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Pages:
6 pages/≈1650 words
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5 Sources
Level:
Harvard
Subject:
Management
Type:
Case Study
Language:
English (U.S.)
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Topic:

This Doesn’t Smell Right – Warnings to Tuna Companies (Case Study Sample)

Instructions:

You will be expected to show that you understand the importance of individual and organisational ethical thinking and practice and that you can apply ethical decision making. You will also need to show that you can think critically about the role of business in society. Further, you will need to show that you have understand the way in which theory can underpin how ethical issues are viewed, but also that you understand that theory offers a guide but not necessarily the answer to practice. The assessment also requires you to show that you have reflected on what makes an ethical leader and manager and what that means in the context of organisational culture.
An extensive rubric is provided which will show you how the work is marked and what is required to achieve high marks.
Your assessment into two parts with part 1 being further split into two. Read the requirements below and attempt all three parts. You will submit all three parts together in the same submission.
The Task
You should look at the following cases of businesses that have attracted attention due to some aspect of practice. You should choose the ONE of these that interests you and complete the following:
Part 1
a) You are required to write a brief report for senior managers at the case of your choosing. This report is written from the perspective of a middle manager tasked to outline the ethical dimensions of the issues from the case. You will need to explore a number of factors including - Why should this be explored as an ethical question? How might the company want to think about the role of business in society? You will also need to outline who the key stakeholders are and in what way they are affected. You should include research into examples of how ethical choices impact on other companies (e.g. where is there research that shows good choices benefit companies and bad choices have a negative impact?). Finally, you should conclude with some recommendations for what the company should do
This part of your assessment should be written as a report, but should be referenced in the normal academic way using Harvard citations and referencing.
b) For this part you should again use your chosen case study – but this time choose TWO ethical theories and demonstrate that you can apply these to the case to show how your chosen theories lead you to a view on the ethics of the case. This is written as an academic paper.
The cas is:
Supply chains and human rights abuses: This doesn’t smell right- warnings to tuna companies
The chosen theories lead you to a view on the ethics of the case.
This part should be written not as a report but in an academic essay style.
PART 2.
Part 2 is NOT related to the case
Further guidance
Part 1
Below is a suggested way to structure your work. You do not have to follow this, but note that this structure reflects the rubric which will assist you in covering what is expected in the assessment.
a) Writing the Report
study. This section requires you to discuss what makes an ethical leader and how you would, as an ethical manager, manage your business and/or others to a high ethical standard.
You will need to think about personal ethics, about the conditions that bring about unethical organisations and practices, about organisational values and methods of compliance. This part can be written in a more reflective style
Having chosen the case that interests you, you will act as a middle manager writing to senior managers on the subject.
Introducing the report, the nature of the ethical issue and the role of business in society
This section requires you to be clear to your audience (the senior managers) why the issue raised has an ethical dimension, think about where in class we have talked about what an ethical dilemma is. To add to your argument, you should think about outlining for your managers thinking about what role in society a business could/should have. This will require you to re-visit the classes where we thought about the perspective that the central role of business might not been seen solely as profit.
Identification of key stakeholders and the impact on them and examples of how ethical choices have dis/benefited other businesses.
This section should identify from the chosen case who the key stakeholders are and in what way they are affected. You might want to argue that the company neglected/failed to see/consider relevant stakeholders and you should point out how that connects to your argument that this is something to be considered from an ethical viewpoint.
It is also here that you use the research you will have done to demonstrate to your managers the benefits and costs of ethical/non-ethical thinking by reference to other examples. For example, where is there research that shows good choices benefit companies (e.g. that being seen as responsible attracts/retains/is valued by consumers, or if your case is about HR where is the research on employment practice that has what you would argue to be a good/ethical impact for the employee and company? Conversely you may want to emphasise where bad choices have a negative impact – are there examples of where a company for example has made unwise choices in advertising and the impact that has had?
Advice and recommendations for Company emerging from analysis
Having researched and analysed the issue you now have to advise your company on what they should do in order to be an ethical and responsible company. Make some key recommendations for the management team you are reporting tfor example on how the view and use values in the company, view their role in society, and more practical suggestions around for example the way in which they employ people, think about the impact of advertising they use or train staff.
A bibliography which includes all the references that you used to in your report. This part of your assessment should be written as a report, but should be referenced in the normal academic way using Harvard citations and referencing.
b) Applying two ethical theories to the case study
For this part you should again use the case study – but this time choose TWO ethical theories and demonstrate that you can apply these to the case your example and use two theories – for example if you choose to use utilitarianism, what are the fundamentals of that idea? If (as it is) it is the idea of the greatest good for the greatest number, what does that say about the subject of your case study? You will probably need to think about the stakeholders you identified in part a) who/what are/is the ‘winners’ and who/what the ‘losers’? Does that mean that choosing in favour of the greatest number is ethical? What are the drawbacks of that view? You can then do the same with another theory – deontology or feminist ethics for example. A sum up would then note if there are differences in what ‘answers;’ these viewpoints give and your reflection on that. NOTE – you can choose any two theories we cover in class, you do not have to choose ones that you think contrast each other; the task here is to show that you can understand, critique and apply theory. Note also that we will be practicing using these ideas on cases in seminars.
PART 2
The qualities recognised for ethical leadership and the creation of an ethical organisation
This section will be a reflective piece, although still requires you to use academic sources to support your reflection. As it is reflective it is OK to use the first person when writing. We are expecting to see some engagement with the qualities of ethical leadership. This may well require you to think about what the relationship is between an ethical leader and an ethical manager. We will cover this in class so go back to that class to refresh your thinking. Look again at the classes and think about the discussions in seminars around what qualities you would identify in someone that you consider to be ethical. If this marks out an ethical person, what is needed to transfer that into being an ethical leader? And so the next step is how might that help develop an ethical organisation? One way of examining this may also be to imagine what would stop this. A tip here is to look back at the class where we met the idea of the toxic triangle. Finally, you would need to draw that into how you would bring about the best environment for ethical practice – which may include values and tools for compliance.

