Select an organisation that has been identified as having weak corporate governance structures within the past 5 years. Critically evaluate their corporate governance practices including an assessment of the origins of the corporate governance issue(s) and the organisation’s response.
“The improved knowledge of the different aspects of the corporate governance issues and the assessment of these implications considering the key shareholders of the selected company with providing a practical scenario under the guidance of a highly qualified mentor is very important for passing the RAP”
Topic 17 is related to the assessment of the overall quality of corporate governance by utilizing the “Corporate Government Codes” (varying from country to country) in a company and the satisfying of the various aspects of corporate governance that actually have influence on the key shareholders of the company both in quantitative and qualitative terms (where possible).
The corporate governance has become a significant issue since the introduction of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act in the US in 2002, which has been brought in order to restore the confidence of the public in the companies and markets after an accounting fraud has bankrupted high-profile companies like Enron and WorldCom. Many companies strive to achieve a high level of corporate governance. Today, it is not enough for a company to just be profitable as it also needs to demonstrate a good corporate citizenship through high environmental awareness, ethical behaviour and proper corporate governance practices.
For this topic the student needs to focus on the key aspect of the Corporate Governance and the impact of the various aspects for/against the general operations of the company during a specific time period in comparison to the competition. Firstly, the student will need to identify the most important aspects of the Corporate Governance Code and this should be followed by discussion about the manner in which the management of the selected company incorporates these aspects and their influence on the various operations of the company and the ultimate effect this has on the main shareholders in the company. The main shareholders of a company can be the senior management of the company, the competition, the employees, the government, etc. The students will need to discover how the senior management of the company deals with the various requirements of the Corporate Governance and based on this, its effectiveness and influence on the main interest to the various shareholders.
Key features / requirements
- Adequate explanation of the general concept to Corporate Governance in a general (literary review).
- Adequate explanation of the applicable Corporate Governance Code in a company based on the area (country) of operations.
- Detailed analysis of the manner in which the applicable Corporate Governance Code influences the major shareholders (government, regulatory authorities, employees, senior management, competition, etc) of the selected company.
- Providing quantitative and qualitative analysis to properly support these aspects.
- Maintaining appropriate balance in the explanation and analysis of the various aspects of the applicable Corporate Governance Code and its impact on the main shareholders of the selected company.
Key Success Factors
- The adequate application of the set goals and objectives decided in the beginning of the RAP in their appropriate sections of the RAP.
- Appropriate answer to all the research questions that were set at the beginning of the RAP in their appropriate sections of the RAP.
- The using of appropriate research methodology to get the desired results on all the set goals and objectives that were decided in the beginning of the RAP.
- Ensure the logical flow of the discussion by keeping the requirements of the topic.
- Give logical conclusions about the work in the end of the Research Report by having all the requirements of the topic in mind.
Major benefits for choosing this topic
- The student will be able to implement the theoretical knowledge in practical situations.
- The different techniques learned under this topic will significantly help the student in their professional life.
Major possible limitations faced by student under this topic
- The students could face indifference by the management of the selected company in providing the necessary information due to the various difficulties like confidentiality aspects or unavailability of the authorized personnel).
- The student may not be able to acquire the necessary information from the reliable secondary information or bring innovative ideas for improving the project.
- The student may face confusion with the possible variations in the information gathered through primary and the secondary sources.
Suitable organisation under this topic
According to the requirements of the topic, a suitable company is the one for which the student has access to its management, and this management is willing to provide the required information to the student. The selection of the adequate company is very important in preparing a good RAP, as the student needs to have very good knowledge of the general operations of the company and further, the student also needs to have appropriate knowledge of the sector where the selected company is operating. On the basis of the knowledge of the company and respective sector, the student needs to crosslink the aspects of the operations with the requirements of the topic that can help them achieve good grades.
The student will need to evaluate these aspects in the choosing for a company for their RAP:
- The interest of the student in relation to the general business of the company;
- Access to primary sources of information, which is not essential for this topic and varies according to the approach of the student.
- Access to reliable secondary sources of information;
- Knowing the general operation of the selected company (very important in topic 17);
- Knowledge on the sector in which the selected company operates;
- General idea of the requirements of the selected topic and their proper application in the selected organization at the beginning of the RAP.
Suggested approach for this topic
The student has to adequately plan the appropriate time to properly finish all the necessary requirements of this topic. The student will need to clearly understand the major requirements of the topic and analytically evaluate all the necessary aspects by placing a detailed strategy. The student will need to make an evaluation of all the necessary processes that need to be followed from the beginning of the preparation of the RAP in order to fulfil the prescribed requirements of the topic.
The student will have to prepare the general table of contents of the RAP under topic 17 in a logical manner. The table of content will enable the student to stay on the right track from the beginning and also help the student in making a proper time table and estimation of the necessary time to complete each task.
After finalizing the table of contents of the RAP for topic 17, the student will need to start working in a logical manner to gather all the necessary information. The student will need to evaluate the gathered information in a logical and analytical manner by consulting the Project Mentor. The feedback and proper guidance from the Mentor in the key aspects of the RAP is very important for the completion of the RAP.
As there is no guaranteed approach for the RAP under topic 17, the broad level approach is described above. The detailed approach under topic 17 is dependent on the impressions of the student that he has gotten from analyzing the requirements of the topic and the available information on the selected company. No matter what approach the student chooses to follow, the student will need to continue with the guidance from their Project Mentor along every step of the preparation of the RAP, so the student can achieve all the requirements of the topic and get good grades for their RAP.
Availability of Information
The student will have to derive the RAP from the information provided by the management of the company (primary source of information), in relation with the information gathered from reliable secondary sources of information (internet, newspapers, books, etc.). The use of primary sources of information for preparation of the RAP under topic 17 is not essential and depends on the approach selected by the student. Should the student choose to use primary sources of information – the management of the selected company, then he/she needs to make sure that there are no confidentiality issues.
As with every other topic, the student will need to analytically approach this topic and the prescribed requirements, and look over the availability of information before making a decision to base their RAP on this topic. If there are doubts on any of these factors, the student should not choose this topic for their RAP, as these factors have a major influence on the evaluation of the RAP and their final grades.
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