You are asked to write a 500 word briefing paper (approximately 1 A4 page which you can spread out over two pages maximum, plus appendices), plus
A supporting analysis and rationale document, 1500 words.
You should submit both parts of this assessment in one file.
Part 1: Briefing paper – 500 words – 50 marks
A briefing paper is typically a document submitted to the Board, or to a senior team, for the consideration of a proposal. It is brief, to the point, explanatory and has the aim of securing action.
The 500 word limit excludes footnotes (Microsoft Word excludes these automatically) and appendices. The appendices might for example include tables, graphs, images or other important information. In the briefing paper you position yourself as an employee or consultant of a specific company, (this does not need to be your company and you can choose a well-known organisation). The briefing paper is a Board paper where you inform the Board of Directors of your company of a marketing ethics related problem that has arisen (i.e. is on-going, contemporary and is a real world issue) which impacts one or several of your company’s stakeholder groups.
You should be briefly outlining the problem and then make recommendation(s) on how to solve this problem, while referring if necessary to best practices of competitors. You should also consider how your suggestions affect other stakeholders of your company. Your target is that the Board of Directors approve your recommendation(s) (the resolution(s)) so make sure that your recommendation(s) are feasible (e.g. don’t just say to an Oil company that they should stop producing/selling oil).
As this is a Board paper you should NOT cite using Harvard in-text referencing but instead cite / refer to important external information using footnotes. These footnotes should contain the information that is usually provided in the list of references / bibliography at the end.
Please ensure that the entire briefing paper including appendices looks professional and that your language is concise and precise. You will be assessed on presentation as well as content. For illustrative purposes further guidance is provided separately. The separate guidance notes, in particular the formatting and the word count per section, are just indicative and do not need to be exactly followed.
See the example structure and word limit guidelines.
Part 2: Supporting analysis and rationale – 1500 words – 50 marks
Plus a supporting analysis and rationale document, 1500 words.
In this section the aim is to discuss the rationale behind the ethical issue(s) addressed in your briefing paper. The reason the issue is important, and theories and balanced arguments, including the approach to the stakeholders etc.
This should not just provide further background about the Company/organisation and/or the issue itself, but needs to demonstrate where this issue fits within the ethical considerations and theories that you have covered in the module, so what are the ethical components of the issue(s) and what is it that ethics can suggest about why this issue is significant. Just as if you were writing about strategic issues you would discuss what kind of strategic issue you were raising, here you need to demonstrate the ethical context of the issue, any theories or ideas that may be relevant (and there may be more than one), and how you took these to approach your briefing and recommendations.
In the briefing paper you should not explain the views of, say Friedman and Freeman, but rather apply their views to the issue(s) (if relevant) and thus ensure that you are producing a balanced argument which takes shareholders and other stakeholders into account – rather than just basing your argument on the opinion of one NGO for example. In this section it would be appropriate to discuss this, should it be relevant to your topic.
In this, the supporting analysis and rationale section, you need to demonstrate how you approached the issue from an ethics perspective, the relevant theoretical underpinning, and the supporting research to educate your argument. This section is where you `show your workings’.
This section should be referenced using the Harvard referencing system, with a list of relevant references.
Part 1: The briefing paper
Each briefing paper will be marked on 10 criteria with equal weighting criteria
Overall professional look
Implications of non-action and of the recommendation*
Depth of research, incl. sources shown for example in footnotes and appendices
Demonstration of analytical thinking (rather than just being descriptive)
Appropriateness of idea (neither too basic nor too complex) / Title / Resolution
Justification of stakeholder choice
Coherence of argument leading to likelihood of board approval
* Each section will be reviewed as per coursework briefing, for example:
right level of concise information
precision of language
balanced argument (i.e. balancing Friedman’s shareholder views versus Freeman’s stakeholder views).
Part 2: the ethics rationale and context.
Coursework assessment criteria
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