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Paper, Order, or Assignment Requirements
SEMESTER I – 2014/15
Coursework: Essay – 1,500 words (20% weighting)
The tendency of business corporates to focus their financial reports disclosures on financial performance, and the failure to address other aspects of corporate performance (i.e. nonfinancial performance disclosures) might be something of a concern to governments and investors. This is because accounting research studies indicate that nonfinancial information about corporate governance, social and environmental impact, affects management behaviour and investment decisions (for example, see Cohen, Holder-Webb, Nath and Wood, 2012)*. One way of dealing with this concern is through regulating corporate reporting (Bushman and Landsman, 2010)^. Therefore, governments may decide to introduce legislations that will require corporations to provide such information.

Critically discuss the rationale for the government introducing specific disclosure legislations.
Explain who will benefit, in the long run, from the (i) corporate governance, (ii) social and (iii) environmental impact disclosure legislations.
Critically assess the prospects of increased corporate accountability in matters of governance, society and the environment as a result of introducing the disclosure legislations in (b).

In addressing the essay requirements (a), (b) and (c), you are expected to use the three main theories of corporate disclosure regulation. In addition, you are required to support your discussion and arguments, explanation and assessment, with evidence from published research studies. As guidance, the essay is expected to include at least ten (10) references of published research studies (in addition to Cohen, Holder-Webb, Nath and Wood, 2012, and Bushman and Landsman, 2010) as supporting evidence.
*Cohen, J.R., Holder-Webb, L.L., Nath, L. and Wood, D. (2012), ‘Corporate reporting of nonfinancial leading indicators of economic performance and sustainability’, Accounting Horizons, Vol. 26 No. 1, pp. 65-90.
^Bushman, R. and Landsman, W. (2010), ‘The pros and cons of regulating corporate reporting: A critical review of the arguments’, Accounting and Business Research, Vol. 40, No. 3, pp. 259-273

Essay submission guidelines:

You are advised to start preparing the coursework well in advance of the submission deadline, which is 1st December 2014.


Your essay must be submitted electronically via Turnitin, which is accessed via Blackboard, prior to the deadline for submission of the paper copy. The paper copy should be submitted at the Student Office Business and Law Reception by 15.30 hours (3.30pm) on Monday, 1st December 2014.


A late submission will incur the standard penalty, which is a deduction of 10% of the mark awarded, for each working day after the due date. Work submitted late on the due date (i.e. after 3.30pm) will be counted as one day late. An extension will only be given in exceptional circumstances and must be requested in advance of the submission date by completing and submitting the Extension Request Form.


An essay that demonstrate cheating and plagiarism will be penalised according to the university regulations. You are required to observe matters of academic integrity as stipulated in a statement available at http://www.calendar.soton.ac.uk/sectionIV/academic-integrity-statement.html


The essay must be completed on an individual basis. A duly completed Individual assignment submission form must be submitted with your essay. Submission forms are available at the Student Office Reception. Essays completed on a group basis will not be accepted and a mark of zero will be recorded for those involved. If you are in any doubts as to the ‘legality’ of your approach to attempting the work, please contact the lecturer prior to commencing.


The essay should be typed (word processed), and do not forget to run spelling and grammar checks.


You should use 12-font-size in Times New Roman. There should be single spacing.


The introduction and conclusion sections should be clearly indicated. You can create subsections in the main body as warranted.


The first page of the assignment should clearly state the student name, registration number, module title, module code, title of the essay and a word count.


There should be a reference list, only listing out the sources that you have used and noted in the main text. For in-text citations and the reference list, you are required to use the Southampton Business School Harvard referencing style as provided in the guide available at http://library.soton.ac.uk/business/referencing


Marking scheme
Your essay will be marked against the seven Quality Indicators listed below. You should check your essay paper before submission to ensure that you address each of the indicators.

Quality Indicators

Addresses the task/question set

Shows understanding of theory/concepts

Clearly presented – rigorously argued and focused analysis

Well structured, with appropriate introduction and conclusions

Shows independent thinking

Supports argument with clear and effective examples /evidence

Scope of relevant literature, including reference list

Moderation of coursework
The School operates a system whereby samples of your work are internally moderated (‘double marked’) by another tutor and externally moderated by a tutor from another institution (an External Examiner).

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