Assignment 1: Forces and Public Issues in Industry (15; 100 marks total)
In this module, we explored business, government, and society as an interrelated system made up of primary and secondary stakeholders. In additional to stakeholder forces, we also introduced some of the broader forces influencing this system. In this assignment, you will demonstrate your understanding of stakeholder relationships and influences (including that of government and the media) on industry and public issues.
This assignment will comprise 15% of your total course mark. Part A is a case study on land development, and Part B is a report on public issues relating to the tobacco industry. Each question carries the marks as stated for a total of 100 marks.
Part A: A Brawl in Mickey’s Backyard
Read Discussion Case: A Brawl in Mickey’s Backyard, on pages 22–23 of your textbook.
· Question 1: In a chart, diagram, or paragraph form, identify the primary and secondary (or market and nonmarket) stakeholder groups influencing or influenced by SunCal’s plans to develop a 26-acre site in the resort district. (5 marks)
· Question 2: Explain why each stakeholder group identified in question 1 is in favour of, or opposed to, SunCal’s plans to build condominiums in the resort district. (15 marks)
· Question 3: Identify possible solutions to this dispute that might emerge if SunCal was to work collaboratively with its stakeholders to address their concerns. (10 marks)
Part B: The Tobacco Industry
The tobacco industry is constantly in the media. Choose one or more public issue(s) relating to the tobacco industry (banning of smoking in public places, secondary smoke health issues, controls on tobacco advertising and corporate sponsorship, youth or women as a tobacco industry target markets, etc.) Write a 2,500-word, double-spaced report containing the following:
· Section 1. Context: Introduce the issue(s) you have selected and list primary and secondary stakeholders influencing or influenced by this issue(s). Be specific in naming individuals, groups, associations, and/or government bodies and describe these stakeholders’ roles. (15 marks)
· Section 2. What does this mean to my family?: Identify your own stakeholder role(s) in relation to the tobacco industry and cigarette smoking in our society. Describe the biases, perspectives, or experiences that may influence your position on this public issue. (10 marks)
Note: There is no right or wrong perspective, but it is important to recognize your own stakeholder positions and how they influence your perspectives.
· Section 3. What does this mean to my company?: Imagine yourself as a tobacco industry executive and describe management of the public issue(s) from this perspective. (15 marks)
· Section 4. What does this mean to my country?: Discuss the role(s) of government in this issue(s) and how it is influencing both the industry and the public. (15 marks)
· Section 5. Media impact: Describe the media’s role in this issue(s) and the perspective it is presenting to the public. Discuss industry-sponsored media communications, as well as government communications and reporting in the popular press. Cite specific examples, using references. (15 marks)
Assignment 2: Ethics and Social Responsibility in Business and Society (15%; 100 marks total)
In this module, we examined ethics and, in particular, ethics in the workplace. We also looked at social responsibility as it pertains to businesses (and other organizations) and the communities in which businesses operate. In this assignment, you will evaluate the level or degree to which a business, organization, and/or government agency is engaging in ethical and socially responsible practices. You will present this evaluation from multiple stakeholder perspectives.
Part A is a report on ethical standards, and Part B is a report on an ethical or corporate social responsibility issue in society.
Part A: Instructions
Read the following:
Donaldson, T. (1996, September). Values in tension: Ethics away from home. Harvard Business Review, 74(5), 48–62.
Re-read Discussion Case: Chiquita Brands: Ethical Responsibility or Illegal Action on pages 88–89 of your textbook.
Answer the following two questions:
Question 1: Do you feel that it is possible to develop a universal set of ethical standards for business, or do you believe that cultural differences make universal standards impractical and/or impossible? (15 marks)
Question 2: Do corporations have a right and/or a responsibility to influence ethics in the countries in which they operate? Defend your position. (15 marks)
Note: In answering the questions, you should demonstrate your ability to incorporate and integrate your learning from all aspects of this module. Ensure that you include information from the course material, the readings, your journal, and your own research.
Part B: Instructions
Write a 2,500-word, double-spaced report on corporate social responsibility and related ethical issues in society. Demonstrate your ability to integrate your learning from all aspects of this module. Ensure that you include information from the course material, the readings, your journal, and your own research. Select a topical, newsworthy issue that involves ethical and social responsibility issues relating to business and society.
The following are some topic suggestions. Pick one or choose your own topic and email your Open Learning Faculty Member, if you have any concerns as to whether your topic is appropriate.
Corporate and/or governmental involvement in China despite international criticism of the Chinese government with regard to human rights of Chinese and Tibetan people.
