Discuss and critically evaluate key corporate governance and ethics concepts

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Alternative Assessment 2021/22


Learning outcomes

The assignment covers all module learning outcomes.


  1. Discuss and critically evaluate key corporate governance and ethics concepts.
  2. Evaluate different theoretical perspectives on corporate governance, understand their assumptions about key actors, motives, and control mechanisms.
  3. Explore an international comparative perspective of corporate governance, focusing upon the system found in the UK and contrasting this with a range of different corporate governance systems in countries around the world.
  4. Construct critical thinking about a range of approaches and options for corporate accountability and ethics requiring the organisation of thoughts, analysis, synthesis and critical appraisal.


Assessment guideline:

Weighting – 100% of the marks for this module

  • This is an individual assignment of 3,000 words. (+ 10%) excluding appendices, reference list, and bibliography.
  • The Assignment hand-in date is Tuesday 23rd November by 2pm
  • The short report hand in date is Friday 15th October
  • The assignment must be submitted ONLINE through TURNITIN© by the due date. Only assessments submitted through TURNITIN© will be marked. Any other submission including submission to the library in hard copy will be treated as a non-submission

Students should approach this assignment as an academic essay, weighing the arguments for and against each issue, making comment on the literature and drawing logical conclusions. Academic referencing using the Harvard referencing approach is a key requirement of the assignment to demonstrate wider reading and to underpin the discussions, ensuring they have relevant depth. Students are encouraged to be inquisitive and innovative in their approach as to what should be included in this report.

The University policy on cheating collusion and plagiarism will be applied to this piece of work. UGB 364 CORPORATE GOVERNANCE AND ETHICS

Assessment Brief:

Each student selects his/her own company to study (‘Disallowed Company: Enron). Approval of the chosen company is on a first-come, first-served basis, as no more than two students will be allowed to study the same company.

The requirement is that you analyse in depth one company based in any country. It is not a requirement that the company be a UK company. The scope of this analysis is to draw from the material discussed within the module.

Analysis contents:

  • A short section setting out Basic Factual Information about the company, such as nature of the business, size, segmental breakdown, brief history, stock market listings etc. UGB 364 CORPORATE GOVERNANCE AND ETHICS

(approx. 250 words- 10 Marks)

  • Corporate Governance: the examination of relationship within the organisation, those involved in the management of the organisation and external stakeholders: The section should include such things as:
  1. Internal Corporate Governance Mechanisms: structure, substance and purpose (e.g., board effectiveness, the role of non-executive directors, and remuneration structures)
  2. External mechanisms, especially the role of institutional investors.
  3. Shareholder and stakeholder perspectives in an ethical context
  4. Employees and Ethics

(approx. 500 words- 15 Marks)

  • Evaluate the corporate governance failures and weaknesses that have led to the collapse of the chosen company and the consequences of weak corporate governance.

(approx. 750 words- 25 Marks)

  • Critically evaluate the different responses to corporate governance and the role of government regulations in responding to issues raised by an examination of the ethical issues impacting upon the business organisations that have encouraged corporate governance reform worldwide: The section should include such things as:
  1. Comparative Corporate Governance systems - Europe, USA, Asia
  2. Globalisation issues including International corporate governance and comparative analysis
  3. Leadership, Values & Managing Ethical Behaviour
  4. Ethics & CSR in a Global Context

(approx. 1500 words- 50 Marks)

Short report submission:

Students are required to submit a short report to Canvas, giving brief information on their chosen company.

Brief information on the company has chosen:

  • Company name
  • Country of incorporation
  • Stock exchange listings
  • Industry sector(s)
  • Corporate governance failure reason/s: ethical Standards problems in the corporation UGB 364 CORPORATE GOVERNANCE AND ETHICS

The short report is used to enable ML to approve your company selection. They will not be approved if already another two students have chosen them.

Thus, to choose your company you need to ensure at the earliest possible stage that:

  • you can obtain the necessary reports (in English) and other information
  • your chosen company is quoted and share prices are available
  • you can obtain sufficient information about competitors

For your company selection to be approved and to give you time to prepare for the assignment we would like you to submit an electronic copy of the short report via canvas by Friday 15th October.


The assignment aims to understand the key areas of Corporate Governance and Ethics using extracts, examples and approaches to Corporate Governance issues. This will include investigating topics from throughout the course linked to the ethics and accountability issues. Some of the principles, concepts and models will be more relevant to their chosen approach than others and so it is likely that different students will formulate different approaches to the problems.

Student assignment should aim to provide readers with comprehensive knowledge and critical reviews of these areas covering, for example:

  • Knowledge of a variety of topic related to corporate governance within the concept of CSR, ethics and accountability.
  • Knowledge of comparing a range of definitions of corporate governance within the practitioner community and several theoretical frameworks that are applied to the corporate governance discipline.
  • Individual understandings of, comments on, arguments and contributions to the topic, such as key qualitative characteristics, true and fair view/fair presentation, creative accounting.

Therefore, the assessment encourages students to explore how corporate governance and accountability may be enhanced and how a more ethical business environment may be nurtured. This engages the student in the academic literature that they then need to apply in their assessment.


  1. Your name;
  2. Your student registration number;
    1. Your Programme of Study (e.g., BA (Hons) Business and Financial Management, BA (Hons) Accounting and Finance)
    2. The word count (excluding the reference list, bibliography and any appendices).
    3. The name of your UGB364 module leader and tutor.


  • All text should be in a clear font such as Arial or Times New Roman;
  • All text should be 12-point except for headings.
  • The text should be in a single column and left-aligned;
  • One and a half spacing between lines, including appendices and bibliography, but excluding quotations, footnotes or captions, which may be single-spaced.

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