The Group Assignment- Consulting to the Corporation about Ethics and CSR/Sustainability…
Most medium to large organisations already have clearly defined structures and internal policies and procedures in place. Concepts such as developing ethical cultures and engaging with stakeholders in the context of corporate social responsibility and sustainability have been relatively recent developments. For the most part organisations need to design these ethical systems and processes to fit existing organisation contexts. However the majority of organisations lack the expertise and capability to design and implement the appropriate ethical, CSR and Sustainability strategies.
The approach to be taken for this assignment is for students to form a group of between 4-7 members and assume the roles of ethics and Integrity consultants. The basis of the presentations that the group is to assume they are presenting to the Organisation’s senior executives or Board of Directors. Presentation standards must not only include the quality and accuracy of the content, but also reflect the professional standards expected of consultants from companies such as KPMG, Ernst and Young, etc. ( Many of who employ MBA Graduates)
Each group is to select a company or organisation with which they are familiar or have access to. The company selected must be sufficiently large so as to have ethical, CSR or sustainability policies and procedures most of which would be available through company websites or publications. Major corporations such as Telstra, Qantas, Westpac, The Body Shop. Exxon, BHP, etc. have websites that details their stakeholder engagement strategy. Furthermore, articles and publications have been written about these organisations that can be use as the basis for analysis.
The selection of the organisation is to be approved by the class facilitator to insure appropriateness and avoid duplication.
As consultants students are to conduct either an internal analysis examining the strategies for developing an ethical culture, OR an external analysis that examines the basis for engagement with external stakeholders.
The internal analysis is to focus on the strategies and techniques the organisation uses to develop an ethical culture and the promotion of ethical decision making. Consideration needs to be given to the use of codes of ethics/conduct, the communication of ethical polices, the existence of whistle blowing systems and ethics training etc.
Please note that an internal analysis would not address external CSR or Sustainability issues- it is concerned with ethical a climate within the organisation and the extent to which the organisation establishes and maintains an ethical culture through the use of formal and informal mechanisms such as codes of ethics, training and development and reporting lines. Unless one member of the team has access to the organisation, typically as an employee, this analysis will be difficult to undertake.
The external analysis is to focus on the organisation’s approach to CSR or Sustainability. In either case the group needs to identify key stakeholders and assess how the organisation engages with stakeholder to address CSR or Sustainability issues.
The task requires the group to utilise literature a range of models and frameworks identified in the course, and establish an analytical framework of better practice model for either internal (ethical culture) or external (CSR and or Sustainability) engagement. This section is essentially a literature review with a clear outline of the model or framework and supporting literature regarding each of the components.
The group is then to describe the organisation’s approach, contrast this against the better practice framework and identify those areas that the organisation is meeting better practice and those where it needs to improve.
A series of supported recommendations are then to be made prior to drawing a conclusion.
The presentation must not exceed 15-20 minutes and will be conducted in class in week 12.
The verbal presentation must involve all team members. All students must be present in class to view their colleague’s presentations. Students must also present themselves and their materials in a manner consistent with professional consultants.
The written report must not exceed 1000 words in length, which is approximately 2-3 pages of text.
This assessment tasks specifically addresses the course learning objectives five “discuss the management of business ethics within an organisation and explore the role of tools such as Codes of Conduct, Risk Management frameworks and gift policies in assisting such management; and course objective 6 “demonstrate commonly accepted professional ethical standards in the work place and in your behaviour toward others”.
This task also helps build general capabilities regarding effective business presentations and communication skills.