Privatization of hospital services in one or more provinces in Canada (e.g., Ontario, Alberta, and/or British Columbia)
Pharmaceutical companies and the conflict over making HIV/AIDS drugs available in poor countries
The wellhead blowout in 2010 at a deepwater drilling platform operated on behalf of British Petroleum (now BP) in the Gulf of Mexico
Corporations manufacturing and distributing genetically modified foods
Corporations importing toys from manufacturers in China, given the discovery of lead in some toy products produced in that country
Walmart, Target, or other big-box retail giants establishing operations in Canadian towns and cities
KGHM International’s proposed Ajax mine project in Kamloops, BC
Enbridge’s proposed Northern Gateway pipeline to Kitimat, BC
Kinder Morgan’s proposed TransMountain pipeline expansion from Alberta to Burnaby, BC
Another ethical or CSR topic of your choice
Your report should cover the following:
Section 1. Introduction: Introduce the topic and identify the CSR (and ethical) issue(s) that are of concern. Then, list the stakeholders that influence or are influenced by this issue. Be specific in naming individuals, groups, associations, and/or government bodies. Cite references for your research. (10 marks)
Section 2. Rationale: Analyze the ethics of the issues involved using three of the methods of ethical reasoning (utility, rights and justice) described on pages 83–87 of your textbook. Then, indicate which of the three methods you feel is most helpful in evaluating the ethics of the relevant issue(s). Explain the reasons for your choice. (30 marks)
Note: In Section 2 Rationale, rather than estimating the actual costs and benefits involved, you may simply identity and describe the costs and benefits that you would consider (if actual cost-benefit information is not provided in the literature).
Section 3. Impacts (What does this mean to my family?): Describe the potential and/or real impacts to you and your family. Are these impacts direct or indirect? Briefly explain why. (5 marks)
Section 4. Impacts (What does this mean to my community?): Explore the potential and/or real impacts on the local or site community, as well as real or potential impacts on other communities. Describe these impacts from multiple perspectives, ensuring you represent both community and corporate (or organizational) perspectives. (15 marks)
Section 5. Impacts (What does this mean to my country?): Are there broader impacts or ramifications associated with this issue? If yes, how do this ethical and CSR issue impact business and society in Canada as a whole? If no, explain why not. (10 marks)
Assignment 3: Stakeholders in Sustainable Business Transformation (15%; 100 marks total)
In this module, we explored a number of broad forces that have significant influence on business, government, and society. In this assignment, you will focus on environmental issues and sustainable development as a growing force in business and society today. Decision makers integrating environmental and social issues and concerns with economic goals can face conflicting costs and benefits among these three elements of sustainable development.
In this assignment, you will examine some of the environmental, health and social costs and benefits associated with an economic development project. You will also examine one business or organization that is implementing sustainable development policies and initiatives.
Part A is a case study on the environmental, health, social, and economic impacts of the adoption of clean cookstoves in the developing world. Part B is a report examining a corporation or other organization that is transforming to more sustainable operations.
Read Discussion Case: Clean Cooking at the end of Chapter 10, and answer the following two questions.
· Question 1: Describe the ways in which the widespread adoption of clean cookstoves will address the global environmental issues discussed in Chapter 10. (15 marks)
· Question 2: Describe the ways in which the widespread adoption of clean cookstoves will address the issues of economic development and poverty discussed in Chapter 10. (15 marks)
Examine a corporation or other organization that is transforming to more sustainable operations. Analyze ways the organization is reacting to stakeholder influences and how the policies and initiatives of this organization, as well as technologies that they employ, are affecting stakeholders internally, externally, and globally. You should demonstrate your ability to incorporate and integrate your learning from all aspects of this module. Ensure that you include information from the course material, the readings, your journal, and your own research.
Choose from the following options:
· Royal Dutch Shell
· Interface, Inc.
· Hewlett-Packard (HP)
· A business or organization of your choice that is implementing sustainable development policies and initiatives. Please review the questions below to ensure the organization or business that you select is appropriate to the assignment deliverables.
If you are not analyzing Shell, Interface, or HP), then, prior to beginning this report, you should email your Open Learning Faculty Member the name of your chosen organization to confirm that your choice is appropriate for this assignment.
After selecting an organization, write a 2,500-word, double-spaced report containing the following:
· Section 1. External forces or influences: Identify three external factors that you think have influenced the company’s shift to more environmentally and/or socially responsible business management practices. Describe the ways in which these external factors influenced management actions and/or decisions or helped to transform the company. Provide evidence to support your observations. (30 marks)
· Section 2. Internal forces or influences: Identify two internal factors that have influenced the company’s shift to more environmentally and/or socially responsible business management practices. Describe the ways in which these internal factors influenced management actions and/or decisions or helped to transform the company. Provide evidence to support your observations. (20 marks)
· Section 3. Global impacts of sustainable development initiatives: Describe one real or potential global impact of the sustainable development initiatives of this company. Indicate the magnitude or significance of this impact in terms of its influence on global business and/or society. (10 marks)
· Section 4. Harnessing technology for sustainable development: Describe (with examples) how this company is using the Internet and other technologies to assist its efforts to move toward sustainable business and development. (10 marks)
Assignment 4: Stakeholder Responsibilities in Consumer Protection (15%; 100 marks total)
In this module, you explored a number of issues relating to internal stakeholders and internal forces in organizations. In this assignment, which will count for 15 per cent of your mark, you will explore an employee issue relating to diversity, and a consumer issue.
