This assessment draws together the three modules of the unit. Responsible Business involves being able to make ethical decisions that increasingly need to take into account a range of other criteria focussing on people and planet, while also paying attention to profit. However, much of this decision-making happens amidst uncertainty and complexity, where it becomes difficult to determine the ‘right thing to do’.
In order to help you with this, we provided you with a framework to aid the decision-making process. In Module 1 we examined ethical frameworks and asked you to form your own view of right and wrong in relation to a specific issue: modern slavery. In Module 2 we asked you to consider the causes of modern slavery, by developing a systems map to identify the factors and actors who contribute to the problem. This process demonstrated the role that organisations can have which sometimes help, but which may also inadvertently contribute to the problem.
Having clarified your own personal values and developed an understanding of the nature of the problem, you are now in a position to make decisions. Decisions are complex: one way of reducing complexity is to base your decision-making around a set of possible scenarios.
Imagine that you work in an organisation or business in the sector that you focused on in Assessment 1 and 2. The organisation/business has developed a reputation for its ethical practice.
The Management Team has approached you because they have identified a problem. An informal internal operational review has indicated that a key supplier has engaged in modern slavery practices.
The Management Team has outlined four scenarios (see page 3). They have asked you to examine each scenario from a range of ethical perspectives, such as legal compliance and risk, as well as identify the potential impact (consequences) of each scenario. After careful consideration of the scenarios, they would like you to recommend one scenario that you feel is the best course of action to pursue. They have also asked you to provide a brief, personal reflection detailing what you feel are the challenges of identifying the best solution possible, especially when it may conflict with your own standpoint.
You will need to deliver your advice and reflection in the form of a Report. See the next page for the structure and contents of the report.
Executive Summary (approximately 250 words or 10% of the word count)
This briefly summarises the purpose of the report, provides a brief overview of the structure of the document and also identifies the scenario that you recommend.
Background (200 words)
State the name of the organisation/business (we suggest using a fictitious name) and the industry it operates within. The organisation/business should operate in the same industry you focused on in Assignments 1 and 2. You can invent an organisation for the purposes of this assignment.
Scenario Analysis – Analyse the scenarios (set out over the page) [approximately 1000 words]
Give each scenario its own heading. (e.g. Scenario 1: Do Nothing).
Examine each scenario from both deontological and consequentialist virtue ethics perspectives. You should consider what duty or obligation (deontological approach) and organisation has. When it comes to addressing consequentialist perspectives, it is useful to draw on the systems map that you created for Assessment Task 2, as well as matters such as risk and potential rewards. It may help to summarise your analysis in a table.
Recommendation (approximately 500 words or 20% of the word count)
Here, you will need to declare which scenario is the best course of action for the organisation/business to take. You will need to justify your recommendation. Your justification should address why this scenario is preferable to others. Support your justification with evidence from the literature, drawing on deontological, consequentialist perspectives, and your systems map.
NOTE: For the purposes of this assignment, you should assume that your organisation/business does not have to comply with the Modern Slavery Act, as the scenarios offer the possibility of voluntary reporting.
Reflection (approximately 375 words or 15% of the word count)
What is best for an organisation is not always what we personally agree with. Reflect upon your own values and ethical position in relation to modern slavery, and compare this to the scenario that you have which you recommended for the organisation. Are they the same or different? What challenges might you face when your personal position differs from that which may be best for the an organisation/business? How might you address these challenges now and in the future?
Word count: 2500 words (+ / – 10%) This does not include references or appendices.
Criteria: please refer to the criteria reference sheet in blackboard
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