Studying Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility Essay
This task requires you to work both individually and as part of a group to consider the sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility reporting and the stated values of two similar organisations and apply the Giving Voice to Values framework.
There are two parts to this task:
- Part A – 25% Individual Task – Assessment of Business Sustainability Reporting
- Part B – 20% Group Task – Application of the GVV framework – scenario development, script development and presentation
Please see below for the details of these Task Requirements.
Part A – Assessment of Business Sustainability Reporting
This activity is based on the exercise on page 226 of ‘Business Ethics’ (Crane & Matten, 2010) – a copy of the relevant pages are available on the course Moodle page.
For this component, you need to analyse and compare the values and approaches to sustainability/CSR reporting of two companies.
In groups of 3-4 students, you are required to select two companies that produce CSR and/or sustainability reports and whose values are identified on their websites or in other company documents (that are publicly available). You are required to consider and discuss the companies as a group, but must submit your responses to the questions as individuals.
The two companies selected must be either:
(a) From different industries but in the same country; or
(b) From the same industry but different countries.
By Week 5, you must provide (for your lecturer’s approval) the names of the companies you have selected to research, and the industry and country within which they operate. Please note: your lecturer will advise of companies that are not suitable for this task and/or cannot be selected.
You need to research each of your companies to determine their company values, their approaches to social responsibility and their reporting of their sustainability performances and compare the approaches of the two companies.
- As a group, research each of your companies to determine their company values, their approaches to social responsibility and their reporting of their social performances.
- As an individual, you are required to submit responses to the following questions:
- Identify and describe the two companies you have researched; their core business activities and the countries and/or industries in which they operate. (15 marks)
- What differences are evident between the two companies in terms of the range of issues dealt with in their social reports and the depth of coverage on specific issues? Please note this question does not ask for a description or summary of the content of each company’s reports.
Instead, you need to analyse the types of information, the major themes, the presentation, formatting and tone of each report and explain the ways in which the reports are similar to each other and the ways in which they are different. (15 marks)
iii. Discuss which of the Sustainable Development Goals you believe are most relevant to these companies, their industries and the countries in which they operate. Discuss the extent to which these SDGs were addressed, explicitly or implicitly, in the CSR/Sustainability reports of your companies? (15 marks)
- Based on your analyses of your companies’ sustainability/CSR reporting, identify in which Sustainability Phase/s (Dunphy, Griffiths & Benn) each of your companies sit. Explain your reasons for these assessments. (15 marks)
- Discuss the extent to which the social reports provided by these companies reflect their stated values. (15 marks)
- Briefly reflect on your group’s discussions of these companies. In what ways did the ideas presented by your group confirm your own conclusions, influence your thinking and/or present another perspective to you? Please note: this question does not ask for a summary of what your group decided or who said what.
This requires reflection on how your thinking, understandings and perceptions developed through your engagement with your group. (15 marks)
- A score (10 marks) will be allocated for presentation, written expression, spelling, grammar, punctuation and referencing.
Word limit: 2000 words
Referencing: You are required to follow the APA style of referencing for this task. There is no set number of references required. It is recommended, however, that you independently seek out resources in addition to those provided by the lecturer.
Due Date Week 8
Students are required to upload their assignment as a Word doc or PDF via the relevant Turnitin link on the course Moodle page.
Name Responses to questions % Grade Qi – describe the two companies that have been researched. Responses should:
· clearly identify and describe the two companies being researched
· clearly describe the industries and countries in which these companies operate
· Clearly describe any social reporting/performance issues that may be relevant for these companies.
