What can the well publicised corporate failures of the last 10 years· tell us about the current state of business ethics?

Paper, Order, or Assignment Requirements

BSS007-3 Assessment 2: Individual Advances Report (60%)
Degree Pathway(s) (e.g. General / Finance) Degree pathways: General

Advances Topic (Main questions we want students to address) There is no such thing as an ethical business! Compare and contrast the ethical issues surrounding two contrasting business sectors (e.g. banking and retail) and evaluate the impact these issues should have on the business strategies and operations

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Points to consider (Scaffolding of related issues, which should be related to the research topics for Phase 3) Explore the nature of· business ethics from both the corporate and the individual perspective.
oThe relevance of ethics in business
oComparison of ethics, corporate responsibility and sustainability, using examples from the real world
oWho is responsible for business ethics?
oShould ethical considerations become legally binding?
What can the well publicised corporate failures of the last 10 years· tell us about the current state of business ethics?
Are there contrasting ethical considerations within different sectors· of business and if so should this be the case?
Discuss, using examples from the real world, some of the key issues in· ethics facing businesses today
How can ethics be measured?·
Suggest ways in which to increase awareness and improve the overall· impact of business ethics

Note 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 or researcher.

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 data.

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 Time the boardroom learned about ethics (Ros Haniffa), Financial Times 30/11/2009 – see full article below

Business ethics and OECD principles: What can be done to avoid another crisis? (Angel Gurria) to be found at:

How to Teach Business Ethics (Terry Price), to be found at:


Time the boardroom learnt about ethics
Posted by Linda Anderson on Nov 27 14:50.
By Ros Haniffa
The world’s regulatory framework proved woefully inadequate when it came to preventing the global financial crisis.
Last week’s Walker Review of corporate governance of the UK banking industry, has been published as yet another “response” to it.
Yet in addressing areas such as qualifications for directors and the role of institutional shareholders, it is just irrelevant regulatory tweaking.
At best the Walker Review is a quick-fix solution for the present. It goes no way to providing either a long-term strategy, or more importantly, tackling the fundamental issue – the need for ethics in the boardroom.
We need to get the corporate elite in financial services to understand that to protect their professional integrity and maintain high ethical standards, will sometimes require taking less profit and bonus. The overall impact on the economy and society has to play a part in how the elite runs these businesses.
What we have to do now is tackle the fundamental issue. There needs to be a major mind shift by those involved in the banking industry – from excessive greed to justifiable profit.
And business schools have a significant part to play in educating the next generation of business leaders on ethical ways of conducting business.
Business school faculty can have the greatest impact on the way the next generation of corporate leaders think, which will be more effective than any legislation. They need to be role models who can inspire and challenge current business models. We have to move away from teaching business as a science devoid of moral or ethical considerations, as that results in managers who lack personal reflection and values.
Some might be surprised that I am a professor of accounting and banking – and also of ethics and corporate governance. Yes, the traditional can sit comfortably with a more sustainable society.
Business schools should not approach teaching business ethics either as a standalone or integrated model, but should embrace it instead in the overall programme design.
How should we go about teaching ethics? We must acquaint students with the various codes of ethics for critical evaluation, with examples of ethical challenges faced in the business world. Robust debate is needed, centred on overcoming business challenges within the highest ethical standards. This can partly be done with real-life cases in the classroom.
Students must be exposed to alternative business models and thinking, not just trained to resolve complicated financial problems through mathematical modelling. These tend to be detached from the real world and consideration of human elements. And we need to make students aware of the roles of various institutions, agencies and systems that can support or frustrate achieving socio-economic justice.
We also need to help businesses, through our research, to understand where they are vulnerable.
I have just completed research into how accountants manage ethical dilemmas, which is also relevant to businesses and banking. Nearly half of the 100-plus UK chartered accountants I surveyed, said their bosses were the drivers of ethical culture in their firms – none made reference to the professional code of ethics and only 15 per cent have had any training in how to apply codes of conduct in everyday situations.
Business schools need to help governments, regulatory bodies and businesses understand how to apply corporate governance frameworks in practice throughout an organisation. This includes training and debating ethical issues to ensure regulations are applied both in law and in spirit.
And we must encourage students to apply their contemporary thinking to mainstream business issues. My recent students are working on PhDs in areas such as governance structures for public- private partnerships; board remuneration in Nigeria; and corporate governance in South Africa.
Business schools must be a key player in the debate on the future of banking, as well as in training future leaders to think about the wider impact of their business activities.
Ros Haniffa is professor of accounting at Bradford University School of Management


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