July 26, 2014 at 8:41 pm
@tanvi2211 You should concentrate on answering the topic 20 requirements. Markers can sometimes react with hostility to students whom they consider have ‘hijacked’ topics as they tend to suspect ulterior motives e.g. that the work was submitted previously for another university or for some other purpose. I would always recommend students to fufil the actual topic requirements then they stand the best chance of passing 🙂July 27, 2014 at 7:28 am
Thank you a lot.September 10, 2014 at 2:40 pm
@trephena one of my project objectives is to determine the relationship between csr and growth. I intend to use correlation analysis to do this.
The 2013 & 2012 annual report of the organisation in study does not contain expenditure on csr.
However, the 2011 & 2010 report contains all the detailed expenditure on projects carried out.
Since this topic does not require that I use the most recent financial statement.
Do you think I should use 2011 & 2010 annual report since it contains all the information I need?
Pls reply. Thank you for always being there to helpSeptember 10, 2014 at 9:31 pm
@unyimeedem – the correlation idea is a very good one – a pity they haven’t included the detail to allow you to do this for the last couple of years however you certainly can do it for the other two years.
I think you should use the latest reports for most of your RAP but you could still include a graph showing the correlation for 2010 & 2011 as part of it. Then you have the best of both worlds. However mention underneath the graph that you could not include the latest figures as the company has not disclosed this informationJanuary 13, 2015 at 1:35 am
@trephena i would like to know is it viable enough to use triple bottom line as a framework for analyzing organization’s CSR policies and business ethics? As triple bottom line is a sustainability accounting theory however i find it pretty much efficient as a overall framework.
Secondly, will there be an issue if I select a topic which my project mentor had already used to pass his OBU?
Your contribution is highly appreciated……January 13, 2015 at 10:39 pm
@nickel – Triple bottom line is an acceptable model but I think you should also consider Carroll in addition as it introduces Philanthropic aspects and with T20 you need to explore the subject as broadly as possible. The important thing with any RAP in general and T20 (and T17) in particular, is to ensure that you research and use a variety of sources that are not all dependent on company generated information. The hallmark of a good RAP is one that shows a balanced view and critically reviews the information and does not just accept the company standpoint. Obviously you will be using some company reports but broaden your research and actively seek out business articles that will help you assess it objectively. As with T17 try to assess the company’s performance on some aspects of CSR with a competitor*. For a good mark you have to show that you have questioned and critiqued all information sources.
In principle there is no problem using the same topic but you must submit original work. It may not be advisable to use the same company unless you ensure that you do not even read their submission to avoid any possibility that you replicate any of it even inadvertently. Make no mistake the electronic checking system is only one of the measures used to assess authenticity of student’s work – experienced markers are quite skilful at using a range of techniques that ferret out work that is not the student’s own – and at least 10% of submissions I understand are initially referred to the ACO as being suspicious.
*in fact for T20 as there is no laid down code for companies, just general guidelines (see The Global Reporting Initiative) a more appropriate way of doing comparisons is possibly benchmarking against ‘Best Practice.’ Find examples of good CSR and see how your chosen organisation measures up.January 21, 2015 at 1:30 am
@trephena Thank you for your reply… as triple bottom line does not consider philanthropy i was considering switching to Balanced scorecard as it covers both financial and non financial measures.. Thanks in advance for your support…April 9, 2015 at 11:44 am
Thank you soo much for this!! clarifies a lot!April 13, 2015 at 9:36 am
Our Friends at ACG ( Applied Corporate Governance) whose mantra is ‘People – Planet – Profit’ have agreed to let students use their resources (provided the source is fully acknowledged through referencing) to assist them with thus topic.
