August 29, 2014 at 11:00 am
@alfred Re-read the Info Pack if you are worried about the structure of Parts 1 & 2 (also do a search of our forums as some mentors have done posts on this). The word count breakdowns in between sections are only suggestions as long as the whole lot does not exceed 7,500 words.
References for CG will tend to be mainly Code and annual reports as that is where the info is coming from but do try to get one or two (more if possible!) from business articles etc as that will show that you have researched well.
It isn’t mandatory for Topic 17 that you use the very latest reports but aim again to have them as current as poss (obviously if things haven’t changed like Board composition you can just say that “board composition remained the same in 2014 as in 2013” that would be enough.
You could put the remuneration details on a table for each of the years and comment on percentage increases perhaps – just thinking of ways you can do things in the least number of words and how you can present the info effectively. You would only have do this for M & S -you could just do a comparison on the total figures for Next as remuneration packages vary so much from company to company. However as the emphasis now is on not rewarding for failure, many analysts think that most of the remuneration should be in bonuses based on results (or better still share options) rather the majority being just a fat salary – so you could comment on this in the light of what you find.
Just ask yourself as you are doing it – am I presenting this information the best way?
Good luck! 🙂August 29, 2014 at 11:20 am
Thanks so much
Let me get down to adjusting what I have done
GooddayAugust 31, 2014 at 12:19 pm
I have been reading a lot of the threads on the OBU forum for the past 2 weeks in order to get a clear understanding of what is expected from a student submitting a RAP.I have also read the info pack. I haven’t actually started my project as I am still brainstorming the topics to see what interests me most. After reading most of the treads on topics 1,8,16 & 17 I think I will choose topic 17.
Hopefully it’s not too late for me to start. I was planning on choosing my employer (the number 1 bank in my country) as the subject of my research and would like to know if that would be a good idea?
Also in terms of assessing the impact of the quality of CG on the key stakeholders, is Mendelow’s matrix the best model or are there other options?
Hope to hear from you soon.
With thanks.August 31, 2014 at 6:05 pm
@mizztrayz You certainly still have time to do a reasonable quality RAP IF you have sufficient time to put in the effort as there is about 12 weeks to go before the closure date for Submission Period 29.
Regarding your choice of organisation you would need to compare its CG with any local code but if this is not really an established code it would be permissible instead (or ideally, as well as this) to compare it to the UK Code or any UK CG rules/ rules applicable in the USA or other regulation in relation to the banking industry (e.g. the work of the Basel Committee). This is because you are required to assess the QUALITY of its corporate governance and therefore overseas comparisons are part of an objective evaluation for this particular sector. You are also advised to draw some comparisons with another bank in your country – again to help you maintain objectivity. (T17 RAPs when they fail tend to do so because they just rewrite what is in the annual report / CG report, depending for the most part on it and the company’s statements as their source, do not question whether the company could do more more in relation to CG and then draw the conclusion that the company demonstrates ‘good governance’ without any real proof that this is so)
Mendelow’s seems to be the most popular model that is used – possibly you could do a search using Google Scholar and you may find some other articles and models that deal with aspects of stakeholders that will enhance your work. However if there is no other ‘convenient’ model you can always fall back on Mendelow! 🙂August 31, 2014 at 6:14 pm
@lan I think you will find that your queries have been answered in this forum (please do not open another forum for Topic 17 as I am trying to rationalise the number of forums we have open). I have therefore amalgamated the one you started with our existing one which I have renamed.
You should recognise that if you want to be successful when submitting a RAP on this topic that you need to be as objective as possible when doing your assessment. If you just apply theory without any meaningful evaluation you will not be successful. I have outlined the approach to take to this topic in my many posts above. If you read those this should give you some guidance on how to address this topic and get a decent grade (provided of course that you reference and present your work well).
In relation to models you discuss the theory in Part 2 and apply any model(s) in Part 3September 1, 2014 at 6:28 am
@trephena Finally it appears am not the only one doing topic 17
I have a couple of issues
1. In the pack on page 41, ‘you should include sample spread sheets as an appendix of formulae or data base queries’
How do I go about this
2. I had a strong arguement wit a coleague insisting I have to put a literature review. Really do I need it. I didnt see it in the Information pack and as far as I have worked on my RAP I dont have it . Is it necessary?
3. Is it ok to use I , me and my through out the report. e.g I carried out my research using…, MY evaluation was based…, Despite the report disclosing….. to ME its not satisfactory.
