“In 2005, The Economist published a series of articles castigating corporate responsibility (i.e., governance and social responsibility) and the folly of managers who thought it would benefit their companies. Corporate responsibility conscious managers were accused of taking their eye off of shareholder interests. Accusations were made that corporate responsibility and bad governance went hand in hand. In an accompanying survey, the Economist Intelligence Unit found only 36 per cent of managers felt corporate responsibility was a priority”, (Blowfield and Murray, 2011, p.4)
Required: Some managers believe that discharging responsibility to the shareholders is the most important of the corporate responsibilities. While others believe that discharging responsibility to non-shareholder stakeholders is much more important because they relate to core stakeholders for the company. Critically evaluate this statement in reference to the recent corporate annual governance and sustainability reporting and performance of Royal Dutch Shell plc.
1. 2013 Shell Annual Report available online at:
2. 2013 Shell Sustainability Report available online at:
3. 2013 Shell Strategic Report:
Word limit and weighting
Your group report limit is 2000 words (+/- 10%) and weighted 40% of the total mark, excluding references and visual tools such as photos, tables, and graphs. It must be word-processed, typed in double line spacing using 12pt font. Diagrams, tables, figures and appendices may be included in the work but these are not included in the total world length of the report. All pages should be numbered. The number of words used for the report should be stated at the end of the report.
Guidance on answering the question
In preparing your group answer, you should utilise the current 2013 Shell annual, governance and sustainability reports, Bloomberg database, news stories, relevant, books, corporate and/
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or governmental reports and documents that have led to – and outline – extant corporate governance and sustainability phenomena and academic articles that address the key corporate responsibilities.
You will be marked on the following criteria
1- Group report will be marked on the basis of the critical thinking demonstrated, the logic and persuasiveness of the argument and the clarity of exposition. It is, therefore, marked as a whole;
2- The level of research that you conduct, as a group, when preparing your report as indicated by your ability to assimilate relevant material from a wide range of appropriate sources into your discussion;
3- Group capacity to summarise accurately and succinctly relevant arguments from the sources that you read;
4- Group ability to construct a consistent argument that addresses the question and to organize that argument into a logical order that the reader is able to follow easily;
5- Coherent structure and presentation, and
6- Group standard of written English and observation of academic protocol such as referencing sources, writing in impersonal terms, not using inappropriate shorthand such as “don’t”, use of English spellings, etc.
Assignment submission procedure
The group report including the submission form is to be handed to the UG Administrator in the School Office (Darwin Building) by 2pm (14.00) on Friday, 27 March 2015 (Week 9). A copy of the group assignment including the submission form must also be submitted via the module’s Turnitin facility on the Keele Learning Environment by the same deadline by each member of the group. If the group does not submit both a hard copy and electronic copies of the assignment including the submission form then this will be treated as a non-submission.
Late submission – group is reminded that the Management School has a policy of penalizing students for late submission. The normal policy will apply. Thus, submission after 2pm on the day of the set deadline will result in 5% being deducted. Reports submitted after the set deadline day but within 7 days will be restricted to a maximum of 40%; submissions more than 7 days late will receive a mark of 0%.
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Plagiarism and collusion
Plagiarism is the presentation of another person’s thoughts or words as though they were your own and is a disciplinary offence. Examples of plagiarism are:
• copying and pasting from electronic sources e.g. the Internet;
• copying from a book or other paper-based source without citing these sources in the reference list;
• buying work but presenting it as your own or;
• submitting the same work for more than one assessment.
Failing to acknowledge sources may be classified as plagiarism, which is one of the most serious academic offences. The group is, therefore, advised to read carefully the statement of university policy on plagiarism which can be found at:
Collusion, where two or more students work together (without the prior authorisation of the course tutor or supervisor) to submit the same piece of work, yet present this work as entirely their own, is also a disciplinary offence. Any student/group team found to have engaged in plagiarism or collusion will be reported to the School’s Academic Conduct Officer in accordance with University Regulations. Punishments for identified instances of academic dishonesty are severe and can include being awarded 0% for the module to being withdrawn from the University.
When writing any assignment or piece of written work, it is important to reference and acknowledge your sources properly. Comprehensive help and advice is available on this from your module tutor, the Student Support and Development Services (SSDS) and the KLE.
Please remember, all essays and assignments submitted as part of your degree will, as part of the assessment process, be subject to scrutiny for plagiarism and collusion. Keele Management School also uses a variety of tools including sophisticated software to help detect both plagiarism and collusion.
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