Business Ethics and sustainability

Assignment Marking Criteria

Essays will be marked based on the following criteria, please consider the following points:

1. The adoption and analysis of suitable and relevant theory relevant to the company under investigation.
2. The integration of case study material and organisational examples.
3. Critical analysis should be included which explores the topics in question.
4. Essays should answer the assignment question specifically and not discuss irrelevant/random issues.
5. A suitable essay structure should be adopted.
6. All material must be reference correctly within the text itself (main body).
7. A thorough and complete reference list must be included at the end of the essay in accordance to Harvard standards (please see guide).
8. Any advice provided during your presentation should be taken into account.
9. Both questions should be given a proportionate amount of preparation and have an equal word count. They will be marked equally.
10. Valid arguments should be presented and supported with evidence.
11. A coherent introduction and overall conclusions should be included.
12. Please consider the matrix below which is used when marking.
13. Please do not rely on internet sources; varied academic sources are required.

Business Ethics and Sustainability Module: Assessment Knowledge and Understanding/Transferable skills Criteria

Knowledge and Understanding (maximum of 5)

On successful completion the student will be able to:
1. Develop an understanding of the scope and interrelationships between Business Ethics, CSR and Sustainability, demonstrating how Business Ethics and CSR models and theories can be applied to modern national and international organisations.
2. Identify the way in which technology impacts on ethical organisational operations.
3. Recognise how organisations develop ethical programmes in order to become good corporate citizens whilst remaining profitable.
4. Critically evaluate how leadership, culture and society impact on innovative sustainable initiatives.
5. Explore the implications of supply chain management, marketing, codes of conduct and international relations together with how these formulate the ethical principles and values of sustainable organisations.

Transferable/Key Skills and other attributes (maximum of 5)

On completion the student will have had the opportunity to:
6. Develop an ability to apply a balanced view of global organisations and their ethical principles.
7. Identify the skills needed to match personal values and beliefs with those of organisations for future potential employability.
8. Research and analyse organisational codes of conduct and how these compare and contrast.
9. Communicate effectively knowledge of Business Ethics, CSR and Sustainability orally and in writing using a range of appropriate tools such as media and technology.
10. To reflect and synthesise the key elements of ethical and non-ethical business practices, developing skills of critical thinking and problem solving in the development of innovative sustainable programmes.

Type of assessment Identify which ILO is met by number Weighting
Oral Assessment/presentation 1, 4, 6, 7, 9 40%
Assignment 2, 3, 5, 8, 10 60%

Allocation Of Marks

Score Assignment
Below 40 An undeveloped attempt is made, with only very basic description of the company and the three key activities. There is a lack of evidence of detailed research and no real understanding of the scope of the 3 key areas. No real argument or analysis offered. Academic standards in terms of referencing, layout and structure may not be adhered to.
40-49 Discussions relating to the review of the terms “business ethics, corporate social responsibility and sustainability” are primarily basic and descriptive. Whilst discussions relating to thetopics are mentioned they are not discussed in detail. Some description of theorganisation’s efforts in terms of these activities are presented but these are not backed by critical evidence. Overall the paper will involve limited levels of evaluation in terms of their impact on operations. Limited use of secondary data is evident in the discussion. Students may over rely on the company’s own website rather than focus on further reading. In general, whilst the submission demonstrates an understanding of the basic concepts, it is largely descriptive with a general focus and limited use of secondary data.
50-59 Discussions relating to the review of the terms “business ethics,” “corporate social responsibility” and “sustainability” demonstrate a reasonable understanding of the main concepts. Whilst discussions relating to the approaches adopted towards these themes are considered and discussed, the level of critique and analysis is limited. Whilst acceptable knowledge is presented further development of the discussion in a structured manner is required. Reference to secondary data in this section is primarily descriptive and illustrative but raises some interesting points. In general the submission demonstrates a reasonable understanding of the key points but the analytical and evaluative aspects of the submission may lack focus.
60-69 Discussions relating to the review of the terms “business ethics,” “corporate social responsibility” and “sustainability” demonstrate a good understanding of the main concepts. Discussions relating to the approaches of business ethics adopted by an organisation is stated and discussed within a coherent framework. Stakeholders are considered in some depth in relation to the impact that CSR has upon them and some debate is offered. A broad range of sources will be used, however these could be utilised more suitably to present a critical in-depth review. In general, whilst more evaluation of material could have been provided, the submission demonstrates a good understanding of the subject with relevant secondary data.
70+ Discussions relating to the review of the terms “business ethics,” “corporate social responsibility” and “sustainability” demonstrate a very strong understanding of the main concepts and the key differences between them. Discussions relating to the three themes adopted by the company with complimentary critique through various sources is presented. The impact of the corporate social responsibility and sustainability upon the relevant stakeholders is evaluated throughout, backed by a range of sources. In general, the submission demonstrates a detailed understanding of the subject with relevant varied secondary data being used to structure discussions.

