- October 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.October 20, 2017 at 8:48 pm
Hi Trephena, just to make sure I understand the new title correctly – as far as I can see, it asks for “an assessment (…) of the organisation’s response”, does not specifically mention the impact on stakeholders (although it makes sense to evaluate the response in terms of the impact on stakeholders, as you suggest in your posts). Please can you clarify?October 21, 2017 at 12:00 am
‘The organisation’s response’ will in the first instance be to defend its reaction. However if viewed objectively and bearing mind that any response will impact on stakeholders, then to bring in the critical thought element then this part will require you to consider the impact on the various stakeholder groups.October 21, 2017 at 12:15 am
That’s what I thought, thank you!October 21, 2017 at 9:52 am
i have decided to re write my RAP and picked tesco, i have come to notice that Tesco had encounter lots of up and downs in 2014 on its corporate governance, however most of my sources are from BBC. will it be okey to make a citation from a single source when it comes to this particular area?October 21, 2017 at 10:48 am
Not really as your research would be deemed too narrow. Tesco has been written about by the British press quite widely. Although you would have to pay a subscription to gain access to the Financial Times, the Daily Telegraph, Guardian and Independent newspapers usually grant some free access to most articles. I found this recent link to an article in the Retail Gazette
Their is also a link there to another article about Tesco and its auditors and also a search facility on their site for you to pull up more articles about Tesco (however you will need to put in additional relevant key words otherwise the articles are likely to be on non- governance issues)October 22, 2017 at 7:25 am
Thank you so much Trephena, thats so resourceful
i have set up my research objectives which includes assessing the quality of CG against those UK guidelines also identifying the tesco’s cg weaknesses and critically assess those areas where tesco has struggled to maintain an upper hand, assessing the impacts it had on its stakeholders as well as the company’s response and the last one is my recommendation. does my research objectives sound fair enough? do i need to include a comparison? lets say with its competitor on its CG practices?
the oher minor question, when i make a citation lets say theres this article on BBC by Kamal ahmed. do i need to write (Kamal Ahmed, 2014) or just (K. Ahmed, 2014)October 22, 2017 at 8:40 pm
Yes, your objectives sound reasonable. The new title is less ‘prescriptive’ than the old – by that I mean it is harder to state categorically what must go into the report. So personally I don’t necessarily think you need a comparator company. In my opinion it comes down to having 7,500 words to show the examiner that you understand what the key issues were in the scandal(s) that affected your chosen organisation and to discuss the fallout from it.
Try to look at the position from as many angles as possible as that will increase the critical thought behind your work. Keep up to date. For example I think the trial of 3 Tesco executives brought by the UK Serios Fraud Office (SFO) is currently ongoing so depending when you submit, this may concluded.
Seems I may have been wrong about access to the FT as a source as this article is publicly available https://www.ft.com/content/97dcb050-49df-11e7-919a-1e14ce4af89b
– It may be useful towards the end (last 3 paragraphs) as it mentions several issues and about how Tesco proposes to operate going forward (so helps when discussing impact). Note although PwC escaped official censure from the FRC this does not necessarily mean their conduct as auditors was exemplary but rather that a case against them would not succeed (their access to top class lawyers and the money to defend the case would far outstrip the FRC’s resources!).
Regarding your referencing query about Kamal Ahmed: (Ahmed, 2014) in the text and Ahmed K. (2014) in the list (you only need to insert K in the text reference if there is another source from someone else with the last name Ahmed to distinguish them from each other).
Otherwise my Golden Rules in the OT Ultimate Guide on our homepage should cover most referencing issues. (Don’t forget to appendage 2015a, 2015b if necessary)October 23, 2017 at 7:09 pm
Thank you so much for your assistance and for the link, opened it but unfortunately still i am required to pay for a subscription to have any access.
i have started tackling my research objectives. i have come to notice that the UK CG codes change almost in every 2 years and as per the info pack im required to use at least 3 previous annual reports. will it be appropriate, lets say i make comparison of Tesco’s year 2014 with the CG guidelines published in 2016?October 23, 2017 at 7:55 pm
@ngeleja A tip for the Financial Times online – keep trying!