They have a good section on Ethics which is an important part of T20 (in fact they put it at the heart of all business operations, as do I) so I recommend if you are just starting out on T20 you read their article and assess their definition of what constitutes good business ethics.April 27, 2015 at 6:27 am
@trephena thank u and ur comments r always helpful…. I would like to know is there any list of recommended software for presentation….. I was considering doodling presentation however not sure whether is it permissible or not??? Thanks in advance dear………..April 27, 2015 at 6:49 pm
@nickel – Regarding the basic program the Information Pack says merely:
“your presentation slides should be uploaded as a PowerPoint document”
Slides should not be produced that require any interactive involvement by the marker other than scrolling up and down on screen – so essentially the final format uploaded should show slides containing clip-art, images, graphs and charts in their finished state.July 18, 2015 at 1:34 pm
@trephena the marker wants me to use GRI framework to analyze the company’s actions and reporting
Pls how do I use this?July 18, 2015 at 4:51 pm
I am working on CSR_ Topic 20.Grateful if you could help me:
1. Should I use only one organisation or two for the Rap?
2. Should I prepare a questionaire for this topic to gather information? In the open tuition site itself, its stated that for topic 20, we must focus on secondary data, is it true? Does that mean there is no need to collect primary data on the org? and thus, no need to prepare a questionaire? Plz advice.
Thanks,July 19, 2015 at 11:09 pm
@unyimeedem – The emphasis here is on ‘framework’ as the Global Reporting Initiative is quite complex so I suggest that you use p. 9 of this as a guide to some of the areas to look at:
Not all of these would be applicable to your organisation and there are too many to be able to cover them all so you will need to be selective. I think you should also look at Carroll’s Pyramid – there is some overlap between the two (many of the facets in Table 1 could come under ‘legal’ and ‘ethical’ dimensions included in the Pyramid for example). However you should also include charitable initiatives and community projects as part of the ‘philantrophic’ dimension.
It is important with T20 (as well as with T17) that you look for independent articles from the business press and the internet so that you are not just relying on company statements. For example a current ethical issue is global organisations moving their head offices to low tax countries and arranging complex intercompany transfers to minimise the tax liabilities in many of the countries they actually operate in. Statements from such companies that ‘they pay all their tax as due’ is only half the story – this may be so but is it morally and ethically right that they aggressively pursue tax avoidance policies so that the minimum is given back to many of the countries they depend on for income? So rather than just repeat all the positive statements that the company makes, try to provide evidence that either supports or contradicts this so that your report is balanced.July 20, 2015 at 8:32 am
@trephena thanks alot. The organisation in study is Apple Inc.
Apple has published an environmental report for 2014. Do I use the content of this report to benchmark against the GRI framework in page 9?
I have also included Carroll’s pyramid but the marker specifically told me to use Mendelow’s matrix and GRI framework.
Your advise is highly appreciated as I have no clue on where to start from with GRIJuly 20, 2015 at 2:56 pm
1. There is no need to have a specific comparator as CSR encompasses many aspects and different companies put different emphases on the various aspects so direct comparisons with just one company is not very effective. However what you can do is look at these various aspects and find companies that excel in particular areas via your Research and ‘benchmark’ against these – in effect you will be measuring your company against ‘best practice’.
2. Primary research for T20 is not really advised. The prob with Questionnaires is that unless you have experience in putting together a questionnaire you are likely to waste your time in producing something that does not measure anything reliably and is too subjective to be of any use.
A better way of approaching this topic (and T17) then trying to do primary research is to supply some independent information (e.g it is not produced by the company) to support or present an alternative point of view of company statements. This way you are adding ‘balance’ to their CSR statements and sustainability reports. Look for some articles from bodies that focus on ethics and sustainability. From their websites you will get ideas and ‘leads’. So for starters look at the first of these in relation to (1) above
and also see the website of Applied Corporate Governance as they have discussed ethics well and on another page there are links to various articlesJuly 20, 2015 at 3:12 pm
@unyimeedem – the marker would have mentioned using Mendelow in relation to the stakeholder analysis (the final element of T20). GRI and Carroll’s jointly are part of the analysis of the company’s ethical, sustainability, philanthropic policies etc.