QAB020X601S Business Ethics and Responsible Management

Assessment Case Choice 5: Supply chains and human rights abuses: This doesn’t smell right – warnings to tuna companies.

 

Background

How much do you know about the can tuna you buy? The information available on the can you buy probably concentrates on the sustainability of the catch. It might tell you if the fish come from a sustainable stock? Or it might tell you the method used to catch it and assure you that there is minimal impact on other marine life (Drag nets for example catch turtles, sharks and so on which are not wanted as part of the catch and so these populations suffer as a ‘by-catch’). So often a company will tell you about the sustainability of the species caught (i.e. are we going to run out of tuna) and whether other species were harmed (usually it is whether the catch is ‘dolphin friendly’ because dolphins have the ‘cute and cuddly’ effect and no one wants to harm a dolphin, right?).

But how much do you know about the people who catch the fish? The fishing industry, especially in South East Asia, has long had a reputation for exploitation in which big companies have been complicit.

A report in June 2019 by the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre highlighted some of the issues. Writing about the report in ‘Supply Management’, the magazine for the Chartered Institute for Procurement and Supply (CIPS), it was noted that:

‘The world’s largest tuna companies are failing to support policies with practical action on modern slavery, a report warned. 

The report by the Business and Human Rights Resource Centre (BHRRC) said tuna companies have fallen into a pattern of “policy over practice” when it comes to tackling slavery in their supply chains in the Pacific’ . See link below.

The report outlined that a survey of 35 canned tuna companies operating in the Pacific had a very varied response to workers rights, some had more relevant policies than others; some were clearly making progress, while others seemed to be still in the starting blocks. One interesting finding was that none of the companies disclosed finding any workers who were in a state of modern slavery. That seems good, but given the reports of abuses, how could this be?

Below are some links to the story of the report, and to the report itself.

There is also an older story which adds further context, but be sure to do your own research.