It will allow you a number of articles per day (about 3). If you have two devices the better. Sometimes I cannot access some articles with my computer but I can access the same articles with my ipad. If I reach my limit on the computer, I switch to the ipad 😉October 24, 2017 at 8:24 am
Thank you alejandra for that valuable tip.
I think also @ngeleja it may also be influenced by ad- blocking and cookies (some sites may allow access if they can put advertisements on your screen). So if you switch off blockers via your settings you may find you can then get access.October 30, 2017 at 4:25 am
Hi, regarding the changes in Topic 17, what is it means by ‘assessment of the origins of the CG issues’?
I am confused on what should I do.
For your information, I already done 40% percent of the RAP but there is less than 15 days left to complete it. What do you think? Should I proceed for submission P35 or defer to P36? 🙁October 30, 2017 at 8:46 am
‘assessment of the origins of the CG issues. ‘
Your RAP should have very briefly outlined the last 30-40 years history of CG. From some of the scandals you should be able to see some of the common threads that often initiate CG problems.
These same issues are usually present today e.g. greed, lack of ethics and arrogance at board level. As some CG issues actually show the presence of fraud (all the classic cases such as in Enron, Satyam and Tesco) then Cressey’s Fraud Triangle (a theory of how 3 elements faciliate fraud: pressure/ need, opportunity and rationalisation come together in most frauds) can also be used to analyse what lay behind the CG problems in your chosen organisation.November 4, 2017 at 9:45 am
Final question (I hope).
Throughout my report I mentioned how issues came to the attention of the board. Which was for most of the part through third parties (i.e. a customer, a whistleblower etc). I’m commenting on tone at the top now and bringing in the point that with what our ‘man’ good-ol Jes did it’s no wonder that issues have always come through outsiders.
My question dear Trephena is, am I expected to cite all the issues here (author, date) when I discussed them elsewhere in the report or I can get away with saying; it’s no wonder all the issues identified in this report……
I read somewhere that in the conclusion one must not bring up something that is not mentioned in the main report. I was going to do this! So one day if you have a little time to kill please do a little explanation for us on why this is so. I know I’m not the only one to have fallen to this – the temptation comes when starting out the conclusion because we don’t know what much to say after ‘they did this but didn’t comply with this’.
LexaNovember 4, 2017 at 10:53 am
I think you are asking 2 questions here: one about referencing the Conclusion and one on whether new material can be introduced?
The Conclusion should really be a summary of the key points from your findings in relation to the objectives you stated at the beginning. So for that reason completely new material and ideas are not normally appropriate. However if you are summarising a previously discussed topic but bringing in a confirmatory new opinion that would be permissible, however as it is new it would require a reference. Previously discussed issues from already cited sources however wouldn’t normally require a reference in the Conclusion. (If any new material contradicts though the topic should have also been brought in earlier in the discussion on findings otherwise the Conclusions, which should be succinct, become a bit confusing.
PS You can always have a Recommendations section if you want where there are no set rules on what you putNovember 4, 2017 at 12:43 pm
(Yes I endend up introducing another question there without explicitly stating.. sorry for the confusion. Somethings come to mind while writing on something else.)November 8, 2017 at 11:47 pm
Is it a good idea to shorten the title? It’s taking up just about 30 words with the organisation name inserted!November 9, 2017 at 11:42 pm
Yes, if you are desperately short of words just write ‘Topic 17’ ! In the grand scheme of things it is immaterial…January 9, 2018 at 10:36 am
Please i want ask for period 36 submission, I need help with how to go about referencing and on how to source for information or is it majorly sourcing information from the internet.
Secondly what are the books recommended for topic 17.
