Students are required to complete a 2000-word individual essay as an assessment for this module. This assignment will constitute 100% of the final module mark. The assignment will test the students’ critical understanding of theoretical perspectives on ethics and various techniques and practices employed in today’s organisation to tackle social and environmental responsibility challenges. The students will also need to show their skills in applying this theoretical knowledge to the analysis and resolution of ethical business problems.

Assignment Brief

Think about an ethically problematic situation you personally experienced or witnessed in an organisation where you are/were a member. Write a reflective essay, answering the following questions:

  1. Briefly describe the situation.
  2. Explain why this situation is ethically problematic and what ethical issues/dimensions are involved in it.
  3. Did the organisation do anything to resolve the situation? Was it effective and ethical?
  4. Propose your own approach to resolving the situation and explain why your approach will actually work in practice.

In answering these questions, you are required to apply theories and perspectives that were discussed in class. You do not need to apply a large number of theories or frameworks. Make your selection carefully and only use theoretical perspectives that have demonstrable relevance to the topic of your essay.

It is of utmost importance that you critically consider the practical usefulness of the problem resolution approach you propose. For instance, a company code of conduct adopted in an organisation with thoroughly corrupt upper management to fight bribery is unlikely to have any impact on the use of bribery. You need to provide a clear and well-researched and supported explanation of why you think your approach has a chance of making a practical difference.

a) Choosing an Ethically Problematic Situation to Write About

It is of utmost importance that you write about a situation you experienced or witnessed personally in an organisation where you were a member. A choice of a situation that you are simply familiar with from reading about it in the media or from television news is not appropriate as it will not provide you with specific enough information for an in-depth analysis. You can consider a variety of organisations, not just for-profit companies: your former or present workplace, school or university where you were a student, a charity where you volunteered, or a club you attended.

If you are struggling to identify an appropriate situation, try simply to consider the regular activities of your organisations. Many ethical problems are not apparent as such until you start examining then closely.

The situation needs to be clearly and very specifically defined. Do not try to tackle overly broad subjects such as the ethics of the arms trade in general, diversity in all its forms or the whole of the Nigerian oil industry. Make sure that your subject is narrow and can be explained in about 200 – 300 words.

b) Explain why this situation is ethically problematic and what ethical issues/dimensions are involved in it.

In your analysis, ensure that you can clearly explain why the situation you describe is ethically problematic. In other words, what exactly is the problem? Does the problem have several different ethical dimensions?

First, please explain why the issue you selected is ethically problematic. You should describe and evaluate the problematic dimensions of the identified organisational issue applying one theory such consequentialist theory, non-consequentialist theory, stakeholder theory etc. 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).

c) Management analysis of the selected organisational issue.

Did the organisation do anything to resolve the situation? Was it effective and ethical?

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 will be taken), related to the specific aspects of the organisational issue and/or stakeholders/ The assessment of management’s actions should be critical and well supported to related academic and practitioner literature.

You can use a variety of theoretical perspectives on ethics, CSR, stakeholders and sustainability to conduct your evaluation. Please 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.

d) 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.

The structure

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

  • Introduction (around 200 – 300 words)
  • An overview of the selected organisational issue (around 200 – 300 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

Submission Guideline

This is an academic piece of work and it must answer the questions stated above. The coursework should be word-processed, use Ariel 12-point font and 1.5 line spacing. Word count must be clearly indicated in the coursework.

Feedback on preliminary module results will be available on module Canvas site after 20 working days Assessed work which exceeds a specified maximum permitted length will be subject to a penalty deduction of marks equivalent to the percentage of additional words over the limit. Students who do not submit assessed work and do not gain approval in advance for missed assessed work, including for any previously agreed extension, shall receive a mark of 0%. Regulations for late submissions can be found at: PGT Section 9.6

Marking Guidelines

The Strategic Management individual assignment is marked by allocating grades (weighted at 100%) to the subsections of the assignment listed on the table below:

Assignment Subsections



Introduction & conclusion.



An overview of the selected organisational issue.



Ethical analysis of the selected organisational issue.



Management analysis of the selected organisational issue



Recommendations for resolving the organisational issue



Presentation & structure, complete & accurate reference list.


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