Hart, C. (2019) ‘Slavery policies ‘fig-leaf for abuse’ in tuna supply chains’ In Supply Chain available at

https://www.cips.org/en-GB/supply-management/news/2019/june/slavery-policies-fig-leaf-for-abuse-in-tuna-supply-chains/ last accessed 07/10/19

Hodal , K (2019) ‘Major tuna brands failing to tackle slavery in Pacific supply chains – report’ The Guardian https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2019/jun/03/major-tuna-brands-failing-tackle-slavery-pacific-supply-chains-report last accessed 07/10/19

Leschin-Hoar, C (2018) ‘was your seafood caught with slave labor? New database helps retialers combat abuse’ NPR Newsite Available at

https://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2018/02/01/582214032/was-your-seafood-caught-with-slave-labor-new-database-helps-retailers-combat-abu  last accessed 08/10/19

And finally, the report itself

 

Business & Human Rights Resource Centre (2019) Out of Sight: Modern Slavery in Pacific Supply Chains of Canned Tuna. A survey & analysis of company action. Available at https://www.business-humanrights.org/sites/default/files/Out%20of%20Sight%20Modern%20Slavery%20in%20Pacific%20Supply%20Chains%20of%20Canned%20Tuna_4.pdf last accessed 08/10/19

 

 

Your assessment into two parts with part 1 being further split into two. Read the requirements below and attempt all three parts:

 

Part 1

a)      You are now required to write a brief report to senior managers at the fishing company of your choice. You will probably want to choose one of the companies listed in the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre report. As the report notes, some are further forward than others in looking at slavery in their supply chains so you will want to do a bit of research on the company. You will need to explore and write about a number of factors including - Why should the company be looking at this issue from the perspective of ethics? This ought to be fairly straight forward, if a report is saying companies are not acting on slavery.  How might this issue influence the public image of the company? This would take us back to the work we did on shareholders and stakeholders – what do you think the public view is of what is important to the company? What alternatives ways are there to think about a business’ role in society? That is, what could the company see as its purpose in doing business? Who/what are the stakeholders impacted in the scenario you are reporting on and how are they impacted on? Are there examples of business that act responsibly and ones that do not? You should illustrate this by including research you can find e.g. where is there research that shows good choices benefit companies and bad choices have a negative impact?. Finally you should conclude with some recommendations for what the company should do (here you may want to look at available examples of where companies do try and act well, try looking for the Thai Union statement on Ethics and Labor Code of Conduct.

This part of your assessment should be written as a report, but should be referenced in the normal academic way using Harvard citations and referencing.

 

b)      For this part you should again use the case study – but this time choose TWO ethical theories (using ones we have looked at in class) and demonstrate that you can apply these to the case to show how your chosen theories lead you to a view on the ethics of the case. For example, if you applied the ideas of Rawls and Social Justice to the fishing workforce what would you need to consider and how might the issue look from that perspective? Or, what if you apply Kant’s thinking here?  NOTE – you do NOT have to use ‘opposing’ ideas, we are interested most in how you use theory, if, when you apply two theories they seem to give the same answer that is fine, if they seem to give different outcomes that is fine too. This section is written in a more academic style than the report.

 

Part 2

Part 2 is NOT related to the case study. This section requires you to discuss what makes an ethical leader and how you would, as an ethical manager, manage your business and/or others to a high ethical standard.

You will need to think about personal ethics, about the conditions that bring about unethical organisations and practices, about organisational values and methods of compliance. This part can be written in a more reflective style, where the first person can be used.

 

WORD COUNT

 

The word limit for this assessment is 3,000 words. This does NOT include any title page or bibliography.

 

You are allowed 10% of the word count (ie submissions can be up to 3,300 words_, submissions exceeding this will be subject to a penalty.

 

How the word count is used across the submission is up to you. A suggestion would be

 

Part 1

a)      Approx. 1200 words

b)      Approx. 1000 words

Part 2

Approx. 800 words

 

The exact proportions will vary and this is part of your challenge to write informatively and concisely across the required tasks.