Yes benchmark Apple on important aspects of p.9
Also see my recent post above to tanvi2211 (moved from elsewhere) as that may have some links that will be useful to you too.July 24, 2015 at 11:56 am
@trephena thanks for your advise. another issue is this;
how do i use footnotes in my report? i contacted OBU about copy and pasting company stated policies.
and the response was that i must introduce the text and cite the sources using footnotes to avoid plagarism.July 24, 2015 at 1:17 pm
@unyimeedem – when you use statements such as these they MUST be in quotation marks like”this” to show they are not your words. Then you can either insert a reference in brackets at the end e.g (XYZ Sustainability Report p.10, 2014) or using MS Word insert, put in a footnote using the subscript in the Font option and then you would put these details of the source at the appropriate matching number at the bottom of the page. It is hard to explain but not too difficult to do and you can go on YouTube to see how it is done.
However only quote what is absolutely necessary as OBU prefer you to use your own words as much as possible rather than copying long passagesJuly 30, 2015 at 10:39 pm
@tanvi2211 you’ll fail if you do a questionnaire on this topic.
I already failed because I did a questionnaire. The marker said it wasn’t usefulJuly 30, 2015 at 11:10 pm
@trephena I have evaluated Apple’s business practices on key stakeholders like customers, investors, suppliers & laborers. I did this by comparing the stated policies to the business practices and found out that the policies just exist but is not being followed as their business practices are totally different from policies.
This is an extract of what the marker wants me to do.
You need to consider an analysis of the company’s actions in relation to appropriate models of ethical behaviour and CSR. You would do well to consider using Mendelow’s matrix and referring to the Global Reporting Initiative as frameworks to improve you analysis of company actions and reporting.
You should gather much more information about the company’s activities in relation to key stakeholder groups (as might be indicated by analysing according to Mendelow’s matrix). Given the company’s sector, what are key ethical and social issues which they should pay attention to? Who is affected by these? What are the company’s stated policies, and do their actions seem to accord with these?
For GRI, will I compare the selected categories in page 9 to the business practice?
For example: child labor, will I write that the stated age for employment is say 18 but findings reveal that 15 year old is found in the factories?
Apple published an environmental report in compliance with GRI framework. Am I suppose to compare this report to best practice or their business practice which is very much available in the media?
It’s my final submission pls help meJuly 31, 2015 at 12:36 pm
@unyimeedem – Is your first paragraph about what you had done previously or what you have now done for your resubmission?
With any topic the markers want to see evidence of ‘critical thought’ which basically means that you have shown that you have looked at something and not just accepted the situation but examined it from different angles. So by comparing actual practice with stated policies you seem to be doing this and this should greatly improve your work.
By doing the sort of comparisons you mention you will have also needed to use independent sources (i.e. articles not written by the company) as well as Apple’s own reports and statements – which again is good as it (a) shows research (b) the ‘balance’ I mentioned in an earlier post and (c) demonstrates objectivity (you are not just accepting the company view of things). So presuming this is your new work this all seems to be moving in the right direction now. 🙂
Show that you have used the GRI framework for some of your work and yes bring in the child labour issue (and maybe point out that your research indicates that Apple needs to ‘audit’ its suppliers better in this respect to ensure consistency in policy and practice).
The idea throughout is that you subject the company’s CSR to valid scrutiny so comparisons with best practice and/or business practice are appropriate. In fact if you find that the GRI is inadequate in any aspects then you can legitimately mention this in your Conclusion & Recommendations section. Constructive criticism will enhance your work – emphasis on the word constructive as you need to support statements with facts and references (not just make sweeping statements). Effective evaluation is about demonstrating that you are using sources sensibly, presenting reasoned arguments and thinking for yourself.
Your suggestions now seem to indicate that you have grasped what is required so hopefully this time you will be successfulJuly 31, 2015 at 2:22 pm
The first paragraph is on current research.
I also found out that GRI uses United nation Global Compact (UNGC) as an indicator for best practice relating to page 9July 31, 2015 at 3:56 pm
@unyimeedem – great stuff! (Remember to reference well too throughout).
I suggest that you also start your Resubmission Statement – see my article on this called ‘The Resubmission Statement – why a good one is your key to success’ on our homepage http://www.opentuition.com/obu
As this is your last attempt you need to ensure that you have addressed all the areas the markers and moderators highlighted and by starting your statement now it will be like a checklist. You sound as if now you have the proper focus so well done and keep up the good work! 🙂
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