Learning outcomes for the unit
On successful completion of the unit you should be able to:
- Demonstrate practical application of key Corporate Governance principles and evaluate how these mechanisms affect stakeholder decision-making and expectations.
- Critically assess how societal stakeholders shape the roles and responsibilities of both principals and agents.
- Develop an in-depth understanding and critical appreciation of the strengths and shortcomings of Global Corporate Governance mechanisms within both conceptual and real-world contexts.
- Develop and apply critical and creative thinking skills in the context of ethical global business operation.
- Demonstrate the capability to engage in lifelong learning through self-directed, in-depth research.
Graduate attributes developed in the unit
This unit will contribute to the development of the following Graduate Attributes.
- Critical and creative thinking
- Social interaction
- Independent and lifelong learning
- Global perspective
- In-depth knowledge of a field of study
Assignment 1 Individual Essay
Topic: “Why should I care about the shareholders, who I see once a year at the general meeting. It is much more important than I care about the employees; I see them every day.” – Attributed to the CEO of Volkswagen in 1983.
In 2015, it became apparent that the carmaker, Volkswagen, had for years been using illegal software installed in 11 million of its cars worldwide to help the company satisfy emissions standards required by US state testing agencies. When news of this broke, the company faced a global backlash.
Can some blame for this deceit be directed towards the company’s governance structure? Based on your analysis of the crisis, explain whether you think suitable steps have been taken to prevent future scandals of this type.
Notes: The Individual Essay calls on students to investigate a corporate crisis, and whether governance contributed to the organisation’s culpability. Students also need to assess the organisation’s response.
Generating content for Assignment 1 entails critically explaining/ exploring the following:
1. Relevant scholarly/ professional terms drawn from the unit and related studies to explain the situation under scrutiny,
2. A profile of the organisation at the time that the crisis occurred,
3. The circumstances and contributing factors leading up to the case crisis,
4. The key actors involved in the case crisis and their culpability,
5. The organisation’s response to the crisis and,
6. The broader governance lessons one can be learned from the aforementioned.
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