- August 30, 2017 at 6:22 am
One of the major initial problems about the new topic is selecting a suitable company. I think you need to find a company that has at least one major issue and argue that well by looking at the problem from several angles. Normally you can then find a couple of minor issues that can be used to make a further case of weak corporate governance.
For example there are many instances in the UK about excessive executive pay and shareholder revolt -see businesses pages of major media as every week (and in fact almost every other day) a new case is reported. To develop the argument consider the following article by the High Pay Centre https://highpaycentre.org/pubs/are-remuneration-consultants-independent
which considers whether remuneration consultants are truly independent. The executive pay (the total compensation package) in your chosen organisation could be compared with increase in shareholder value / profits, average worker pay, dividends as a measure of what the CEO is objectively contributing (or not as the case may be)
The purpose is to build up a well researched argument with some critical thought involved and bringing in objective evidence like this shows you have considered the topic in a ’rounded’ as opposed to superficial way.
The study could be combined with an investigation/research into other areas where there may be potentially weak governance e.g. one of the on-going issues is number of women on boards (considered to add strength to a board as females dilute the ‘alpha male’ mentality and take a more balanced attitude to risk). Or there might be issues of zero hours contracts and dubious other practices.
Adopting this type of approach (taking the major issues and subjecting them to balanced scrutiny) if adequately researched, well presented and referenced should lead not only to a pass but probably a B grade or above.
In the UK most of the major banks continue to have ‘issues’ of one sort or another -HBOS (now under Lloyds) and RBS have been accused of pushing small viable businesses into liquidation via exploitative practices and some employees face or have faced charges of corruption. Currently there are fears of another financial crash because of loose lending practices /lack of responsible lending and unprecedented levels of consumer debt and security concerns regarding customer data and bank fraud.
Overseas Swiss based ABB has had a couple of major issues -see https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2017/02/10/engineering-group-abb-investigated-serious-fraud-office/
Meanwhile Samsung too has been rocked by scandal
Just a few possibilities here then for a good and interesting RAP on new Topic 17September 9, 2017 at 6:06 pm
If you choose to go focus on one issue you should still touch upon some of the other ones. You can be a bit selective but whoever marks it would expect you to demonstrate your knowledge and research skills so don’t gloss over anything completely if it is significant.September 9, 2017 at 6:56 pm
Hi trephena, can you tell me what business/financial models would you recommend for the new topic 17? apart from mendelow’s?September 10, 2017 at 9:42 am
The new topic is less formulaic than the old title so it is harder to lay down specific rules on what you must do. Although most students are familiar with the UK CG Code they are less familiar with many of the other codes and regulations (e.g. the Stewardship Code).
When you introduce the topic I have suggested outlining briefly the development of CG as a sort of literary review, mentioning key reports and codes (this is like with T6 where motivation theories are discussed). During your analysis of the scandal(s) you should refer back where relevant to legislation, codes and regulations that are implicated and been contravened.
In the final part you should consider how the various stakeholder groups have been affected and so any stakeholder model (including Mendelow’s) is appropriate here. Take a look at https://www.applied-corporate-governance.com/best-corporate-governance-practice.html
What I have found interesting is that competitors can impact on governance either negatively e.g. most of us refer to poor governance in ‘the banks’ (where the bad CG practices of a few have tarnished the reputation of the many) or positively e.g. some companies want to distinguish themselves from the questionable practices of competitor companies and see good governance as one way of promoting themselves and their products and services (most consumers want to support ethical and well run companies)September 12, 2017 at 4:45 pm
Hi Trephena, pls is swot analysis a suitable business model for topic 17?If yes,how can I apply it?September 27, 2017 at 3:20 pm
Anyone with the link where I can obtain OBU RAP exemplar?
I want to believe using the headings of the exemplar is not considered as plagiarism,if it is kindly let me know.
Am doing T17,and forgive me if this may sound silly,as you know it`s a requirement to use Accounting/business models or techniques,I was wondering if IASs are accounting techniques that I can use.I believe for the business model part,Trephena suggested the use of stake holder theory and share holder theory.
I stand to be corrected for your corrections will help me a lot.September 30, 2017 at 9:22 am
For the first request.October 1, 2017 at 9:12 pm
dalitso999 – please be aware there is no set layout for the new Topic 17 and the exemplars are really just extracts showing the type of style that you need to adopt. As I have mentioned previously begin with a brief introduction to CG and then outline the scandal and the issues it has caused, moving on to analyse its impact (including possibly potential financial impacts.
