- September 20, 2018 at 7:40 pm
Well done for making a decision on this. Usually the problem with the RAP is exceeding the word count. Although a comparator as such isn’t necessary comparisons with best practice are advisable.
You have some good ideas and there is also some advice above about the General Reporting Initiative and OECD definitions of CSR.
You now need to formulate some report objectives and research questions. There is some general advice in the Information Pack but you really need a mentor to help direct your work (and a good one will take most of the stress away for you by removing the ‘guesswork’ and by monitoring your progress keep you on track. Remember your work has to be signed off by a mentor when you submit).
Can you please guide me what constitutes of best practice ? I went through GRI standards but can’t really understand what to do. What shall i use as a comparator ?September 22, 2018 at 2:43 pm
This is slightly difficult to prescribe because it depends on the nature of the business and its customers, markets and fields it operates in. Look up what being a good corporate citizen and what social responsibility means on a search engine. Consider also the principles behind the Carroll hierarchy and Triple bottom line. Companies that take advantage of society (polluting, exploiting loopholes in laws and taking from a country but giving little back in return) are examples of poor CSR.
Going back in time many big companies used to deliver much better on CSR than they do now as their founders felt they had a social responsibility e.g. Cadbury in the beginning provided many social benefits for employees (housing, schools welfare) but buyouts by other companies and putting profit before people means that very few companies perform really well in respect of CSR.
Regarding making comparisons unlike Topic 8 you are not restricted to one organisation – instead you may cite different entities to illustrate best practice and compare your organisation against these particular examplesOctober 6, 2018 at 5:21 am
I am really glad to read your post. I cant start my RAP for topic -20 as i dont have any sample report. i want to submit in period -37. A sample report will really be helpful for me.
MODERATOR’S NOTE: please do not attempt to solicit work from other students and passed students you are advised not to share your reports with anyone elseOctober 6, 2018 at 11:23 am
@basharmab – please do NOT ask students to send you samples of their work – this is both against our Forum rules and is also in contravention of the University student academic conduct regulations and could result in you and other students involved being referred to the University Academic Conduct Office for collusion.
Please look at https://www.brookes.ac.uk/business/undergraduate/acca/ where you will find some extracts from exemplars
You may also find some useful information with the following link https://www.brookes.ac.uk/business/undergraduate/upgrade
For you own sake and safety I have removed your email address as spammers search websites to skim off email addresses for illicit purposes. (Students should avoid leaving email addresses on any websites).
Your other post begging for a ‘sample’ has been deleted so please heed this warning – further such posts trying to elicit academic work from other persons will result in your account with Open Tuition being suspendedOctober 7, 2018 at 11:14 pm
I am done with my research part and have gathered all the facts I need to for the project. I’m on to start my analysis part, I just need some idea as to what exactly am I supposed to do although my mentor has guided me through this still I’m a bit lost ! Like, one of the key weaknesses of Sports Direct (the org I selected) is that it effectively paid less than the minimum wage to workers for which they were heavily fined, faced reputational damage and had to pay back wages to the employees. Now these are just facts, my mentor said that I need to analyze this.
This may sound silly but this is my first ever project ? if you could give me an example or a suggestion how to tackle my analysis part would be really great .October 8, 2018 at 10:38 pm
You have identified that Sports Direct has not complied with legislation. The analysis part is the detail and commentary by third parties (articles in the business press, the comments made by Parliament about working conditions) and comparisons with other businesses on their working practices and the impacts and responses you have identified. Yes they are facts (and therefore need references) however they are,an analysis of an element of poor CSR in Sports Direct and its repercussions.
Other examples of analysis are an application of Carroll’s and perhaps the Triple Bottom line in the specific context of Sports DirectOctober 9, 2018 at 12:03 am
So, do I have to talk about all the weaknesses one by one or just a general analysis of their practices ? Weaknesses primarily pertain to the employees of the org, so I’ll talk about the weak corporate culture and its impact i.e increased staff turnover, fines and penalties, drop in EPS and PBT, decline in share price and loss of customers as well as reputation.
Am I on the right track ? Plus, using TBL shall i use headings and talk about their practices ? Like their responsibility towards People, Planet & Profit.October 9, 2018 at 2:48 pm
chwang wai sumParticipant
any news regarding apple weak environmental? is that apple suitable use for carroll’s method to identify weak csr?October 10, 2018 at 12:20 pm
@imaann – yes you need to discuss/analyse the problems individually from different angles (which you seem to be doing with the employment issue). Another aspect of Sports Direct activities is that the CEO is quite controversial in the way he runs the company (favouring family members and upsetting institutional shareholders) which possibly you are bringing in when discussing the culture, and his attitude towards his rival JD Sport. You might also look at where the products are made (sweat shops in the Far East?).
