The aim of the assignment is to enable students to focus and gain a better knowledge of a CSR issue of their choice. The assignment also provides an understanding of how companies have addressed the issue in practice.
The students should identify a CSR initiative that a company has launched in their own country, in the UK, or abroad. Examples of such initiatives include: measures adopted to avoid child labour in the company supply chain; programmes to tackle employee discrimination; policies to curb carbon emissions; and anti-corruption policies. When deciding on the topic, it is important to consider whether there is sufficient information in the public domain about the initiative and the associated issue.
Each assignment should have the following sections:
A critical description of the initiative. This section should describe the initiative as to its aims, main components, and actors involved, along with some clarification of the issue to which it is being applied. Any links to associated relevant global initiatives should also be examined. The section is mainly assessed on the basis of the number and quality of sources used to describe the initiative, and associated links. It is therefore important to verify any information provided by the company through the review of alternative sources of data including reports by non-governmental organisations.
Theory-based evaluation of the initiative. This section involves an evaluation of the CSR initiative based on a suitable theoretical framework (e.g. stakeholder analysis). The theoretical framework should be briefly explained and then evaluated as to its main strengths and criticisms. It should then be correctly applied to shed light on how the initiative succeeds in meeting its objectives and other goals of corporate social responsibility. The marks in this section are given for correct and insightful application of the theoretical framework.
Comparison with another company/organisation. In this section the initiative should be compared and contrasted with how another company has approached a similar issue. The purpose of the section is to evaluate company practice on the basis of best practice. Marks will be allocated for thorough and astute analysis.
A set of conclusions and recommendations. The final section should be based on the preceding analysis and provide a view on how successful the initiative has been and how to proceed with it in the future. The marking of the section will be based on the clarity and insightfulness of the arguments presented.
It is important that your report should be balanced and impartial.
Structure of the report: The structure of the report should include a 1 page executive summary (covering the main findings/conclusions and recommendations in the report); a table of contents (with page numbers); a brief introduction to the report; a description of the company initiative and issue to which it relates plus links to global initiatives; an explanation of relevant theories/concepts and application to initiative; a comparison with another company with examination of best practice; conclusions and recommendations; an alphabetical list of references cited in the main text; and appendices.
The 2500 word limit (+/- 10%) does not include the executive summary, tables in the main text, references or appendices
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