If the scandal you are looking at revolves around inappropriate use of accounting methods contrary to the IASs then these may be used as a business technique. However as I had also tried to impress, you also need to do a full analysis of the impact of the scandal on all potential stakeholders, so you can bring in a stakeholder model. The various stakeholders affected are often much wider than just shareholders and employees e.g. the VW scandal (which overall is mainly suited to CSR rather than CG) the stakeholders extended to the wider community of the town where VW is based as the fall in demand to their cars would impact economically on the area (higher unemployment and a reduction in money entering the local economy and a reduction in demand for local services).
Other appropriate techniques and models are agency theory and stewardship theory however remember that rather than just state theories you do need to be able to cite them and give examples in the context of your chosen companyOctober 11, 2017 at 3:46 am
Trust you are doing good.
I could not submit in period 34 and working hard to be able to submit for period 35 !
I have chosen VW as my organization and the below are my project objectives and research questions which I have been working on..
Are these fine in your opinion?
To identify VW’s weak corporate governance structures;
To evaluate VW’s compliance to the corporate governance practices in place;
To assess the origins of the corporate governance issues and the organisation’s response;
To draw a reasonable conclusion and recommend some suggestions based on overall learning from this project.
What are the corporate governance structures adopted by VW and what went wrong;
To what extent has VW complied to corporate governance codes adopted;
How the corporate governance issues were unfolded and how did it affect VW performance;
What are the major high points and corporate governance shortcomings within VW.
Thank you in advance.October 11, 2017 at 8:25 am
Thank you this will be helpful for others wondering how to approach the new topic.
One area you could explore (perhaps you already intend to with “How the corporate overnance issues were unfolded and how did it affect VW performance”?) is the impact on sales globally. As the scandal took hold a few years ago you may be able to see trends in revenue (was there an immediate dip and it is slowly recovering for example?).
You could also try to research whether the scandal has accelerated governments’ and the market’s response to phasing out diesel cars (although this latter point is more suited to Topic 20 where the main arguments are about deception and pollution/climate change. The move towards electric vehicles could be seen as a force for good and VW’s response to this move could be developed in further detail).October 12, 2017 at 9:49 am
I am new in this T17 group, I went through this forum and am thinking to go for this topic as it only needs secondly data, I have asked a question in T1 forum but after going through this topic i feel comfortable because how it is hard for me to get primary data. Do you think I can submit by p 35 as I will be fulltime on this project. Is it possible to change topic because I have selected 3 topics T1 16, 11.
Thank you for your help and guidance. I feel i am on the right placeOctober 12, 2017 at 6:42 pm
Well you only have about a month to research and write up your analysis and produce your SLS and do your slide presentation -which is quite a lot of work. Personally I don’t think this is adequate to do a RAP and stand a good chance of passing especially as you have not really settled on a topic and the work always takes longer than anticipated.
Remember that each submission currently costs GBP 300 and if you fail that will effectively mean at least GBP 600 (GBP 300 for P35 and another GBP 300 for P36) – as well as the disappointment involved. In my opinion you would be better off planning your work properly and doing a quality research report that has a really good possibility of passing first time.October 12, 2017 at 7:41 pm
Thank you for your advice, let me prepare for P36 then. Please If possible would you suggest for some companies. Sorry if this is not right question to ask.October 13, 2017 at 8:51 am
I have made suggestions in my earlier posts on how to look for suitable companies and how to approach the topic. I cannot really prescribe which companies a student should use but followi my advice of looking at the business pages over the next working week or two. See which companies feature and what the key issues are. Then do some quick basic research to establish that potentially you will have a variety of sources that cover these key issues. For example today there is a further development in the Samsung Electronics saga
So Board issues and corruption here (and potentially illegal payments). In spite of the crisis, profits remain good…. (which is unusual) but perhaps these are because of strategies and decisions made in the past and now without direction at the top they are unsustainable….October 13, 2017 at 7:59 pm
Thanks Dear Trefena, I will be following the busines pages and I am sure I will come with some ideas by the next 2weeks. Even this Sumsung issue also i think will be interesting case.
Stay blessedOctober 13, 2017 at 10:45 pm
Hey, Trephena and fellow T 17-ners
I could really use some advice on the stakeholder analysis.
Under business models I stated I would use Mendelow’s matrix. I ‘defined’ it and discussed its strengths & limitations.
My issue is with the quadrant and the mapping. Where do I do this?
In part 2 where I discuss the matrix? If so it means in my ‘impact on stakeholders’ section in part 3 its a matter of stating the stakeholder and typing away all the nasty things that happened to them?