Would be grateful if i get an answer concerning the above questions. ThanksJanuary 9, 2018 at 9:27 pm
We have a whole article on Referencing ‘The Open Tuition Ultimate Guide to Referencing your RAP’ (3 parts) – available on our homepage http://www.opentuition.com/obu
It is impossible to prescribe specific sources – normally with the new topic 17 most of the sources would come from recent articles on the internet in respect of your chosen company – use key words in your search. However use Google Scholar to research the background to Corporate Governance and PLEASE PLEASE recognise that CG did NOT start with Enron – (an obvious fact when you realse that the Cadbury Report predated Enron by 10 years!)March 29, 2018 at 8:18 am
Trephena please help, I am having a nightmare with this RAP. I have done parts 1 & 2 of the report but am struggling with how to lay part 3 out. I have contacted my mentor, but she just keeps telling me to follow the layout in the information pack. But its the pack I don’t understand.
My RAP is on Tesco and the objectives and research questions are:
1. Identify the recommended governance practices relevant to public companies
2. Review the corporate governance practices of Tesco identifying any areas of weakness
3. Determine the impact of such weak corporate governance and the organisations response
1. What are the recommended practices of corporate governance relevant to public companies?
2. What are the indicators of good corporate governance?
3. What are the corporate governance structures adopted by Tesco?
4. What went wrong and how did the corporate governance issues unfold?
5. To what extent has Tesco complied with the codes adopted?
6. What was the impact on Tesco and how did they respond?
7. What was the impact on relevant stakeholders?
My mentor has told me to answer the research questions in Part 3. So if i was to answer questions 1-3, then that would be 3 sections containing factual information wouldn’t it? Is that what I am supposed to do? Would I outline the recommended practices, set out the indicators of good governance and explain the structures Tesco has adopted. And would I THEN go onto analysing the corporate governance?
I am panicking, time is ticking away and I am really struggling.
Vicky xMarch 31, 2018 at 10:08 am
Covering for Trephena while she is away.
Out of respect for your relationship with your mentor, we will not be directly addressing all your research objectives/ question. Do allow us to give you general points that will still be very helpful.
During such moments of confusion, it is always clarifying to go back to the title of your report. The title will clearly show what PART 3 must accomplish.
The title of 17 is – Select an organisation that has been identified as having weak corporate governance structures within the past 5 years. Critically evaluate their corporate governance practices including an assessment of the origins of the corporate governance issue(s) and the organisation’s response.
Let’s dissect this
a) Critically evaluate their corporate governance practices
– You evaluate this by the use of a benchmark (e.g. UK or OECD code). You can also occasionally bring in a competitor to give a more localized perspective.
b) an assessment of the origins of the corporate governance issue(s)
– How and why did the issues arise? Usually, this refers to deep rooted beginnings and some historical analysis has to be done here.
– Look at bigger picture issues such as culture, shareholder pressure etc
– Usually, the more significant the origins, the harder it is to solve the problem (e.g. it is hard to change a culture of corruption that existed for 10 years)
– Do not pin superficial blame on someone (e.g. the greedy, wicked CEO) because usually, the origins is more complicated than that. (e.g. why was the CEO allowed to make such decisions without being challenged?)
c) assessment of ….. the organisation’s response.
– How did the organization respond? Was it sufficient? How can you tell if it is sufficient (e.g. did stakeholders approve of the measures? Did share price recover?)
Do use these points to consider your Part 3. To reiterate, the examiner, after reading your part 3, must feel that you have fulfilled the needs of the TITLE of topic 17.
We hope this helps!
All the best,
The Learning LuminariumApril 7, 2018 at 10:21 pm
If I am using ratios to prove certain points, do i use the formula i learnt in my ACCA studies, or do I use the ratio the company itself has used. It appears they have added things to their formula and so I get a different answer to them for ROCE if i use the formula i am used to
VicApril 8, 2018 at 9:06 am
It is the discussion of the implications of the CG practices that are important in this topic. As the ratios are only a small part of this make life easier for yourself and go with the ratios the company has produced.April 8, 2018 at 9:40 am
Phew, that has taken a weight off my mind! But regarding the spreadsheet work, I am struggling to think of something to show I can use formulas etc. I can put the ratios in a spreadsheet and make a chart / graph to show the consequences of bad coroprate governance but will that be enough?
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