In Part A, a case study, you will examine issues pertaining to workplace diversity.
In Part B, also a case study, you will explore an important consumer protection issue —prescription medicines—and its impact on stakeholders associated with Merck & Co. You will examine forces and factors influencing decision making, as well as various stakeholder perspectives.
Part A: Instructions
· Read Discussion Case: Unauthorized Immigrant Workers at Chipotle Mexican Grill Restaurants at the end of Chapter 17, and answer the following two questions. You should demonstrate your ability to incorporate and integrate your learning from all aspects of this Module.
· Question 1: Is being an unauthorized immigrant a form of workplace diversity? How is it similar to and different from the other types of workplace diversity discussed in Chapter 17 of your textbook? (15 marks)
· Question 2: Which stakeholders, other than employers, are helped and which are hurt when an organization hires unauthorized immigrants? (5 marks)
Part B: Instructions
· Read Case Study: Merck, the FDA, and the Vioxx Recall (pages 493–502).
· Write a 2500-word, double-spaced report containing the following:
· Section 1: Do you believe that Merck acted in a socially responsible manner with regard to the development and testing of Vioxx? Explain why and/or why not. (20 marks)
· Section 2: Do you believe that Merck acted in a socially responsible manner with regard to Vioxx in its relations with customers and shareholders? Explain why and/or why not. (10 marks)
· Section 3: Do you believe that Merck acted in a socially responsible manner with regard to the marketing and advertising of Vioxx? Explain why and/or why not. (20 marks)
· Section 4: Do you believe that Merck acted in a socially responsible manner with regard to Vioxx in its relationships with government policy makers and regulators? Explain why and/or why not. (20 marks)
· Section 5: Do you believe that Merck’s voluntary public recall of Vioxx was an act of corporate social responsibility? Explain why and/or why not. (10 marks)
Major Project (40%; 100 marks total)
Congratulations on all your hard work that has brought you to this Major Project for course completion. This project requires reflection on the journalling activities and online discussions that you completed throughout the course.
The following questions relate to the course goals and learning outcomes for each module. They will guide your reflection. If you were attentive to the module activities, this project will be less time consuming than it will be if you weren’t. It requires reflection and commentary on key learning objectives as they relate to the activities.
Read all of the following ten questions in Parts A, B, and C before beginning this project. Use the questions to reflect on the activities you completed in Modules 1 to 4, as well as discussion activities in which you participated.
Write a paper addressing the following questions and reflections. The paper should be no more than twenty pages double-spaced (approximately 5,000 words) and should include examples from your journalling activities and discussion postings.
Part A: Stakeholders and Interrelationships
1. Describe how the activities influenced your awareness and understanding of the interrelationship between business and society. Use examples from your activities in each of the modules and include evidence from your online discussion postings to support this answer. (10 marks)
2. Using examples from your activities, describe the challenges of dealing with the conflicts and/or confluence of stakeholder needs, wants, expectations, and perspectives. Identify whose perspective you are representing in each of your examples. List examples of some of the ramifications of ignoring or improperly addressing stakeholder interests. (10 marks)
3. Comment on how the use of “circles of reflection” can affect your perspective of an issue or situation. Cite examples from your activities to demonstrate how use of the circles of reflection affected your analysis. (5 marks)
Part B: Forces and Influences
0. Comment on how ethics and social responsibility relate to some of the internal and external forces in business and society that we discussed in this course. Review activities in Modules 3 and 4, as well as Module 2, for examples. (10 marks)
1. Describe how the readings and journalling activities influenced your views on workplace ethics and corporate social responsibility. Did you have a shift in your perspective? Do you consider ethics and/or corporate social responsibility to be important to business and society today? Explain your answer, and use examples from the activities. (10 marks)
2. Comment on the interrelationship between external forces such as globalization, economics, technology and the environment, and internal influences on business and society including governance and corporate citizenship (CSR), consumer protection, employee rights and responsibilities, and workplace diversity. Remember to support your argument with multiple examples such as sample journal entries, postings from online discussions, or readings. (20 marks)
3. Is the government an external force, an internal force, a stakeholder, or all of the above? Using examples from your activities, comment on the government’s role in business and society. (5 marks)
Part C: Final Reflection
0. Comment on how journalling activities helped you recognize the real or potential impact of stakeholder biases as well as your own biases. How do biases or differing perspectives influence the media, public opinion, and decision-making in business and society? Use examples from your activities to support your commentary. (15 marks)
1. Did participating in the online discussions make you more aware of your views and other people’s views about the course topics? Explain your answer. (5 marks)
2. Describe what was the most significant learning for you in this course and explain why. (10 marks).