15% Qii – What differences are evident between the two companies in terms of the range of social, environmental and economic issues dealt with in their reports and the depth of coverage on specific issues? Responses should:
· compare the style, content and presentation of the social reports provided by each company
· critically analyse the strengths and weaknesses of the approaches to social reporting evident in the reports
· comment on the range of issues covered and the depth of the coverage
15% Qiii – Discuss which of the Sustainable Development Goals you believe are most relevant to these companies, their industries and the countries in which they operate. Discuss the extent to which these SDGs were addressed, explicitly or implicitly, in the CSR/Sustainability reports of your companies:
· Demonstrate critical thinking and analysis to identify key SDGs and explain why these are particularly relevant to each company
· Describe the extent to which these SDGs have been addressed (explicitly or implicitly) and the effectiveness of this reporting
15% Qiv – Based on your analyses of your companies’ sustainability/CSR reporting, identify in which Sustainability Phase/s (Dunphy, Griffiths & Benn) each of your companies sit. Explain your reasons for these assessments. Responses should:
· Clearly identify and describe the Sustainability Phase in which each company best fits
· Provide accurate evidence and insightful reasons for your assessments
15% Qv – Discuss the extent to which the social reports reflect the values of your selected companies. Responses should:
· Identify each company’s values (including their Mission Statement, Values, Business Principles etc.) as stated on their websites, reports or in other company documentation
· Critically analyse each company’s social reports in terms of the extent to which their stated values align (or do not align) with their approaches to social responsibility and sustainability (based on the evidence in the reports)
15% Qvi – Briefly reflect on your groups’ discussions of these companies. In what ways did the ideas presented by your group confirm your own conclusions or present another perspective to you? Responses should:
· Reflect on the group discussions about the social reporting of the two companies selected
· Identify key points of agreement and disagreement with other group members
· Discuss how the different perspectives provided by group members contributed to your own consideration of the performance of these companies
15% Presentation (expression, structure, referencing, organisation, word count – not including cover sheet and references etc.) 10% Total 100% Comments:
Part B – Application of GVV Framework
In this group task you will work with the same group members as for Assessment 2 – Part A. This task requires your group to consider an ethical dilemma that emerges at a workplace of your choosing. This workplace may be based on one of the companies analysed in Assessment 2 – Part A, another workplace or company with which you are familiar or a fictional workplace developed by your group. As a group, you are required to:
- Write a fictional scenariothat describes the emergence an ethical/moral dilemma for stakeholders in a workplace of your choosing;
- Develop a scriptin which the central character in this scenario applies the Giving Voice to Values framework to the give voice to his/her values;
- Present your scriptto the class as a role play.
- Scenario Development
Develop a fictional scenario that outlines the emergence of an ethical dilemma in a workplace of your choosing. This scenario should be written as a narrative piece of writing, similar in format and style to the GVV/Babson scenarios. Your scenario should describe a possible workplace situation that illustrates the emergence of this dilemma as a values conflict for one or more people. It should introduce the key stakeholders & characters, the key facts and the background information that has led to this issue.
Please discuss your scenario/workplace/ethical dilemma with your lecturer to ensure it is suitable for this task before you proceed with the development of your script.
Scenario – 25 marks (800 words)
Due date – Week 11
The scenario and script are not the same thing. The scenario introduces the key people, background and outlines the ethical dilemma. The scenario ends with the ethical dilemma – that is, the central character identifies the dilemma but is not sure on what to do about it. The script starts with the ethical dilemma, demonstrates how the central character applies the GVV framework to address the ethical dilemma to achieve a more ethical outcome for the stakeholders.
- Script Development
Your group is required to develop a script in which the central character in your scenario applies the Giving Voice to Values framework in response to the values conflict or ethical dilemma identified in your scenario. Your script should include evidence that you have addressed the following questions:
- What is the ethical dilemma/values conflict presented in your scenario?
- Who are the stakeholders and what is at stake for the key parties (including those who disagree with you)?
- What are the main arguments you are trying to counter? That is, what are the reasons and rationalizationsyou need to address?
- What levers/arguments could you use to counter the reasons and rationalisations, to influence those with whom you disagree?
- What is your most powerful and persuasive response to the reasons and rationalizations you need to address? To whom should the arguments be made? When and in what context?
Script – 50 marks (1500 words)
Due date – Week 11
- Script Presentation to Class
Your group then needs to present this script to the class as a group role play. The presentation of the script should be clear and enable the audience to engage with the issues. All group members must be meaningfully included. Creativity and expression is encouraged.
Script Presentation to Class – 25 marks (7-10 min. in length)
Due date – Week 11
The group will discuss and debrief their scenario to clarify and gain class feedback.
Groups are then required to nominate one group member to upload both the group’s Scenario and Script as a Word doc or PDF (with the FedUni Business School – Assignment Coversheet attached) via the relevant Turnitin submission links on the course Moodle page.
Please ensure that the names and student I.D. numbers of each group member is listed on the Assignment Coversheet.
PLEASE NOTE – IMPORTANT:
It is a requirement of this task that students commit to working collaboratively together to develop the three components of this task, with an equal and even contribution from each group member. If, for whatever reasons, a student is unable to provide the required commitment and/or contribution to their group’s progress and completion of this task, the Lecturer may revise the composition of the group.
This action may be taken at the discretion of the Lecturer, but should be taken prior to the presentation of the Role Play and submission of the written components of the task.