. As a future Sydney graduate, the set of qualities have been designed to equip you for the contemporary world.

GQ1 Depth of disciplinary expertise

Deep disciplinary expertise is the ability to integrate and rigorously apply knowledge, understanding and skills of a recognised discipline defined by scholarly activity, as well as familiarity with evolving practice of the discipline.

GQ2 Critical thinking and problem solving

Critical thinking and problem solving are the questioning of ideas, evidence and assumptions in order to propose and evaluate hypotheses or alternative arguments before formulating a conclusion or a solution to an identified problem.

GQ3 Oral and written communication

Effective communication, in both oral and written form, is the clear exchange of meaning in a manner that is appropriate to audience and context.

GQ4 Information and digital literacy

Information and digital literacy is the ability to locate, interpret, evaluate, manage, adapt, integrate, create and convey information using appropriate resources, tools and strategies.

GQ5 Inventiveness

Generating novel ideas and solutions.

GQ6 Cultural competence

Cultural Competence is the ability to actively, ethically, respectfully, and successfully engage across and between cultures. In the Australian context, this includes and celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, knowledge systems, and a mature understanding of contemporary issues.

GQ7 Interdisciplinary effectiveness

Interdisciplinary effectiveness is the integration and synthesis of multiple viewpoints and practices, working effectively across disciplinary boundaries.

GQ8 Integrated professional, ethical, and personal identity

An integrated professional, ethical and personal identity is understanding the interaction between one’s personal and professional selves in an ethical context.

GQ9 Influence

Engaging others in a process, idea or vision.

Outcome map

Learning outcomes Graduate qualities

This section outlines changes made to this unit following staff and student reviews.

This is the second time this unit has been offered - some minor changes in content have been made.


The University reserves the right to amend units of study or no longer offer certain units, including where there are low enrolment numbers.

To help you understand common terms that we use at the University, we offer an online glossary.