‘Business Ethics’

This activity is based on the exercise on page 226 of ‘Business Ethics’ (Crane & Matten, 2010) – a copy of the relevant pages are available on the course Moodle page.

For this component, you need to analyse and compare the values and approaches to sustainability/CSR reporting of two companies.

In groups of 3-4 students, you are required to select two companies that produce CSR and/or sustainability reports and whose values are identified on their websites or in other company documents (that are publicly available). You are required to consider and discuss the companies as a group, but must submit your responses to the questions as individuals.

The two companies selected must be either:

  • From different industries but in the same country; or
  • From the same industry but different countries.

By Week 5, you must provide (for your lecturer’s approval) the names of the companies you have selected to research, and the industry and country within which they operate. Please note: your lecturer will advise of companies that are not suitable for this task and/or cannot be selected. You need to research each of your companies to determine their company values, their approaches to social responsibility and their reporting of their sustainability performances and compare the approaches of the two companies.

  1. As a group, research each of your companies to determine their company values, their approaches to social responsibility and their reporting of their social performances.
  2. As an individual, you are required to submit responses to the following questions:
  1. Identify and describe the two companies you have researched; their core business activities and the countries and/or industries in which they operate.
  2. What differences are evident between the two companies in terms of the range of issues dealt with in their social reports and the depth of coverage on specific issues? Please note – this question does not ask for a description or summary of the content of each company’s reports. Instead, you need to analyse the types of information, the major themes, the presentation, formatting and tone of each report – and explain the ways in which the reports are similar to each other and the ways in which they are different.
  3. Discuss which of the Sustainable Development Goals you believe are most relevant to these companies, their industries and the countries in which they operate. Discuss the extent to which these SDGs were addressed, explicitly or implicitly, in the CSR/Sustainability reports of your companies?
  4. Based on your analyses of your companies’ sustainability/CSR reporting, identify in which Sustainability Phase/s (Dunphy, Griffiths & Benn) each of your companies sit. Explain your reasons for these assessments.
  5. Discuss the extent to which the social reports provided by these companies reflect their stated values.
  6. Briefly reflect on your group’s discussions of these companies. In what ways did the ideas presented by your group confirm your own conclusions, influence your thinking and/or present another perspective to you? Please note: this question does not ask for a summary of what your group decided or who said what. This requires reflection on how your thinking, understandings and perceptions developed through your engagement with your group.

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