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You should provide a detailed overview of the selected organisational issue. You can examine aspects such as ‘how’ the issue originated, and its subsequent development within the organisation as well as the key stakeholders involved in it. It is advisable to adopt a longitudinal analysis where applicable.

Overview – Business Ethics Assignment

The Assignment requires you to submit an individual 2,000-word essay plus Appendices (not exceed 15 pages). Failure to use Appendices to provide relevant background and other information, workings and analysis will result in a reduced mark and may result in a fail grade.

The Assignment should contain a reference list (Harvard), however there should not be a bibliography, meaning that there should not be any references in the reference list not used in the Assignment.

Diagrams, footnotes, tables and references will not be included in the word count. Diagrams, footnotes and tables will only be given reward (in the marking process) if the text of the Assignment refers to them.

The Assignment must be written in essay format and be word-processed and saved in MS Word. The Assignment must be substantially in the format as provided (including all headings provided, although additional sub-headings may be added).

Assignment aim

The purpose of this assignment is for you to demonstrate your understanding of business ethics and/or sustainability. There are opportunities in each assignment to show skills in the application of ethical theories, management of ethical and sustainability issues and stakeholder engagement.

Assignment task - Key assumptions

  • You should select an organisational issue which you personally experienced, such as that of the implementation of a new project, adoption of a new organisational policy, stakeholder conflict situation, or any other organisational practice relatedissue.
  • It is important that you personally experienced the selected organisational issue. However, this does not mean that you have to be a key stakeholder of the organisational issue itself.
  • The selected organisational issue should also be sufficiently complex, so that it can be analysed in-depth, examining its multiple facets, including the potential for optional decision choices, but not too complex as to not be possible to discuss in depth within the word limit.
  • The organisation selected can be either a profit-making enterprise or a not-for-profit making enterprise (e.g. a public sector organisation or a charity).
  • You can use a wide variety of theoretical perspectives on ethics, CSR and sustainability to answer the assignment questions. We advise that you make use of different categories of perspectives:
  • broad theories of ethics and ethical decision-making (consequentialist, non-consequentialist, etc.)
  • perspectives on the efficacy of specific management tools and techniques that can be used to foster ethical and responsible conduct in organisations
  • perspectives on ethical issues relating to specific stakeholder groups.

You do not need to use a large number of theories or management tools and techniques. Rather, select your theoretical perspectives carefully, specifically considering how different perspectives will practically help you illuminate different aspects of your organisational situation and help you generate solutions to it.

Report contents

The essay should include the following key sections:

  1. 1.    Overview of the organisational issue (around 500 words)

You should provide a detailed overview of the selected organisational issue. You can examine aspects such as ‘how’ the issue originated, and its subsequent development within the organisation as well as the key stakeholders involved in it. It is advisable to adopt a longitudinal analysis where applicable.

  1. 2.    Ethical analysis of the selected organisational issue

First, please explain why the issue you selected is ethically problematic. You should describe and evaluate the problematic dimensions of the identified organisational issue applying one consequentialist theory and one non-consequentialist theory. Please be aware that the application of different theories of ethics may not necessarily yield the same conclusions (e.g. the outcomes may be appropriate, but the means of achieving them may not be). You are advised to utilise sufficient data (both internal and external) within your analysis.

  1. 3.    Management analysis of the selected organisational issue

You should describe and evaluate how the management of the organisation addressed, are planning to address or did not address the selected organisational issue. This assessment should provide sufficient details related to which specific management decisions were taken (or are to be taken), related to the specific aspects of the organisational issue and/or stakeholders. The assessment of management’s actions should be critical and well supported by related academic and practitioner literature. You can use a variety of perspectives from the module to conduct your evaluation – broad theories of ethics, CSR and sustainability, readings relating to the efficacy of specific management tools and techniques used to encourage ethical conduct in organisations, and perspective relating to ethical issues in particular stakeholder groups.

  1. 4.    Recommendations for resolving the organisational issue

Based on your previous analyses, and incorporating your learning related to different stakeholders’ ethical and responsibility issues, you should provide specific recommendations for the selected organisation to resolve the organisational issue. It is crucial that you consider carefully and explain how your recommendations may be practically applicable. It is important that your recommendations are supported by sufficient literature, including related data where applicable.

The analyses carried out and the recommendations provided should be based on your learning as well as business ethics and sustainability literature as well as data gathered through your own research.

If you are using detailed data (statistics, and material that defines or explains the meanings of terms used in the report, etc.) to support your discussions in the main body of the assignment, these should be put in appendices.

  1. 5.    Conclusion (around 200 words)

A brief conclusion section that summarises the key aspects of the essay

Background research

Library and Internet sources, as well as internal organisational data should provide the foundation for material for this essay. Remember this is not a reflective analysis of the selected organisational issue. Relevant sources of information and literature have to be used effectively to sufficiently justify your analysis and subsequent recommendations. It is important that you read business ethics and sustainability literature including the recommended additional reading materials.

Report marking

Consider the following aspects before you submit your report:

  1. Research and preparation – you need to use relevant literature and show you have put it to good use by referencing it usefully within the text. References must be appropriate for the topics covered, and used efficiently, as part of a good preparation.
  2. Analysis and argument are major requirements in your report. Identifying the central theme of the Assignment and gathering information itself is not sufficient, you also need to analyse it effectively and for this your arguments should be supported by and/or based on relevant referenced literature.
  3. Finally, make sure the essay style is correct. The format and the language must be carefully checked. Use clear division into sections, page numbering, orderly layout and readable English with correct spelling (don’t forget you can get help with spelling and grammar in your assignment – subject to Bradford guidelines).
  4. It is recommended that you submit the Assignment in substantially the same format as the Templates provided for each option.


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