Thanks so much
AlfredSeptember 1, 2014 at 3:59 pm
@alfred I never thought for a moment that you were the only one interested in T17!
1. If you prepare the graphs, bar charts & pie charts that I have recommended all you need to do is submit the spreadsheet you used as an appendix (it doesn’t need to be posh & pretty as long as it is clear). Paste the graphs etc. into your RAP as images.
2. Oh please do not fall out! A conventional literature review is not required however yes you should VERY briefly mention Cadbury, Greenbury etc.in the context of how CG developed but you need not go overboard.
3. A formal report is normally written in the 3rd person singular but you may use ‘I’ in Parts 1 &2. There is very little scope for 3rd or 1st person in Part 3 as you are reporting findings and evaluating. You can however use I and me in your conclusions. Don’t fret too much about it as it is your content rather than the actual style (provided it is clearly written) that matters more. 🙂September 2, 2014 at 11:25 am
Hi..would really appriciate your advice.Want to do topic 17,aout Corporate gorvenance. The company i chose is called Zimplats. im from zimbawe..when i researched about the company i found out zimplats is a subsidiary of Implats in South Africa,therefore Zimplats follows the King III Report on CG. it also has an obligation to comply with the requirements of the ASX CG Principles. so im wondering which code i should compare the company’s practise to. in zimbabwe we also have our national code..thanx for your help..September 2, 2014 at 2:14 pm
@cherrony . I touched upon this partly in my answer on p.2 in response to mizztrayz so take a look at that post. What I was trying to emphasise is that it is how well a company approaches the whole concept of CG that is important. It is perfectly acceptable to look at appropriate parts of other Codes to help you in evaluating your chosen company whether these are Zimbabwean, South African, UK Code or SOX legislation. Essentially you need to make an objective assessment and rather than blindly agreeing that the company does CG well, you need to supply the evidence. Comparisons with codes and other companies provides some proof whether the company is doing the minimum on the CG front or ‘going the extra mile’September 3, 2014 at 12:57 pm
Hie am doing the Topic 17,and my mentor is of the view that i must use primary data in the project,because how will i be able to assess the quality of corporate governance in the chosen company.My question is that is primary data really necessary in this question.Please help am stuck coz now i need to go on to my Part two of the project.September 3, 2014 at 9:18 pm
Mentoring should be an exchange of information and questions between the mentor and student so I suggest that you ask your mentor the following questions:
1. How would they suggest that you can OBJECTIVELY assess a company’s CG?
2. Exactly how many students have they guided through T17 given their approach and answer to (1) above that have passed?
My approach in the posts I have outlined to @alfred and other students is based on having read many ACTUAL RAPs that have received an A grade for T17. Funny,… I don’t seem to recall reading any that got an A for T17 and tried to use primary data as their main form of analysis. However I do remember seeing quite a few that failed using that approach. Enough said on this subject I think 🙂
(Would I be cynical in thinking this is a case of yet another mentor who is only capable of mentoring for T8 and that any other topic is outside their comfort zone?)September 4, 2014 at 12:44 pm
@trephena I have used about 7 secondary references (second hand referencing) in my work. This is because access to original documents require subscriptions which I can’t afford.
I have also noted this in the limitation of study.
Do u think this is too much? Do u think I could fail because of this?
Pls reply. Thank USeptember 4, 2014 at 1:04 pm
@unyimeedem As long as you are showing in the text they are not your ideas etc. that should be fine, so stop worrying. It is how you use them that matters and whether you have demonstrated a balanced and reasoned evaluation.September 10, 2014 at 7:53 am
Hope you are doing well
I am close to finishing however a few issues
I seem not to have a lot of writing on limitations in part 2 and conclusions in part 3.\
I actually have 2 to 3 lines on both. Is it dangerous?
I have a mentor with whom we have met twice, Is there anything I have to do like sending his CV and so on.
He has done ACCA himself and is a tutor at my college which is an ACCA approved learning centre
I told him that he will only need to confirm that it is my work when am submitting . Did I mislead him ? Do I have to send anything to OBU concerning my mentor prior to November?
I feel much as I have read the information pack my referencing might let me down.
Kindly guide me
I have used mainly pdf downloads for books , reports and items i have referenced
One monster is I was not recording the URLs I got them from
secondly I have been citing them not as online materials but as reports, or books i actually have
Is it really necessary f I download a book and cite it as a book I have read with out citing it as a website source.
e.g I downloaded Grant thornton report and I cite as (Grant Thornton, 2011) in text
in the references list I REFERENCE IT AS- Grant Thornton;,2011.corporate governance review 2011, London: Grant Thornton.
