- October 15, 2018 at 4:03 pm
Detailed explanations are unnecessary. Part 2 should contain a short history of CG and the Code. In Part 3 actual comparisons need to be cited to the section number or principle of the Code with a brief statement of the relevance of the comparison.October 16, 2018 at 11:25 am
Thanks so much, very helpfulOctober 18, 2018 at 10:58 pm
Hi Gillian and Trephena!
First of all thanks a lot for this forum. I’ve read through before starting my research and it helped a lot.
I’ve almost completed my report on Carillion. But have some concerns about structuring part 3.
Initially I structured it by the nature of issues, i.e. board performance and behavior (strategic and operational risk management failures, accounting manipulation and executive remuneration), audit performance (both internal and external), pension scheme failures following with the stakeholders analysis (and impact on them).
My mentor asked for more mentions of UK CG Code in part 3. And I restructured it by the 5 sections of the UK CG Code (as she initially advised), i.e. leadership, effectiveness etc… Stating the exact principle and how Carillion failed (with supporting references).
Obviously Carillion failed in each section. But she also advised to include the parts where they did comply with the CG Code. And include a separate part on assessment of origins.
My concern that this way of structuring makes part 3 more formulaic and could hardly be done in a word count limit. I would prefer to return and to continue with my initial structure and not include the parts where Carillion complied as I did a lot of research of non-compliance. What would you suggest?
Thank you!October 19, 2018 at 8:52 am
It is probably not professional for me to comment on another mentor’s approach -however as 3 of my own students have chosen Carillion I will comment in general terms about how they have addressed Topic 17 under my mentorship as a former marker.
When the new title was devised (i was on the team that discussed it) it was anticipated that the subject companies would probably fall into the ‘Tesco variety’ – epitomising poor governance in structure and application, adopting dubious accounting practices but not to the point of the company’s ruin. After all – Cadbury, the Code (regularly updated), SOx and Dodd Frank were all designed to prevent another Enron.
However in many respects Carillion is the UK equivalent of Enron in terms of its sudden collapse, having a fairly senior female manager ‘whistleblow’ internally and express concerns to the Board and the impact of its failure on many parties.
Now hypothetically would it have been appropriate to have analysed Enron bit by bit with a Code ? With all the information available on Carillion how do you present as comprehensive a picture as possible in part 3 when you probably have between 4,500 – 5,000 words? Those words need to be used to put forward a case that answers the topic title and that Title talks about the WEAK governance and the company response. For Carillion the response was liquidation with immediate impact on a great many different stakeholders.
So my mentees and I are focusing on the points I have made in the last paragraph -and it is difficult to do that given the amount of good information out there and the restrictions posed by the word count. We have not ignored the Code but settled for what is significant rather than waste precious words.
I hope that helps
GillianOctober 19, 2018 at 12:06 pm
Gillian, thank you so much! very helpful!October 22, 2018 at 5:57 pm
I yet have another question. My company’s year end for 30th April 2016 was also the period of weak governance but more issues came up after that date. My question is do I use the 2016 UK governance code that took effect from July 2016 as it is close to the year end date or do i use the 2014 code for the previous issues, then the 2016 code for the new issues. This is for the sake of referencing as I find the two to be very similar.
Thank you very much!October 23, 2018 at 4:28 pm
No it cannot be expected to have used a Code that had not been in effect for the full year in question (May 2015 – April 2016) and therefore the relevant Code would be the 2014 version.
In fact the period May 2016 – April 2017 would still fall under the 2014 Code. It is a bit of a minor detail as you have noted since the 2014 and 2016 versions of the Code have barely changedOctober 23, 2018 at 6:13 pm
Thank you Gillian, would reference accordingly.October 27, 2018 at 11:07 pm
can anyone tell me if the OECD principles of corporate governance rule-based or principle-based? i need to find limitations for this approach and i cant seem to find it.October 29, 2018 at 2:53 pm
Yes it is very similar to the UK Code and has key principles (as do most Codes).
However it can be that there are laws within a country’s constitution that govern some aspects of CG e.g. in the UK there are some regulations about directors’ duties in the Companies Act and where there has been fraudulent activity there could be action taken under the Fraud Act against officers in a company (as with the 2014 Tesco scandal)
The fact that there continue to be company scandals shows that the Codes are of limited power to prevent them so to find limitations you need to us key words and find articles relating to disadvantages of principle CG system, and consider how effective are the Codes in practice?October 30, 2018 at 5:43 am
It is required in the project to state your research approach, I have been reading on this. Which approach fits in line with T17, Qualitative, Quantitative or Mixed approach?October 30, 2018 at 7:55 am
I had a meeting with my mentor today, and he told me that I should have at least two or three business model, as I have used only Mendelow matrix. My question is, should I use more then one Business model or technique with topic 17? Is it a requirement? I’m doing my research on Carillion and i’v almost completed section 3 with only conclusion to be made.October 30, 2018 at 1:15 pm
@melonny05 – it is impossible for me to give a precise answer without having seen your data. Qualitative refers normally to written documentation used in your research and quantitative to numerical data and obvious mixed mean both. Topic 17 predominantly relies on qualitative data secondary data and very little quantitative data, although possibly if you are using some ratio analysis in your evaluation this would be classified as quantitative data.October 30, 2018 at 1:36 pm
@kurt – I suspect that your mentor is more used to mentoring students for Topic 8 !
