|University||Dublin City University (DCU)|
|Subject||Business Ethics And Corporate Governance|
You are required to select and critically analyse a company/organisation / NGO (non-governmental organisation) / charity, or other entity, operating, or claiming to operate, in a way that is compatible with any of the range of positive societal values discussed in this module, rather than just for straight financial profit. This may be a ‘for-profit company or a ‘not-for-profit organisation.
It could be an organisation that has a clear remit in the environmental/sustainable space, or it might be a well-known commercial organisation selling popular consumer products, but which claims to be doing so in a way that is more ethical/sustainable than other companies and competitors.
For instance, it could be Unilever (manufacturer and distributor of hundreds of popular consumer products like Dove, Domestos, Cif, Ben and Jerry’s ice-cream, Knorr soups etc.) claiming, as part of their corporate mission, that they will halve their carbon emissions, or Fairtrade claiming to significantly improve the lives of coffee (and other) farmers in poorer regions of the world (please do not choose either of these examples for your assignment).
Ensure you identify very specific claims being made, including any specific data the entity has put in the public domain around these claims of ethical behaviour. The purpose of your analysis is to undertake research, drawing on reliable secondary data sources, to analyse the entity you have chosen and to critique their actions, in light of their claims and stated goals and remit, with regard to their ethical / sustainability or other positive societal contribution credentials.
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You are not required to conduct any primary data (i.e. interview consumers/users yourself about their perceptions of the entity, but if you wish to do so, and you think it will enhance the quality of your research and your assignment, then you are encouraged to consider this). However, you MUST undertake secondary data analysis using reputable sources (these can be academic sources and media, government, or other information sources, once they are reliable and credible). All secondary data must be clearly referenced. Ensure you avoid any unintended plagiarism, as this will be deemed to be plagiarism, whether it is intentional or not, and will be considered a serious offence.
Your analysis should identify any ‘gaps’ in the stated mission of this company or organisation, with regard to their claimed ethical / sustainability stance, or other positive / societally-beneficial operational credentials and behaviour, and the reality of their actual behaviour, as supported by your analysis of the data you have collected. You are then required to present a plan on how this company or organisation might close any ‘gaps’ that you have identified, and enhance the communication to relevant stakeholders of the wider societal benefits that it offers in a way that is more credible and honest.
If you cannot identify any gaps in the stated societally positive/ethical mission of the entity you have chosen and their actual behaviour, your critique is still very valuable in confirming that they do indeed live up to their claimed positive credentials. You should then present a plan on how this entity can better ensure their message around their positive societal contribution is better communicated, in a way that is more effective and credible.
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