But I have a PDF softcopy of the Thornton report. Am I safe with this or strictly I look for the website and URL’s
I downloaded the UK corporate governance code by FRC though its 2012. Is it the correct publish year e.g all code citations are referenced as (Financial Reporting Council, 2012) or there is another year because i have seen some with 2010
Is it ok
Thanks so much
AlfredSeptember 10, 2014 at 9:46 am
@alfred OK let’s deal with these:
1. Limitations – More than a couple of sentences – I would expect a paragraph. Approach this by looking at your objectives and consider the information you used and ask yourself is there anything that has slightly hindered me in achieving the former with the data I had? What else could I have done in an ideal world? Probably the fact that you have had to rely on secondary data. Explain briefly why you couldn’t have used primary data (impracticality & validity issues) and then state that you have tried to introduce objectivity by using up-to-date information and comparator information and relevant codes etc. You can also (words permitting) state that as the data used is mainly discrete, unambiguous and the same basis has been used by the companies therefore comparisons are valid (e.g. gender of board, number of meetings, the number of days after year end that the FS of the companies were published cannot be disputed!) For Conclusion see 4 below
2. Your Mentor is fine. You have to do your Presentation to him (the 3rd meeting). Mislead him? In what way? He is supposed to have guided you but if he hasn’t had much exposure to the RAP he couldn’t fulfil this but the work is yours. The Presentation and verifying the work is yours are the main reasons OBU insists on a mentor – preferably one who is an ACCA – so you will need to give his details when you submit but OBU don’t need prior notification of who this is.
3. Referencing – the purpose of the reference list is that an academic should be able to track down the documents that you have used or at least be able to verify that such documents exist. If you have used the electronic versions of books and journals but do not put in the web addresses this is fine as long as you have given sufficient details (e.g. with journals the date or Volume and Issue). Check the date of the Code – you should be using the latest version and it is that date which is what you should use. Grant Thornton – in principle you have given sufficient referencing info as I have used this to find the doc – a question though – there is a 2013 Review so have you used this? Make sure you have referenced adequately in the text – every time you have used a source you need to show this in the text (and reference graphs and diagrams – you need to show the source of the info) – they are very ‘hot’ on referencing!
4. Why not use some of the points in the GT 2013 Review Highlights to help you with recommendations if you are struggling? Conclusion does not have to be long – normally you refer back to your aims and objectives and state briefly what you discovered in this respect.
By the way do not overlook your SLS (read the section in the Info Pack)- Fail it and you are into a resubmission and another GBP 191 🙁 When it comes to answering Q1 you can mention that you used our website for help (as long as your mentor isn’t too upset by this!). OBU word Q1 as ‘what you learned from the mentor experience’ because they expect your main guidance to come from the mentor but is WHAT you learned that is important NOT who actually guided you. The whole idea of the SLS is to show how you had doubts, lacked skills and direction and how daunting it was to do a piece of academic work. You need to reflect on how you learned how to approach this and produce work of the appropriate standard. How you learned to research etc (I am impressed with the Grant Thornton document by the way ! 😀 ) It would also be very appropriate to mention the initial setback with T13 as this taught you (a) how to deal with a major problem and (b) you realised that you should have planned this better – i.e. sought permission before you even started as you wasted a lot of effort. They are looking for ‘life lessons’ and new skills acquired here. When answering Q2 they want to know about the difficulties not so much how wonderful everything went… and anything you think you might hypothetically have done better or what you might have changed or approached differently if you were starting out now (e.g. what you have discovered with the benefit of hindsight). Just be sincere – I gather they hate SLSs that make out that everything was ‘hunky-dory’ because the people who mark these things deal with many students face to face and know that this is rarely the case….
BTW I am great thanks (I had an intense 3 month work project that I completed about 2 weeks ago) and so can now enjoy the last bit of UK sunshine before we are plunged into the depths of a dark and cold winter …. I am off on holiday soon to Italy too 😀 – a place I adore (funnily enough when the P28 results come out! ) so lucky me!September 10, 2014 at 9:56 am
Just a quick one before I internalise your response
Will you be in touch while in Italy??
During winter you can consider a holiday in Uganda
AlfredSeptember 10, 2014 at 11:22 am
@alfred – definitely not while I’m on hols – I’ve worked long and hard and am going to have a complete rest! 🙂
The OT team will be holding the fort while I’m away…We are posting a few articles and the like over the next week or two for students who will be resubmitting so plenty for them to think about and get on with. I’ll only be ‘incommunicado’ for about 10 days.