Please Read the Following Information Before Conducting and Submitting Your Essay

Please submit your assignment via Turnitin, in the assessment folder. Please upload your essay into the folder named assessment.

You should demonstrate evidence of having consulted a variety of different sources (journals, books, suitable websites) and integrate this material with topics covered in lectures, including practical case study exampes. Please do not rely on the internet as websites are not always accurate and are not academic sources. Please so not use sites such as in academic writing.

On the front page of your assignment please provide details of your full name, your student I.D number as well as your tutorial group and tutor.

There is an allowance of 10% of flexibility for wordcount (therefore the total must not exceed 2750 words). Penalties are applied for assignments submitted in excess of 2750 words (not including reference list).

References and Reference List

Proper references and a good reference list are essential academic tools as well as an opportunity for you to show evidence of wider reading. Detailed advice on writing essays and referencing will be given to you at the start of the module in an Academic Skills Handbook. The context of this is based on the material from the university’s Study Skills website and workshops.

But for general guidance you should make sure you reveal your sources of information throughout any essay you write, acknowledging the authors using the Harvard System of referencing. The following should be borne in mind


A reference is an acknowledgement anywhere within the essay of the source from which you have obtained information. The source of information may come from articles, journals, books, newspapers, the internet, etc. To acknowledge a source of information is likely to mean paraphrasing from the author’s published work, although you can also use actual quotations (within inverted commas) so long as these are very short and kept to a minimum. Otherwise, the following practice should apply: (Author’s Name, Date of Publication, Page Number). For example:

Worker-management relations can be contradictory (Bratton and Gold, 2007: 56) and this is nowhere more apparent than…

The only exception is when you want to include the author’s name as part of the essay itself, in which case the reference in brackets includes just the date and page number:

Bratton and Gold (2007: 28) have suggested that worker-management relations can be contradictory…
Note: You should use brackets after the author’s name, followed by the year of publication from which you have obtained information, followed by the page reference.
• Failure to properly reference another author when you make use of their work is plagiarism, a serious academic offence which will have serious consequences
• It is important to use proper referencing not just when you use direct quotations, but also when you paraphrase what someone else has said, or when you make reference to their ideas
• If you have read about somebody’s work in a textbook, do not reference the original as though you have read that work yourself.

Reference List:
You should provide a reference list at the end of the essay – this is a full list of all the academic articles and books used for referencing throughout the text (alphabetically listed by author, year of publication, title, place of publication and publisher). For example:

Bratton, J. and J. Gold (2007) Human Resource Management: Theory and Practice, Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan.

Where the reference is to an article in a journal, the format is:

Dickens, L. (1998) ‘What HRM Means for Gender Equality’, Human Resource Management Journal, vol.8, no. 1, pp. 23-45.

Where an author is cited in another book, the bibliographic entry should take the form:

Darlington, R. (1998) ‘Restructuring and Workplace Unionism at Manchester Airport’, British Journal of Industrial Relations, vol. 33, no. 1, March 1995, p. 93, cited inR. Seifert and T. Sibley, United They Stood: The Story of the UK Firefighters’ Dispute 2002-4(2005) London: Lawrence and Wishart.
Where the reference is to a website, the entry should take the following form:

Darlington, R. (2010) ‘A Striking Union: The Case of RMT’, RMT News, pp. 22-23:
Note that website references must include the full website address of the specific page, not just the general site address.

