Winter – 2015


Robert Richards, Instructor


For this assignment, you will be required to answer the following question in your analysis:

Do multi-national corporations (MNE’s) have a social and ethical responsibility beyond the legal requirements of trying to maximize stockholder value (making profits), adhering to contracts, and obeying the laws of the different countries where they operate?

There is no right or wrong answer for the question posed above. You will be evaluated based on the following minimum requirements for this assignment and the quality of your analysis:

1)Legal Case:  You must cite at least one legal case as an example of how the question of corporate ethics and social responsibility arises in the global legal environment. I think the Union Carbide Corporation Gas Plant Disaster at Bhopal on p. 14 of your textbook is a good example (see also p. 84 of your textbook for a discussion of the ethical considerations of this case).However, there are other cases, either in the textbook or that you research on your own, that can serve just as well for this requirement. Do not waste space IRAC’ing the case. Just paraphrase the background, arguments and court decision in your own words and explain how this case relates to your analysis of the question above.

2)Scholarly Legal or Business Article:  You must cite at least three articles to support your analysis. I encourage you to use the City University Library databases for your research.  I suggest the following databases as good sources for this assignment:  a) “Legal Collection;” b) “LexisNexis Academic;” c) ABI/Inform Trade and Industry;” and d) Business Source Complete.”

3)Social Responsibility and Ethics Statement for a Corporation: You must cite the socialresponsibility statement of at least one corporation in your analysis. These statementscan usually be found in the official website or other documents of the corporation. Thecorporate statement that you choose should either support, or refute, your argumentsregarding your position on the primary question posed for this assignment; i.e.corporate social responsibility, yes or no.


Paper Length and Format:  Your paper should not exceed six pages, double-spaced, not including the cover page. You must have a Reference page, listing all of your cited sources in an APA format. You must internally cite every source that you use in your narrative (also in APA format) to avoid plagiarism and to bolster your arguments.

Case Analysis- Ethical issue


A case analysis is designed to help students sharpen their analytical skills. The strongest way to analyze a case is to apply a variation of the scientific method. This method of analysis is simply a logical approach that usually includes seven steps:

Step 1: Problem Definition. A case seldom involves one clear cut problem. The task is to: • determine the symptoms which require immediate attention. • identify the fundamental issues and causal factors giving rise to these symptoms. It is important to separate the immediate problems from their more basic sources. For example, immediate problems may be a high rate of absenteeism, while the more fundamental issue may be a poor motivational climate. How students define a problem determines how they go about solving it. A short term solution for absenteeism is likely to be different from solutions which attempt to deal with motivational climate. Clearly define the problem in a short phrase.

Step 2: Justification for Problem Definition. In this step students should review what information they have.  Students will need to make some inferences to fill in gaps. Clearly label what is inference and what is factual. Do not be afraid to assume, but clearly state the assumptions are being making. Students should make assumptions on the basis of their knowledge of what typical managerial practices are like, and they should be consistent with the facts students have about the case. Managerial decisions are always based on limited information. In fact, practicing managers find that many of their decisions must be made quickly on the basis of limited information. Explicitly address the following four information factors: a) what information is known, b) what information is unknown, c) what assumptions will the student make because of the missing information, and d) why those assumptions are reasonable at the time of writing the analysis.

Step 3: List Alternative Courses of Action. Be creative. Students should jot down ideas as they occur. Students should list as many ideas as are possible, without evaluating them or censoring anything. They can always be deleted later. The point is to let students’ imagination take over. Each alternative should be numbered and get its own separate paragraph.

Step 4: Evaluate Alternatives. Students should look critically at the alternatives they came up with in Step 3. Analyze the alternatives regarding their costs, potential benefits and risks. The more examples of costs, potential benefits and risks per each alternative, the higher the grade will be. The benefits must be described as “potential benefits”. Address the quantity level (e.g., high, medium or low) of each cost, potential benefit and risk.

Step 5: Review.  Students should reread their notes and think. This may be a good ti

me to let the case sit for a while. Students should go back to it later when they have had a chance to digest all the data.

Step 6: Draw Conclusions, Make Recommendations/Decisions. Students should select the alternative or alternatives they  would recommend and fully explain/justify the logic behind the choice. Include specifics about the implementation of the recommendation: who should do what, when, and how.

Source: Myers, T. & Myers, G. (1982). Managing by communication: An organizational approach. New York: McGraw Hill.


% of Grade

Problem definition


Writing Mechanics


Justification for problem definition


List of alternative courses of action


Evaluation of alternatives







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