Nice idea about the holiday in Uganda 🙂 but have another work project Dec through till the end of Feb and a big event in my social circle that will also impact on me from Nov for a while and will be very demanding. Had planned a trip to Dubai at Christmas but think that it is now unlikely that will go ahead as not enough time….. (let me put the violins away…) 🙂September 30, 2014 at 7:45 am
hi,may i please have your opinion.when do i bring in the codes principles? i only have 1 model,mendelows on the models used. can i put the codes principles as a model again to make them 2?or the principles should be written on the results,analysis part only?September 30, 2014 at 9:58 am
@alfred this website will guide you on how to reference every source you have used.October 1, 2014 at 2:25 pm
Anyone doing Tesco or Morrisons for T17?
In view of the current furore about Tesco and Morrisons, I suggest that you ensure that you mention the current problems on the CG front. Unlike T8 although it isn’t mandatory to use the latest annual report you do need to demonstrate that you are on top of your subject.
The UK Financial Conduct Authority today announced that it would be conducting an investigation into Tesco see http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-29438683
This is hot on the heels of a Morrisons executive being charged a couple of days ago with Insider Dealing http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-29413797
So your marker will question any lack of significant headline stealing information of this sort if you are doing either of these companies – after all it isn’t that you have to rewrite your whole RAP like for T8 – just a matter of showing you are alert and read the latest Business news…..October 1, 2014 at 4:59 pm
Am doing final touches on my M&S report
It is becoming tougher than the actual writing.
Atleast am out of the basket of Tesco and Morrisons
By the way I know I asked this before but I didnt get it clearly. I have been using the UK corporate governance code 2012., Any thing wrong with that year as most references I have met have the code as 2010
Thanks once again , are you back from holiday?October 2, 2014 at 9:27 am
@alfred I suggest you get someone to do a proper read through – ask them to tell you what bits they find ‘heavy going’ or anything they don’t understand as it is far harder to be objective about your own work and easier for someone else to spot its flaws. Better that someone you know pull it to pieces rather than the marker – at least that way you can make some improvements before submission. Remember the marker has read most of this stuff in some shape or form dozens of times before so they want something that is clear, concise and gets to the point and presents the information well (rather than pages and pages of uninterrupted text). Make sure any graphs and diagrams are clear and referenced (if you are using information from other sources)
The Code is updated every 2 years so although as I indicated on this forum that the 2014 one recently became available you should not be expected to use this until P30. If you are referring to something that first appeared in the 2010 Code then it is fine to reference it to that unless it was subsequently changed by the 2012 Code as everything should be current to the 2012 Code (you can of course reference to the 2012 Code if it is the same in both 2010 & 2012).
At the moment no ‘skeletons’ have emerged out the M & S CG cupboard and if you really wanted to show currency you could mention that Alan Stewart (formerly of M & S) has been released early from his contract to try to bail out the board at Tesco with their crisis – implying that he himself had a good record in CG and financial management while with M & S. See http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-29322186
Does that answer your question?October 6, 2014 at 4:53 pm
Open tuition is a wonderful learning plate form. I wish I knew it many years back but am glad I know it now.
Please can someone advice me… I intend to research on Topic 17 for my RAP. I am in Cameroon and we do not have a popular corporate Governance code. However, there is the OHADA uniform act joinly used by some member countries in Africa including Cameroon.
I will like to know if I can use the UK code for my project or strickly the Ohada, since Ohada is the law governing the company I intend to write on. Also, can I refer to both OHADA and Uk code?
I did ACCA and I am not very good in Ohada.
God bless you for your reply…
PrinceOctober 7, 2014 at 11:01 am
@ trephena Thank you very much for the reply.
I have read the clarifications you gave, precisely to Alfred. It was indeed a very rich and resourceful explanation and it has open my understanding a lot. Thanks again.
But Alfred eventually wrote on a UK company and that was why he used the UK Code. The real problem I have is that I am in a French speaking Country which follows the OHADA Uniform Act. The OHADA is still discussing on putting in place a Corporate Governance code as they have not developped one. I know it sounds strange but it’s true that there is no precise Corporate Governance code being followed by my country and therefore the company I intend to write on.
Please let me know if it is appropriate for me to use the UK Code for a company which is not in the UK, probably just for the sake of the research.
You also mentioned Topic 17 forum, please can you direct me to the forum. Or are you refering to the general OBU Forum?
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