BSS007-3 Assessment 2: Individual Advances Report (60%)
Degree Pathway(s) Degree pathways: All
Topic (Main questions we want students to address) How could Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) be improved in the UK?
Points to consider (Scaffolding of related issues, which should be related to the research topics for Phase 3) • What is
corporate social responsibility (CSR), and how does it compare to the concepts of business ethics and sustainability?
• What is the current status of CSR in the UK, and how does it compare to other countries?
• How does CSR fit into models of a business and its relationships with its stakeholders? You could consider
o The main advantages and disadvantages of CSR for companies and for the general public
o The effects of CSR on a company’s marketing strategies, reputation and overall public perceptions
o The implications of CSR on company performance, and how CSR fits into considerations of profitability
• What are the driving forces for companies to take more CSR?
• What are the hindrances for companies to take more CSR?
You should choose 1 of the above points to focus on, and a few additional, related points to cover in your essay. The above points are
not exhaustive but can be considered in constructing the report. You should consider other issues wherever necessary and relevant.
Instructions Week 21 – Sunday 20 March 2016 – One electronic submission through BREO turn-it-in.
You are expected to write a 5,000 words individual report on the business topic. In this report you need to critically analyse the
issues presented in this business topic and support your arguments with various secondary data or information. It is very important
that you include academic literature sources in support of your arguments.
Depending upon the topic selected, you may choose to write from the perspective of a business consultant, independent analyst, academic
You will need to do some wider reading to address this article adequately. Various sources of information should be considered, such as
academic journals, books, newspapers, and magazines. Digital libraries should also be considered as important source of information and
Your report should be logical, balanced, concise, focused and well structured with no more than a maximum of 5,000 words in length. It
should be word-processed (12 points Arial, 1.5 line spacing) and the highest levels of presentation are expected. See unit handbook
appendix 4 for the marking grid and criteria of the Advances Report.
One electronic copy of this report should be submitted through BREO turn-it-in assignment.
Initial Readings Notes:
1. The list below provides you with some initial readings to obtain a general understanding of this topic. You are required,
however, to include academic sources into your bibliography
2. The full text of articles identified below are provided as registration is required to access them
GEORGE PARKER (2008) “Cameron tells business to accept social responsibilities” Financial Times (London, England) – Monday, March 17,
John Hilary (2009) “Primark soars, but at what cost?” guardian.co.uk, Thursday 5 November 2009 20.00 GMT
Additional readings available online or in journals:
Cameron tells business to accept social responsibilities
Financial Times (London, England) – Monday, March 17, 2008
Author: GEORGE PARKER
David Cameron will today urge retailers, broadcasters and other companies to show more social responsibility or face greater regulation
under a Conservative government.
The Tory leader’s renewed attack on corporate behaviour is part of his attempt to rebrand his party as being on the side of the
consumer, but it could cause irritation in some boardrooms.
Launching a Conservative working group report on corporate social responsibility , Mr Cameron will say the Tories should be “not just
the party of business but of responsible business”.
Mr Cameron told the BBC yesterday he wanted -business to raise its own standards but that he stood ready to intervene where necessary.
“What you should be doing as a government is trying to get business to face up to its responsibilities and behave responsibly, and if
that doesn’t work then there is always the threat of regulation and legislation at the end of it,” he said. “But . . . it’s much
stronger if you try to get business to accept their responsibilities .”
Mr Cameron highlighted the fact many supermarkets forced parents to run a -“chocolate gauntlet” as they waited to pay at checkouts,
with confectionery located within easy reach of children.
He said politicians had a duty to speak out, citing his own criticism of retailers who offered discounted chocolate at the checkout.
He also criticised the broadcasting of television programmes or advertisements inappropriate for young children before the watershed.
Mr Cameron’s party is sending mixed messages about its relationship with corporate Britain, which started with the Tory leader’s
assertion he would “stand up to big business”.