However there may be some positives (you are supposed to do a balanced report not just slag the company off) and where there is something good you should mention it briefly. So perhaps on Sports Direct side they do pay their fair share of tax in the UK? (Unlike the Amazons and Facebooks of this world).
Generally use plenty of headings and sub-headings and a good structure as it makes it easier for the marker to read
So with the TBL it may be appropriate to apply this under the three headings – People, planet, profit. However first in your report cover all the issues in detail so with say ‘People’ having covered this thoroughly first you could then just summarise the key points when doing the TBL and refer the reader back to the main section for most of the detail.October 11, 2018 at 1:30 pm
Using TBL the Profit heading is limited to the internal profit only ? Sports Direct uses deceiving marketing and advertising tactics to attract customers, the huge discounts it offers were questioned too. So talking about their profit maximization techniques under ‘Profit’ is okay ? Shall I talk about its contribution towards the society out of its huge profits ?October 14, 2018 at 10:42 am
You could approach the profit issue you have uncovered in one of 2 ways. You could highlight the dubious practices early on in detail and then mention in the TBL that although the company is following the principle of profit maximisation the methods used should be ethical however your research in section x.1 tends to indicate that deceitful practices have usurped good CSR principles in the attempt to increase profits. Alternatively you could do it all under TBL
A good way of illustrating philanthropy (is this what you mean by contributions to society? )and charitable initiatives is to compare these and all donations to charity as a ratio to profits and also dividends over the last few years (and compare these possibly with JD Sport). You might also show the ratio of these charitable efforts to the total amount paid to the Board as the total remuneration
Take a look at their tax payments too over the last 5 years – admittedly sometimes these can fluctuate wildly from year to year – and see if there is a significantly declining trend when set against EBITDA as this might indicate tax avoidance mechanisms (an area you might then be able to research further)October 14, 2018 at 11:38 pm
I’ve searched through all the Annual Reports but couldn’t find any monetary amount for charities or donations. They have just specified what they did, no mention of expenditure etc. Plus, Sports Direct doesn’t pay out dividends. So the ratios you suggested is not possible to compute.
And for impact on stakeholders, I’ve mapped the stakeholders using Mendelow’s Matrix. Im done analyzing it too but am a bit confused. If you could give an example on how I’ll analyse impact on the stakeholders would be helpful.
Thankyou for your timely responses. So grateful !!October 15, 2018 at 9:16 am
There is information for charities if you do a full search. For example these are extracts from the 2016 and 2018 annual reports:
CHARITABLE AND POLITICAL DONATIONS
“During the year, the Group made charitable cash donations of £5,000 (2015: £117,000) in the UK. No political donations were made (2015: nil). There have been a number of further donations of sporting equipment made to worthy causes, and these are set out on page 33” (2016)
“During the year, the Group made charitable donations of £66k (2017: £117k) in the UK. No political donations were made (2017: nil). There have been a number of further donations of sporting equipment made to worthy causes.” (2018)
The equipment mentioned would of course have been at cost and therefore unlikely to have run into hundreds of thousands (otherwise the company would be bragging about it) and more than likely it would have been able to have set such costs against revenue for tax purposes. This is not to do SD down, but to point out the facts.
For any comparisons when looking at pay it might be significant to look at the detail behind the Remuneration report (remember directors get ‘packages’ – salaries, bonuses and often advantageous share options so it is the total of the full package that should be compared).
With stakeholder groups it depends on the group. You have discussed the working practices at SD so for employees try to find out the impact of those practices on the workforce e.g. motivation, staff turnover etc. You may have to research this using key words in a search engine and annual report. For example on page 56 onwards in the AR 2018 there is quite a bit of useful information and to be be fair to SD and to comply with the T20 title, there have been improvements in some areas, so for a balanced report you may need to show what the position was and how the company may have changed things.
For shareholders most of the impact would be how the share price and dividend have been affected. Additionally you should also look for information (in search engines) about the AGMs as sometimes there have been quite lively arguments at these between shareholders and the board (and this in fact has been the case for SD).
However this is your report (and it should therefore be you, guided by your own mentor), who should be doing this type of research – it is there if you use the right key words when you search – just don’t expect all the information to be conveniently available in one place – it just doesn’t work like that!
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