The actual assessment criteria mention “understanding” and “application of accountancy / business models” and in the grading grid (see Appendix 1 of the Information Pack) it refers to ‘concepts’ and ‘techniques’.
For the purpose of Topic 17 accountancy models and techniques include making comparisons with the CG Code (in itself an accountancy model), mentioning the Anglo-Saxon Board model and Agency Theory / Stewardship theory as well as Mendelow. (Although Mendelow’s was traditionally used with OLD Topic 17 it is not necessarily prescribed for new Topic 17 but could be included – as could any other stakeholder model). I would therefore think that alongside the Code that Mendelow’s would suffice.
As with all models it is not the number but how WELL they are applied – this is particularly the case with Carillion (where word count can be an issue) where you are advised for a good grade to focus on the deficiencies of the board rather than overly focus on superficial models just for the sake of it..October 30, 2018 at 4:08 pm
Thanks you Gillian, word count is a problem, and will have to be reduced in order to make a good conclusion. I’ve used the corporate governance code and stewardship code and compared it with those of Carillion, and also I mentioned the practices that was in noncompliance to the code. As for the origin of the issues, I did mention the deficiencies of the board and the case of a manager having to go through whistleblower procedure, and the responsibility of auditors in helping in the collapse by signing the financial report while the company was in financial constraint. I also mentioned how hedge funds and some major investors noticed signs of Carillion failure before the management.
As for the respond of the company, I used the Mendelow matrix, and focused on the effect of the collapse/liquidation has on them, and change in their position in the matrix quadrant brought on by the collapse.
In your opinion are my on the right track?October 31, 2018 at 6:49 pm
That all sounds good Kurt. All the best with your submission!November 4, 2018 at 12:51 pm
Hi Gillian, my RAP Part 3 consist of 5000 words while that of Part 2 consist of 1000 words, my mentor advises to stick to the recommended word count in the information pack. I feel that this would reduce the quality of part 3 and include unnecessary information in part 2. Your thoughts concerning this would be appreciated.
Thank youNovember 4, 2018 at 4:47 pm
All a marker is interested in is ensuring that you have covered the basics requirements with Part 2 (as set out in the Info Pack) and discussed data sources, limitations both of data gathering and business techniques and considered reliability, validity of the data and tried to avoid bias. If you have done that, then fine.
I actually instruct my own mentees to plan for 5,000 words for the findings,analysis, evaluation and conclusions as I know as a former marker that is what will dictate their grade. To ensure they have sufficient words for this important section I tell them to stick to 2,500 words from the front cover through to the ends of Part 2. Obviously other mentors have not latched on to why Part 3 is so critical but then I have had the advantage of years of marking RAPs!
Even with 5,000 words to “play with’ my mentees tend to exceed this without any padding so it would be well nigh impossible for them (in my opinion) to do justice to Topic 17 with fewer than 5,000 wordsNovember 4, 2018 at 7:59 pm
Thank you so much Gillian!November 13, 2018 at 9:28 am
Please be aware that until Period 37 closes both mentors and current students are occupied elsewhere. Technical problems with the submission portal adding extra stress means you are unlikely to get a rapid response!
BTW you need a mentor to supervise your work and a review of your research objectives and questions are the sorts of things you would normally discuss with your mentorNovember 14, 2018 at 6:49 pm
Hello Gillian, trephena
I know the requirements state choose one company but will my research work be based on just one company?November 15, 2018 at 7:12 am
The new topic title requires you to focus on weak governance issues in a particular organisation.
In the context of this it may be appropriate to make comparisons with best practice found in other companies and therefore you may bring some examples, however these would be to compare and contrast aspects that are specifically weak normally in the main organisation, and/or perhaps might relate to the difference in the companies’ responses if both companies had experienced a similar problem.
From having mentored several students in P37 who chose T17 (who between them chose 3 different companies), we found a well researched report will mean that you will find the word count extremely challenging and therefore such examples should only be brought in when really relevantNovember 15, 2018 at 8:38 am
Yes Ed your objectives look reasonable. However please note you should be sticking with your mentor and not seeking alternative advice unless there is something that is very contentious and an alternative perspective is necessary (which I am happy to advise on having been a marker for 14 years and having taught CG on Masters courses at Brookes).
Let’s put it another way – I would be very upset if a mentee of mine was asking around for advice – even it their intentions were good as it would imply they had little trust in my capabilities to guide them appropriately! (and therefore not a great start to the mentor-mentee relationship) 😀November 16, 2018 at 10:36 am
Hello once again, this is neither MSc or PhD dissertation but is a literature review necessary for this research project? I don’t have a mentor yet, I plan on submitting my rap next year. So I want to be fully prepared.November 16, 2018 at 12:06 pm
No a literary review is not required however a brief background to the development of CG is required. This does not have to be more than about a paragraph – this is to put your work into a context
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