Assessment Brief (30%)
MATS34312 Business Ethics, Sustainability and CSR
Coursework should be uploaded as a document (word or pdf) to the appropriate submission link on Bb on or before 5pm Sunday 9 March (Week 6).
The coursework is a short report of 1000 words (±10%).
You are going to critically examine the activities of a company in connection with an issue related to business ethics, sustainability or corporate social responsibility. In particular, you will be considering how these activities support or conflict with the stated aims and objectives of the company: as expressed, for example, through its mission statement or its vision statement. So that you may do this, you first need to:
Choose an area of The World of Textiles.
Choose a specific company.
The area will identify where the company that you are considering carries out its main customer-facing activities.
It may be that you are interested in a particular retailer and its practices regarding your chosen issue related to business ethics, sustainability or corporate social responsibility. However, the issue that you choose may focus your attention on another area of textiles: for example, you may be interested in a retailer that is committed to empowering workers in garment manufacturing and choose to explore how it works with or requires its suppliers to ensure safe working environments; or you may be interested in a retailer that claims to support ethical working practices and choose to explore how its sourcing practices support this: does it source from suppliers free of child labour, etc. You can always seek clarification and feedback from the Unit Lecturers.
Choose an issue related to business ethics, sustainability or corporate social responsibility.
Identify relevant stakeholders. There will always be a number of stakeholders, such as shareholders, customers, suppliers, competitors, employees, communities, health agencies, governments, special interest groups, pressure groups, etc. The significance of stakeholders will be different according to the issue and area chosen.
Body of Report
In the body of the report, you will
Summarise the “issue” that you are exploring; recommended word count for this is 200-300 words. Highlight the key aspects of the “issue” that you will be considering.
Critically examine the company’s aims, objectives and activities relating to your chosen “issue”; you can get a summary of the aims and objectives from the company literature and its website. Start by examining the company’s vision and mission statements. What is it committed to achieving in relation to the issue that you are exploring? Does it explicitly mention the issue in its vision and mission statement?
Has it identified specific aims and objectives for the issue? Do its activities support its aims and objectives? Is there any disparity or conflict in these?
Your examination of the company’s aims, objectives and activities relating to your chosen “issue” should include a critical analysis of how the company is attempting to “manage” relevant stakeholders. Remember “managing” stakeholders requires balancing their different concerns, i.e. claims, interests and rights. In your opinion, is the company appropriate addressing the concerns of all stakeholders that you consider relevant? Is it missing key stakeholders and the potential impact of its activities on these?
You are demonstrating a critical appreciation of your chosen issue related to business ethics, sustainability or corporate social responsibility and how the company is addressing this through its aims and objectives and its activities; thus, the key to doing well here is to take a balanced viewpoint: “critical” does not mean that you explore this from a “negative”perspective, necessarily: rather, it means that you consider strengths and weaknesses, advantages and disadvantages, etc., with a particular focus on the impact on the stakeholders that you consider most relevant.
You should cite and reference your sources, e.g. websites, books, journal articles, company reports, etc., as appropriate; using Harvard Referencing System
2. Writing Style
Remember that this is an academic report; thus, you should avoid colloquialisms and abbreviations and adopt a more formal tone; also, jargon/technical terms, etc. should be appropriately introduced/defined; however, you are not required to write in the third person; you can write in the first person.
Learning Outcomes Assessed in Coursework
Knowledge and understanding
3. Demonstrate a critical awareness of the strategic aspects of a proactive approach to Business Ethics, Sustainability and CSR and its potential to secure competitive advantage.
4. Critically appraise current and emerging practice(s) and comment on strengths and weaknesses using balanced, logical and supported argument.
5. Confidently distinguish the key ingredients of complex problems; and use these as a base employ appropriate knowledge and concepts to engage with a range of challenges relating to Business Ethics, Sustainability and CSR in textiles and related industries.
7. Act autonomously with limited supervision or direction within negotiated guidelines.
Interpersonal and transferable skills
8. Engage effectively in academic discussion and present arguments in a professional
Appendix – Banding Criteria
90%-100% Exceptional work. Presentation is logical, error-free and, where appropriate, creative.
There is an in-depth understanding of issues/problems and excellent critical/deep engagement with the material and concepts involved. Very skilful interpretation of data.
Arguments, ideas and, where appropriate, solutions are presented coherently and fully underpinned by thorough research and reading.
80%-89% Outstanding work with presentation of a very high standard. There is comprehensive understanding of key concepts and knowledge and clear evidence of
critical analysis and insight. Accurate interpretation of data with arguments, ideas and solutions presented effectively and based on strong research and reading.
70%-79% Extremely good work with presentation of a high standard. Demonstrates an excellent knowledge base with a clear understanding of the issues and application to practice where appropriate. There is some effective critical and analytical application of relevant research and reading.
60%-69% The work is very good, logically structured and presented to a high standard.
Demonstrates a strong knowledge base with a clear understanding of the issues and application to practice where appropriate. There is some critical and analytical application of relevant research.
50%-59% The work is clearly presented and logically structured. It shows evidence of a sound understanding of the topic and addresses major issues. The work contains some discussion and interpretation of relevant perspectives although further development of the arguments presented would be beneficial. There are examples of critical reflection and evidence of application of theory to practice.
40%-49% Adequate presentation. The work displays basic knowledge and understanding of the topic but is largely descriptive. There is an attempt to bring together different ideas and concepts although this would have been strengthened by the inclusion of further key issues. The structure of the work requires attention to its coherence and logical development of content. The link between theory and practice, where appropriate, is somewhat tenuous and its development would enhance the work considerably