Business Ethics & Sustainability

You are advised to read the notes carefully and follow the guidelines provided. Failure to comply with the guidelines may lead to a reduction in grades.

Assignment task

Key assumptions

You should select an organisational issue (from travel & tourism industry, B2B) which you personally experienced, such as that of the implementation of a new project, adoption of a new organisational policy, stakeholder conflict situation, or any other organisational practice related issue.
It is important that you personally experienced the selected organisational issue. However, this does not mean that you have to be a key stakeholder of the organisational issue itself.
The selected organisational issue should also be sufficiently complex, so that it can be analyzed in-depth, examining its multiple facets, including the potential for optional decision choices, but not too complex as to not be possible to discuss in depth within the word limit.
The organisation selected can be either a profit-making enterprise or a not-for-profit making enterprise (e.g. a public sector organisation or a charity).
You can use a wide variety of theoretical perspectives on ethics, CSR and sustainability to answer the assignment questions. We advise that you make use of different categories of perspectives:
broad theories of ethics and ethical decision-making (consequentialist, non-consequentialist, etc.)
perspectives on the efficacy of specific management tools and techniques that can be used to foster ethical and responsible conduct in organisations
perspectives on ethical issues relating to specific stakeholder groups.

Report contents

The assignment should not be more than 2,000 words and its appendices must not exceed 15 pages. It should be written in an essay format and be word-processed. It must follow standard academic writing conventions in terms of referencing. The essay should include the following key sections:

1. Overview of the organisational issue
2. Ethical analysis of the selected organisational issue
3. Management analysis of the selected organisational issue
4. Recommendations for resolving the organisational issue

The analyses carried out and the recommendations provided should be based on learning as well as business ethics and sustainability literature as well as data gathered through research. If you are using detailed data (statistics, and material that defines or explains the meanings of terms used in the report, etc.) to support your discussions in the main body of the assignment, these should be put in appendices. These appendices will not count towards the word limit. However, appendices cannot be used to overcome the word limit by including material that should be in the body of the report.

Elements to be included in the assignment

1. Overview of the organisational Issue

You should provide a detailed overview of the selected organisational issue. You can examine aspects such as how the issue originated, and its subsequent development within the organisation as well as the key stakeholders involved in it. It is advisable to adopt a longitudinal analysis where applicable.

2. Ethical analysis of the organisational issue

First, please explain why the issue you selected is ethically problematic. You should describe and evaluate the problematic dimensions of the identified organisationalissue applying one consequentialist theory and one non-consequentialist theory. Please be aware that the application of different theories of ethics may not necessarily yield the same conclusions (e.g. the outcomes may be appropriate, but the means of achieving them may not be).
You are advised to utilise sufficient data (both internal and external) within your analysis.

3. Management analysis of the selected organisational issue

You should describe and evaluate how the management of the organisation addressed, are planning to address or did not address the selected organisational issue. This assessment should provide sufficient details related to which specific management decisions were taken (or are to be taken), related to the specific aspects of theorganisational issue and/or stakeholders. The assessment of managements actions should be critical and well supported by related academic and practitioner literature.
You can use a variety of perspectives from the module to conduct your evaluation broad theories of ethics, CSR and sustainability, readings relating to the efficacy of specific management tools and techniques used to encourage ethical conduct in organisations, and perspective relating to ethical issues in particular stakeholder groups.

4. Recommendations for resolving the organisational issue

Based on your previous analyses, and incorporating your learning related to different stakeholders ethical and responsibility issues, you should provide specific recommendations for the selected organisation to resolve the organisational issue. It is crucial that you consider carefully and explain how your recommendations may be practically applicable.
It is important that your recommendations are supported by sufficient literature, including related data where applicable.

General issues

The report should be referenced and contain a reference list. There should not be a bibliography. See the next pages for advice about how to reference when using only a reference list.

In the next sections you will find some specific guidelines and notes, which should assist in the essay writing process. Additional support can be sought from your module tutor via e-mail.

Writing the essay

The following provides specific guidance on writing the essay.
The report should contain the following:

A table of contents.
An overview of the selected organisational issue (around 500 words).
Ethical analysis of the selected organisational issue
Management analysis of the selected organisational issue
Proposed recommendations for resolving the organisational issue
A brief conclusion section that summarises the key aspects of the essay (around 200 words)
A reference list.
Any appendices that you have used (these appendices should not exceed 15 pages)
Background research

Remember this is not a reflective analysis of the selected organisational issue. Relevant sources of information and literature have to be used effectively to sufficiently justify your various analyses and subsequent recommendations provided. In order to avoid this, it is important that you read business ethics and sustainability literature including the recommended additional reading materials.

Referencing and appendices

You are asked to prepare a list of references for this assignment. There is often confusion between references and bibliographies and uncertainty over what should and what should not appear in an appendix. Note: there should be no bibliography in the report.

Report marking

The standard school of management marking criteria will be used to assess your work. However, you may wish to also consider the following aspects before you submit your report:

Research and preparation you need to use relevant literature and show you have put it to good use by referencing it usefully within the text. References must be appropriate for the topics covered, and used efficiently, as part of a good preparation.
Analysis and argument are major requirements in your report. Identifying the organisational issue itself is not sufficient, you also need to analyse it effectively and for this your arguments should be based on relevant literature.
Finally, make sure the essay style is correct. The format and the language must be carefully checked. Use clear division into sections, page numbering, orderly layout and readable English with correct spelling. Try to organise the information to maintain a logical flow in your writing, from sentence to sentence, from paragraph to paragraph, and from section to section.