I’ve been stuck the whole day and I’m panicky. My word count is creeping into the red.October 14, 2017 at 8:03 am
Do the actual mapping and most (if not all) of the stakeholder impact in a section after the analysis of the weak governance. Obviously in setting out what the weak governance and scandals there may be some mention inevitably of stakeholders but try to go for one main section (potentially with sub-headings) where you have analysis of relevant stakeholders, and discussion of impact and any stakeholder reaction.
Ensure that you don’t ramble on when setting out the background to CG development. It should be a brief introduction to the topic and not a statement of every twist and turn! There may be some justification for setting out a timeline table for MAJOR reports and events (a) if you have the time to do it and (b) if it will save on words. Do not however paste it into your report as an image unless you include the words in the wordcount as markers do not take kindly to anyone trying to abuse and fiddle the limit by shoving things in tables unless the tables are left in Word. Otherwise try to limit the words to the minimum to get the job done – see if you can get away with 250 -300
By the way Applied Corporate Governance have produced an article on VW which may be useful (however if using it, it will need to be acknowledged and referenced)
https://www.applied-corporate-governance.com/volkswagen-an-accident-waiting-to-happen.htmlOctober 14, 2017 at 11:00 am
Thank you so muchTrephena.
I think I went overboard in my evaluation in some parts. I’ll have to tone it down.
Another question please. Other issues outside the code that I wish to evaluate, say money laundering or senior manager regime, I have to introduce under business models first like we do for The Code & Mendelow? And then apply in part 3?October 14, 2017 at 5:15 pm
I am not aware that money-laundering is an issue at VW and therefore it would not be appropriate to bring this in (it is mostly appropriate in financial and banking organisations).
Regarding Board issues: these are covered in the Code and the German equivalent, the Kodex and where the Board delegates duties to those below them, they cannot simply absolve themselves of responsibility (as responsibility cannot be delegated)!October 14, 2017 at 6:00 pm
Oopsy. Sorry I should have mentioned I’m researching into the practices of a bank.October 16, 2017 at 12:55 am
Yes of course – I remember now (Jes Staley) – I was confusing you with another student who was doing VW. 😀October 16, 2017 at 8:52 am
Yep! James Edward Staley the man himself. (see what he did with his initials there?) 🙂October 16, 2017 at 8:26 pm
Thanks for pointing that out – something I didn’t know!
Mmmm could be smart but in his case could be evidence of someone on his own ego trip !!!!! 🙁October 20, 2017 at 9:22 am
i have also noticed a change in topic 17, im submitting this November. im having some doubts which i would be very happy if you help me clear them.
i am in east Africa, there hasn’t really been a specific company in my country that has been specifically identified as having a week CG structure , however i have noticed a university report here in our country which has generalized the level of CG of all companies listed in our stock exchange as being good in average but are still struggling when it comes to board structures. also a reliable newspaper article which has just generalize that we still having issues and a long way to go when it comes to CG, especially on issues of board structures as identified above and other transparency issues, all these reports haven’t specifically directly addressed the company i have picked to make my RAP but rather generalized the company listed in our stock exchange on which this company is also among.
My question is can i take these as arguments to proceed my RAP with? are they really enough of a reason? if not is there any other alternatives? can i proceed with those of UK? if yes would you please kindly give me some guidelines on the UK companies?as im still not that much aware of corporate stuffs happening in UK. i have written the part 1 and 2 of the RR already.
the other doubt, do stakeholder analysis really is required in this new T17? do i really need to include the Mendelow matrix and the carroll csr pryramid in stakeholder analysis? as the topic has just specified to assess on CG origins issues and the organisation response.
and if i was really required to make a change, considering the time remained to submitting, do you think time is still realistically with me? or i should just postpone to next submission
kind regardsOctober 20, 2017 at 11:33 am
@ngeleja – Thank you for highlighting the issues you as an Africa student have found. have found.
There is nowhere in the RAP instructions where it says you have to select a company in your own country.
One of the major problems is that CG in Africa is not so well developed (apart from perhaps in South Africa, which did produce the King Reports). That is not to say there is not weak governance, however most of the scandals involve bribery and corruption. Often since government ministers themselves are involved there is not much publicity and many of the instances are hushed up. You might be able to find details regarding particular African cases if you look at Transparency International’s website (TI is an organisation that is dedicated to highlighting corruption).
I am not sure a generalised approach will work as you would be mainly doing research rather than adding much original analysis and critical thought of your own. The idea of Mendelow (and in fact any other stakeholder theory) is that the title specifically says that you are to consider the impact of the weak CG on stakeholders -thus providing an opportunity for you to do some original analysis to comply fully with the topic title.
Therefore I would advise that unless you can find a specific African company to analyse where you can assess stakeholder impact you look at international business business pages to find an overseas company where there is more definite information available.
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