The Tories also seek to exploit the government’s rocky relations with business – resulting from capital gains tax reforms and the non-
domiciles crackdown – by promoting their own corporate credentials.
Their corporate responsibility strategy is based largely on a voluntary approach: today’s report proposes a central mechanism of ”
responsibility deals” to encourage action on problems such as waste, obesity and binge drinking.
Those deals would be brokered by a Conservative government with industry figures. Companies signing up could be offered a lighter
regulatory regime. Those that refused could be punished by bad publicity.
Mr Cameron is expected to announce that Archie Norman, former Tory MP and chief executive and chairman of Asda, will develop a strategy
to extend waste agreements, which currently cover only a small proportion of products.
Peter Ainsworth, shadow environment secretary, said: “We throw too much away, wasting precious natural resources as well as money.
“A responsibility deal on waste would aim to engage the skills and knowledge of businesses, consumers and the public sector in finding
creative, effective and non-bureaucratic ways to make Britain greener and better off.”
Primark soars, but at what cost?
The economic downturn is clearly good news for the retailer. Maybe now it can afford to turn its ethical pledges into reality
John Hilary guardian.co.uk, Thursday 5 November 2009 20.00 GMT
Recession? What recession? Primark has just announced a massive 20% jump in sales for the year to 12 September, and profits up 8% to
£252m. As it prepares to celebrate the opening of its 192nd UK store in Cambridge, Britain’s leading cheap fashion retailer has never
had it so good.
The economic downturn means many shoppers are worried about household budgets. That’s obviously good news for Primark, variously
nicknamed Primarni or Pradamark for its success in selling catwalk fashion at rock bottom prices. But does it mean we don’t care if
people in developing countries pay a high price for producing these “must-have” outfits?
The grim reality of life for young women and men producing Primark clothing in the sweatshops of Asia is well known. It’s almost three
years since War on Want published its groundbreaking report, Fashion Victims, which showed employees in Primark factories in the
Bangladeshi capital Dhaka slaving away for up to 80-hour weeks in appalling conditions, at well under a living wage.
In response, Primark has claimed to be working “tirelessly” to ensure that workers are treated better, with examples such as more
factory inspections and the appointment of “ethical” managers at the regional level. Yet War on Want’s partner organisation in
Bangladesh, the National Garment Workers’ Federation, says such inspections give a false picture, as factory bosses routinely order
staff to lie to visiting auditors about their pay and conditions – a tale familiar from many countries around the world.
Our researchers went back to Primark’s factories last December to check up on the company’s claims to have made progress in the two
years since the original report. The sequel report, Fashion Victims II, investigated the same factories and found that, far from
standards rising, the workers’ plight had worsened amid high inflation and increasing fuel costs. People rely on the jobs, but they
desperately need to be paid a living wage.
Unable to deny the reality of life in its supplier factories, Primark now complains that it is being unfairly singled out for
criticism. As George Weston, chief executive of Primark’s parent company Associated British Foods, lamented: “Every time we make an
announcement, War on Want makes one too.”
We have no intention of just focusing on Primark. War on Want, along with other workers’ rights groups such as Labour Behind the Label
and No Sweat, has targeted many similar brands from the bargain end of the fashion spectrum, such as Tesco, Matalan and Asda. All these
have been found wanting in the treatment of employees in their supplier factories, as have many more companies besides.
The message to our leading high street retailers is clear: none of them ensures a living wage for the workers who play such a key part
in generating their profits. Ten years of fashion chiefs policing themselves via voluntary codes and self-regulation have failed. Hence
the current War on Want campaign, Love Fashion Hate Sweatshops, the biggest ever call for British government action to stop fashion
retailers exploiting workers around the world.
If Gordon Brown really cares about the poverty facing ordinary people in the global economic downturn, now is the time for the prime
minister to intervene. A simple commitment to take action against companies that abuse workers’ rights would force our high street
retailers to turn their ethical pledges into reality. Primark’s profits show the company can afford it.
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