Late Hand In
Where assessed coursework is set, students are required to complete it satisfactorily within the time limit imposed. Where coursework is submitted late the following penalties for late workshall be applied to the mark or grade for that work

(a) If the work is no more than four working days late and marked then five marks shall be deducted for each working day (or part thereof), but if the work would otherwise pass then the mark for the work shall be reduced to no lower than the pass mark for the component;
(b) If the work is no more than four working days late and marked and the mark is lower than the pass mark, then no penalty shall be applied;
(c) If the work is no more than four working days late and graded either Pass or Fail then no penalty shall be applied;
(d) If the work is more than four working days late then it cannot be submitted and shall be recorded as a non-submission (NS).

A student may submit a case of personal mitigating circumstances relating to assessment. The procedures for the submission and consideration of personal mitigating circumstances are set out in the Personal Mitigating Circumstances Procedure.

Assignment Marking

Essays will be marked prior to the exam board and tutors will provide written feedback on Turnitin. However, you should note these marks will only be provisional marks, as essays will be subject to a process of moderation which may involve second marking by another tutor. As a result your actual final mark may be revised either upwards or downwards. You will be informed of the final mark after the exam board when you receive your transcripts from the University.

Academic Misconduct

Any attempt by a student to gain an unfair advantage in coursework or the presentation is deemed academic misconduct and is strictly forbidden. Acts of academic misconduct are likely to result in a severe penalty.

The University procedures concerning academic misconduct in assessment are set out in the Academic Misconduct Procedure, the Fitness for Professional Practice Procedure and the Student Disciplinary Procedure.

Academic misconduct can take a number of forms, which are likely to fall into one or more of the following categories:

(a) plagiarism, which involves taking the work of another person and using it as if it were one’s own;
(b) self plagiarism (or double submission) which involves resubmitting previously submitted work without proper acknowledgement
(c) collusion, which involves working with others on tasks that should be carried out on an individual basis;
(d) falsifying experimental or other investigative results;
(e) takingunauthorised material into an examination;
(f) contracting another person to produce a piece of assessed work or writing a piece of assessed work for another;
(g) copying from or communicating with another examination candidate during an examination;
(h) bribery involving the offer to academic staff of money, gifts or other advantage which is intended to induce or reward impropriety in the marking of an assessment.

Cases of suspected use of unfair means in assessment shall be reported to the Dean of School or nominee and investigated in accordance with the University procedures. Where a student has been found guilty of academic misconduct one of the following penalties shall be applied:

(a) a mark of 0 or grade of fail is awarded for the component of assessment in question;
(b) a mark of 0 or grade of fail is awarded for the module in question; or
(c) a mark of 0 or grade of fail is awarded for the module in question and marks for all other modules at that level are kept at the minimum pass mark/grade

Where a module mark of 0% or grade of fail has been awarded as a penalty for academic misconduct:

(a) all component marks/grades for the module shall be set to 0% or fail
(b) any previous module marks/grades for the same module from previous attempts shall be set to 0% or fail

Where a component mark of 0% or grade of fail has been awarded as a penalty for academic misconduct and the student fails the module, that module shall not be eligible for automatic or discretionary compensation.

In addition to a penalty the University may impose other penalties or requirements upon students found guilty of academic misconduct in accordance with the Academic Misconduct Procedure, the Fitness for Professional Practice Procedure or the Student Disciplinary Procedure depending on the circumstances of a particular case.

For further information see:

A brief overview of Harvard referencing can be found on the next two pages.

Business Ethics and Sustainability Module Assignment Question (worth 60% of the module mark).

As an individual, select a single company that is within one of the industries listed in the table below. Please note you will be asked to select this company in your seminar in week 8. Companies are not permitted to be selected by more than one student. By week 8 you should have explored and investigated the company of your choice in relation to the following question:

Critically analyse the actions of your selected company in relation to the following 3 elements. You should conclude based on the extent to which the company engages with the three aspects.

To answer this question you must respond to the following aspects:
a) The business ethics conducted by the company
b) Their CSR approaches
c) Their engagement with sustainability practices.

Each component will be marked equally out of 100. Your mark will be an average across the three components. The word limit is 2500 words.

DEADLINE: 4pm – Friday 8th of January 2016

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