 

How will we support you with your assessment?

  • Assessment briefing Week 1 (lecture)
  • Briefing material and guides in addition to the assessment brief (Please make sure that you read these)
  • Dedicated seminar session on your formative assessment  - see LTAF for the weeks
  • Prompt feedback session on your formative assessment and tutorial session to support the development of your summative assessment.
  • An assignment writing workshop in week 12
  • Tutorial session to support the completion of your summative assessment in Week 13.

 

How will your work be assessed?

Your work will be assessed by a subject expert who will use the marking grid provided in this assessment brief.  When you access your marked work it is important that you reflect on the feedback so that you can use it to improve future assignments.

Referencing

You MUST use the Harvard System.  The Harvard system is very easy to use once you become familiar with it.

Assignment submissions

The Business School requires a digital version of all assignment submissions.  These must be submitted via Turnitin on the module’s Moodle site.  They must be submitted as a Word file (not as a pdf) and must not include scanned in text or text boxes.  They must be submitted by 2pm on the given date.  For further general details on coursework preparation refer to the online information via StudentZone http://studentzone.roehampton.ac.uk/howtostudy/index.html. 

Mitigating circumstances/what to do if you cannot submit a piece of work or attend your presentation

The University Mitigating Circumstances Policy can be found on the University website - Mitigating  Circumstances Policy.

Marking and feedback process

Between you handing in your work and then receiving your feedback and marks within 20 days, there are a number of quality assurance processes that we go through to ensure that students receive marks which reflects their work. A brief summary is provided below.

  • Step One – The module and marking team meet to agree standards, expectations and how feedback will be provided.
  • Step Two – A subject expert will mark your work using the criteria provided in the assessment brief.
  • Step Three – A moderation meeting takes place where all members of the teaching and marking team will review the marking of others to confirm whether they agree with the mark and feedback.
  • Step Four – Work at Levels 5 and 6 then goes to an external examiner who will review a sample of work to confirm that the marking between different staff is consistent and fair.

Step Five – Your mark and feedback is processed by the Office and made available to you.


source..
Content:


Supply Chains and Human Rights Abuses: This Doesn’t Smell Right – Warnings to Tuna Companies
Student’s Name
Name of the Class
Professor’s Name
Name of the School
City
State
Date
Supply Chains and Human Rights Abuses: This Doesn’t Smell Right – Warnings to Tuna Companies
Report Addressed to the Bumble Bee Foods Company Senior Management
In the contemporary marketplace, business ethics is an indispensable element for any corporation. Ethics is a philosophical branch that endears to cultivate the importance of virtue and morality. This process takes into account the classification of individuals' and firms' behavior as to whether it is right or wrong concerning the settings (Akaranga & Makau 2016). Beyond business, ethics is relevant in many other fields including science, government, and medicine. It is primarily a system of moral values or standards, which are highly predicated on religious, cultural, and social factors. In this regard, ethical behavior could be instituted as behavior that is acceptable within a specific culture even though there are universally accepted behaviors (Shah 2011). An example would refrain from hurting others. Regardless, Bumble Bee Foods Company is responsible for conducting its operations ethically considering the level of human abuses that are happening in the industry and more so, taking into account the damaging publicity the company would receive if such adverse news got into the public arena.
Business ethics is a broad term when it comes to the corporate world encapsulating several issues around organizations and institutions, political oversight in a democratic society, market, market regulations firms, and a globalized economy. In this broad line of thought lie the essence of employees and their role in the actualization of the company's objectives. It is the case for employees, in particular, that has attracted attention for concerned stakeholders including non-governmental organizations, state administrators, shareholders, investors, and more importantly, the public. Many reports indicate that tuna companies have failed in the practical actualization of set slavery policies. The Business and Human Rights Resource Centre (BHRRC) has addressed this issue explicitly and in-depth. The credibility this organization has in regards to human rights concerns guarantees that its report has influenced the market direction significantly.

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