Select an organisation that has been identified as having weak social responsibility practices within the past 5 years. Critically evaluate their social responsibility practices, including an assessment of the origins of the problem(s) and the organisation’s response and the impact of this on the organisation’s key stakeholders.
“The improved knowledge on the specific activities of the CSR in relation to the overall operations of the selected company along with the discussion of the relations with respect to its impact on the major shareholders combined with the guidance of a highly qualified mentor is the key for successfully passing the RAP under this topic”
Topic 20 is related to the overall assessment of the Corporate Social Responsibility of a company and the ethics in further evaluation on the impact of the values on the various key shareholders in the company.
The corporate initiative for assessment and responsibility for the effects of the company on the environment and the influence on the social welfare is named CSR. This term usually applies to the effort of the company that is well beyond the terms set by regulators and/or environmental protection groups. The Corporate Social Responsibility is also known as ”corporate citizenship” and involves causing short – term costs that do not allow financial benefits for the company, instead these promote positive social and environmental change.
Many companies have great influence in a local community and power in the national economy. The large companies control a lot of assets and have vast amounts of financial funds to invest in socially conscious investments and programs. While some companies get engaged in “green washing” where they seemingly invest in CSR, there are many large companies that are actually investing time and resources to environmental sustainability programs, clean technologies, alternative energy sources and many other social welfare initiatives that ultimately have positive impact on the employees, the customer and the local community.
If the student should choose this topic, he/she needs to analytically evaluate the different aspects of the CSR in relation to the business ethics and their impact on the business practice in general and the practical impact on the main shareholders of the company. The student needs to acquire detailed knowledge on the different activities of CSR and needs to correlate this with the overall shareholders of the company.
Key features / requirements
- Adequate explanation of the general concept of CSR in a general (literary review) and specific manner to the selected company.
- Adequate explanation of the general concept of the business ethics in a general (literary review) and specific manner to the selected company
- Evaluation of the impact of the CSR and business ethics on the business performance of the selected company.
- Detailed analysis of the impact of the CSR and the business ethics on the important shareholders (i.e. government, regulatory authorities, employees, senior management, competition, etc) of the selected company.
- Providing quantitative and qualitative analysis to properly support these aspects.
- Maintaining an adequate balance in the explaining and analysis of the different aspects of the CSR and the business ethics and their influence on the major shareholder of the company.
Key Success Factors
- The adequate implementation of the set goals and objectives that were made at the beginning of the RAP, in the appropriate sections of the RAP.
- Give appropriate answers on the research questions that were made at the beginning of the RAP in the appropriate sections of the RAP.
- The using of the appropriate research methodology to get good results on all the set goals and objectives that were set at the beginning of the RAP.
- Maintaining a logical flow of the discussion by keeping up all the requirements of the topic.
- Give logical conclusions about the work at the end of the Research Report by also having in mind all the requirements of this topic.
Major benefits for choosing this topic
- The student will be able to implement the theoretical knowledge in a real life situation.
- The different techniques acquired during the preparation of the RAP under this topic will greatly help the student in their professional career.
Major possible limitations faced by student under this topic
- The student may not be welcomed by the management of the selected company, and may not be provided with all the necessary documentation (due to confidentiality issues or unavailability of authorized personnel).
- The student may not be able to acquire reliable information from online or other sources (as a result of an improper research report) and may not have decent ideas to improve the project.
- In case the student gets information from a primary source then he/she may get confused by the possible contradiction with the information that is derived by the research of secondary sources.
Suitable organisation under this topic
A suitable company for this topic is the one for which the student will have adequate access to the management of the company and that management is welcoming in providing the necessary information per the requirements of the topic to the student. The selection of the most suitable company is essential to the preparation of a good RAP, as the student needs to have knowledge and understand the operations of the company and the entire sector in which the selected company operates. According to the knowledge on the company and sector, the student can interconnect the different aspects of the general operations of the selected company and will be able to easily achieve the requirements of the topic and ultimately get good grades on their RAP.
The student will need to evaluate these aspects in the choice of a company for their RAP:
- The interest of the student to the overall business of the selected company;
- Access to primary sources of information (not very essential for this topic, and depends on the approach of the student);
- Access to information from reliable secondary sources;
- Knowing the whole operation of the selected company (very important in topic 20);
- Knowledge on the sector in which the selected company operates;
- General idea of the requirements of the selected topic in the beginning of the RAP and their proper application in the selected company.
Suggested approach for this topic
The student needs to adequately plan the necessary time for finishing of all the necessary requirements of this topic. The student will need to clearly understand the major requirements of the topic and analytically evaluate the necessary aspects by creating a detailed strategy or the work. The student will need to make an evaluation on all the necessary processes that need to be followed in the beginning of the preparation of the RAP in order to achieve all the prescribed requirements of the topic.
The student will have to prepare the basic table of content of the RAP under the topic 20, so it flows in a logical manner and will have to go according to this. The table of content also helps the student stay on the correct track from the beginning of the preparation of the RAP and also helps in assessment of the time needed to complete all the set tasks under this topic.
After finalizing the table of contents of the RAP under topic 20, the student will need to start their work in a logical manner with gathering the necessary information. The student has to logically and analytically evaluate the gathered information through the consultations with the Project Mentor. The feedback and proper guidance from the Mentor in some key aspects of the RAP is of great importance for the completion of the RAP.
Of course, there is no 100% correct approach for creating the RAP under topic 20, and the wide level approach described here is only the start. It needs to be followed by the student’s perception and detailed plans that were made in the beginning of the preparation of the RAP in accordance to the available information on the selected company. No matter the approach the student will choose to follow, the guidance from the Project Mentor along every step of the process has major influence in preparing a good RAP and getting good grades.
Availability of Information
The student will have to create the RAP from the information provided by the management of the company (the primary source of information), in relation with the information gathered from the reliable secondary sources of information (internet, newspapers, books, etc.). The availability of primary sources of information is not essential for this topic and depends on the approach chosen by the student. The student needs to be assured that he/she has access to information provided by the management of the selected company and there are no confidentiality clauses behind these.
To sum up, the student needs to make a critical evaluation before making the final choice for a topic for their RAP, as according to the requirements of this topic it can be completed if the student has sufficient information on the selected company. If the student has doubts or is facing issues in acquiring the necessary information, then he/she should seriously consider the choice of this topic, as this will have a major impact on the evaluation of the RAP and the final grades.
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