Assignment Topic Assignment 1 (Individual Essay)
Wednesday, April 1st, 2015, 6:30pm (hard copy to mailbox #12, building 6, level B and electronic copy to Moodle assignment drop box).
Late assignments will be penalised (10% per day).
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2200 words (no leeway) using Times Roman 12 pt font and at least 2cm margins on all sides. No additional leeway; penalties for over 2200 words apply.
35% of total available marks
Corporate Responsibility (or CSR) has gained unprecedented momentum in business and public debate and has become a strategic issue crossing discipline boundaries and affecting the way in which a company does business. It has become so important that many organisations have rebranded their core values to include social responsibility. Almost all corporate websites, policies and reports present endeavours for CSR as a way of ensuring that the organisation is fulfilling all obligations towards society and thus is eligible for the license to operate. Increasingly, organisations refer to their CSR activities as honouring a quadruple bottom line: Profits, People, Planet, Philanthropy. These activities of CSR differ from organisation to organisation depending on the resources available to an organisation for undertaking CSR practices.
However, the practice of CSR is subject to much debate and criticism. Some proponents argue that there is a strong business case for CSR, in that corporations benefit in multiple ways by operating with a perspective broader and longer than their own immediate, short-term profits. Other proponents argue that honouring the quadruple bottom line is a moral minimum that organisations are obligated to uphold. Some speak about the purpose of business beyond profits. Critics argue that CSR distracts from the fundamental economic role of businesses. Others argue that it is nothing more than superficial window-dressing; while others argue that it is an attempt to pre-empt the role of governments as a watchdog over powerful multinational corporations.
Using a wide array of refereed journal articles, current and classic, discuss and critically analyse the various perspectives on CSR outlined above and discussed in the academic literature. Illustrate your discussion and analysis with reference to what companies are doing in practice. In the conclusion to your essay, present your key findings or recommendations on the purpose and ethical / social obligations of business, and the essence of why you have reached those findings or recommendations.
As a minimum your discussion and analysis should utilise between 20 and 25 refereed journal articles and include a mix of current (2000 – 2015) and some classic (e.g. Friedman, 1970; Simon, Powers & Gunnmann, 1972) articles. You may substitute 25-30% of the prescribed number of journals with textbooks. In addition (ie in addition to 20-25 refereed journals), the business literature and news articles can be used, especially to source CSR in practice.
If you have a particular country interest (e.g. CSR in China, India, U.S.A or Europe) or discipline interest (eg CSR and HR or Marketing), you can utilise journal articles that cover those areas of interest, but be sure to still focus on the assignment question as stated above.
Getting It is suggested that you start with your textbook and several other texts Started: listed under recommended reading in this Companion to obtain a clear understanding of the relevant core concepts for CSR. You should then proceed to read Milton Friedman’s 1970 article (in the text) and the brief
excerpt from Simon, et al. (1972) available on e-reserve and Moodle.
You should then search for relevant articles via the University’s Library electronic database, articles available on e-reserve for this unit, articles listed in this Companion and material from your preferred search engine.
When sourcing material electronically or in hard copy, you must not cut and paste into your essay. This is plagiarism and will result in a failed paper (a mark of zero). You are required to reference using the author / date method. This method is explained in detail in this Companion to the Unit Outline (see below).
Urkund: Urkund is a text-matching software program. When you upload an assignment to Moodle, it is a two-step process. First, when you upload your assignment to Moodle, Urkund will check it and provide a report on the percentage of your assignment that has been found to match with existing material on the internet. It will also provide details of the passages that have been matched. If the report shows a low percentage, for example, 10 to 20% that is mostly due to the references you have cited, then you can proceed to the second step which is submitting your assignment.
Please note, that the report is unlikely to be generated immediately, especially during peak submission times. If you have a moderate or large amount of your essay that has been found to be matched with material on the internet, to avoid the risk of plagiarism, you will need to revise your submission so that it is written entirely in your own words and with your sources cited. You are advised to upload your assignment four or five days before the due date (or after each draft) in order to make full use of the Urkund text-matching facility on Moodle. Assignments must be submitted by the due date. Extensions will not be granted on the basis of an Urkund report.
Notes: 1. This is a major piece of assessment which will require sustained reading,
reflection and writing. It is strongly recommended that you commence your assignment in Week 1 of the teaching period and consistently develop it on a week-by-week basis. Failure to prepare is to be prepared to fail!
You are expected to conform to high standards of literacy and academic practice, including literature research and full documentation of sources. This means you must use references in your essay and you must cite those references both in the text and in an end reference list. Failure to do so is likely to result in a failed paper. Please use the author-date method which is explained in this Companion (p25-27). Be sure to express the ideas you read about in your own words, but acknowledge their source by citing the reference. Avoid direct quotes as they do not demonstrate to the marker your understanding of the concepts and reading material. Direct quotes attract no marks.
High standards of literacy means that your paragraphs should be well developed (not one sentence!). If you do not know how to construct a paragraph or essay, then please visit the Academic Skills Centre (see http://www.canberra.edu.au/studyskills). If you do not know how to access electronic journals, please see the library staff for a training session.
Your essay should have a brief introduction (an introduction should be more than a summary in the future tense) and a solid conclusion (note a conclusion is not a summary in the past tense). The conclusion can relate back to the introduction. See page 25 of this Companion.
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