Business Ethics: Overview

Understanding Business Ethics Unit 37: National Diploma Assignment brief TASK 1: Scenario: Business ethics – a study of a selected company With growing interest among consumers regarding the business ethics of the businesses brands that consumers buy, Westminster council wants to conduct an independent review of some of the organisations that sell their goods and services in the borough. You have been asked to select one of the following brands and conduct research into their business ethics. 1. Using Primark as a case study, visit their website/conduct research into their activities to help with the tasks below.
Task 1: PRIMARK – GROUP PRESENTATION • Explain the ethical issues Primark needs to consider in its operational activities (P1) • Explain the implications for both the business and stakeholders of the business operating ethically. (P2) • Assess how the business could improve the ethics of their operations. (M1) SCENARIO: You are ethical investment consultants who advise clients on what type of ethical businesses to invest their money in. One of your clients is thinking of setting up a business that produces and sells ethical clothing for high street shoppers.
Primark will be one of their main competitors and your client has heard that they have recently begun to change some of their business practices in the face of public criticism. In an effort to get a better understanding of their competitor’s activities, your client has asked you to investigate Primark’s business activities and report back to them in a formal presentation Working in assigned group, you need to investigate and prepare a presentation which describes the following areas: A. Primark – company background and description of what type of clothing they produce B.

Media attention – describe why Primark have attracted a lot of criticism over the last few years. Give examples C. What have Primark done to make their business practices more ethical? – Corporate Governance – Corporate Social Responsibility – Code of Conduct – External Partnerships D. Stakeholders – who are they? E. Implications of ethical business practices on stakeholders F. Implications of improved ethical business practices for Primark G. Your suggestions for new ethical practices which Primark could use and the impact of these suggestions
DISTINCTION TASK – Individual Report. • Evaluate the impact of the business’s ethical behaviour on stakeholders and the business. (D1) Undertake a Cost Benefit Analysis for Primark summarising the impact that their ethical behaviour has on the business and its stakeholders. To complete this task to distinction level you will need to: 1. Using evidence from Task 1 briefly explain who the stakeholders in the business are 2. List the ethical behaviour evident for the business 3. Decide whether this impact is positive or negative and explain why (who does it affect and how) 4.
What does it cost/benefit the business to behave like this? (eg time, money, training, reputation, sales, competitive edge, unique selling point, employee loyalty, lower costs, increased costs, larger profit margins) 5. Evaluate the impact of this behaviour – it is worthwhile to the business? Is it sustainable (can it continue? ) What might happen in the future if the business continues to take this type of CSR? You can present your findings in a table if you prefer – make sure you change your page to landscape so that the table is large enough for the detail you will need to include. Example: (Un)Ethical Behaviour|The stakeholders who |How these stakeholders|Costs to business |Benefits to |Long term impact on | | |are affected |are affected (positive|(D1) |business |business and | | | |or negative and why) | |(D1) |stakeholders | | | | | | |(D1) | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | |
Evaluation and conclusions are required for D1 and incorporates the work learners have completed for P1, P2 and M1 – bring your investigations together with relevant conclusions. Task 2: Social Implications – McDonalds • Describe the social implications of business ethics facing the selected business in its different areas or activity (P3) • Assess the social implications of business ethics facing the business in its different areas of activity (M2) Social implications refer to those actions of business that have an effect on society as a whole and relate to a number of areas of business activity. McDonalds have come under growing criticism in the last few years in terms of the social implications of their business activities. Write a report which should include the following: A.
Describe the social implications of McDonalds business activities. Include the following headings: – Nutritional value of McDonalds Products and link with obesity – Food Production Sustainability – Intensive farming (poorer quality food in the food chain) – Environmental Impact – Treatment of Animals – Advertising to Children – Employment B. Evaluate the extent to which you feel these social issues are a real problem for McDonalds? What are the consequences for the major stakeholders if McDonalds does not address these issues? (M2) Task 3: Ethical Concerns in the Community–newspaper report • Examine the ethical concerns of the communities in which the business operates. (P4) Explain the ethical concerns of the communities in which the business operates and suggest measures that could be taken to improve corporate responsibility (M3) Scenario: In 2010 there was a massive oil explosion on a BP rig off the Gulf of Mexico with resulted in devastation to several communities. You are a journalist for your local newspaper and you have been commissioned to write an article on the disaster. In your news report, you must include the following information: A. Describes the ethical concerns facing each of the communities affected by the spill (P4). B. Give a full explanation as to why there these communities have such concerns (M3). C. Suggest measures that BP could take to improve corporate responsibility and address the needs of the affected communities. (M3) [pic]

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