Ethics and Governance RMIT

You are an ethics and governance officer working for a listed corporation CorpCo. The board of CorpCo has asked for a board paper (See Board Report Template for further guidance) to be prepared on one of the two contemporary corporate social responsibility (CSR)/business ethics issues below (Optus or Greg Mortimer Cruise Ship).

Select one of the two cases (Optus or Greg Mortimer Cruise Ship) for tabling at the next meeting of the company’s board of directors.  Board members gain a great deal of information about the decisions they need to make through the board papers they receive prior to a board meeting. Board papers are often prepared by non-board members. Board papers cover a variety of functions, ranging from providing general information to a call for action.  Section 180 of the Australian Corporations Act 2001 outlines that directors have a statutory duty of care to have read the board papers to be able to contribute effectively to board meetings.  Board papers provide information to non-executive directors thereby reducing information asymmetry and somewhat resolve the principal-agent problem (connecting to Week 7 E&G Corporate Governance Theory – Psaros (2008)).  Please refer to the E&G Board Paper TemplatePreview the document for further guidance on structure.

In the paper you are required to outline and then analyse the case using the concepts and ideas outlined in Assessment Task 1 including Husted 1993, Jones & Ryan 1998, Victor & Cullen 1998 and Monahan & Quinn 2008; but also Mitchell et al 1997, Gioia 1993 and other references to course and assessment task 1 literature, theory, concepts, and further research. Your report should contain practical recommendations to the board of CorpCo on improving CSR/ethical decision making.  These recommendations should be theoretically informed and evidenced.

Explore the interaction between organisational context and the CSR/ethical issue in the case chosen (considering the concepts of moral intensity, moral language and framing) and then address the following questions [Assesses Course Learning Objectives CLO1, CLO2  CLO3, CLO6 – see Table above for descriptions of CLOs]

  1. What role do the internal and external factors on CSR/ethical decision making play within this case? (Consider the role that organisational schemas/scripts/moral language/ethical work climates/stakeholder salience play in CSR/ethical decision making within the case) [Assesses CLO1,  CLO 2, CLO3, CLO6]
  2. How can unethical/poor decisions be avoided? [Assesses CLO 1, CLO 2, CLO6) 
  3. Are ethical leadership, codes and training adequate responses to preventing similar problems at CorpCo or does the board need to do more? Critically discuss with reference to course and assessment task 1 literature, theory, concepts, and further research. [Assesses CLO 1, CLO 2, CLO3, CLO6)
  4. Make practical recommendations for the board of CorpCo to consider based on your analysis of the CSR/ethical decision making case chosen (these must be theory driven/evidence based). [Assesses CLO1,  CLO 2,  CLO3 &  CLO6) 

You are required to formulate an argument, undertake research to locate academic references, and support your argument with theories covered in this course.  To formulate your argument, you are required to undertake research to locate academic references using online databases (e.g. EBSCO, Proquest, Emerald, Science Direct etc). You must to use at least 12 academic references to support your argument.

In 2020 Covid19 has rocked the Globe. The board of CorpCo would like a board paper with recommendations on the Greg Mortimer Cruise Ship case. 

Answer the assignment questions posed above and critically discuss with reference to course and assessment task 1 literature, theory, concepts, and further research. Whilst you have to choose and make a judgement as to what concepts are evident in the case, you do have to include some discussion of the role of stakeholders on the decision using stakeholder salience (Mitchell et al 1997).

Literature pointers:

  • Alexander, H (2020) ‘Give limited information truthfully’ (Links to an external site.): The extrication of a cruise ship, The Age [Accessed 22 June 2020]
  • Gioia, D (1992) ‘Pinto fires and personal ethics: A script analysis of missed opportunities’, (Links to an external site.) Journal of Business Ethics,  Vol.11(5), pp.379-389
  • Husted, B. W. (1993) ‘Reliability and the design of ethical organizations: A rational systems approach’, Journal of Business Ethics, 12(10), 761-769.
  • Jones, T.M. & Ryan, L.V. (1998) ‘The effect of organizational forces on individual morality: Judgment, moral approbation, and behavior ‘, Business Ethics Quarterly, 8 (3), 431-45.
  • Mitchell, R. K., Agle, B. R., & Wood, D. J. (1997) Toward a theory of stakeholder identification and salience: Defining the principle of who and what really counts, (Links to an external site.) Academy of Management Review, 22(4), 853-886.
  • Monahan, S. C., & Quinn, B. A. (2006) ‘Beyond ‘bad apples’ and ‘weak leaders’ Toward a neo-institutional explanation of organizational deviance’, Theoretical Criminology, 10(3), 361-385.
  • Victor, B., & Cullen, J. B. (1988) ‘The organizational bases of ethical work climates’,  Administrative Science Quarterly, 101-125.
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