Corporate Social Responsibility and Ethics


Case Study 1 – Ethical theories and Commissioning of Student Essays
A QAA (2016) report into essay mills identifies the growth in the commissioning of student essays. “[Plagiarism is]… passing off someone else’s work, either intentionally or unintentionally, as your own, for your own benefit. (Carroll 2007, p. 9)
“Plagiarism is a form of cheating and an academic offence. Using custom essays (or ‘contract cheating’) is a specific type of plagiarism, where a student commissions a third party to complete an assignment for them for a fee, then submits the work as their own. Providers of these services claim that the essays they produce are ‘100 per cent plagiarism free’, but that is a misleading claim. While the essay may not contain any plagiarised text itself, it becomes an act of plagiarism and academic dishonesty once the student submits it for assessment and represents it as his or her own work. If students submit work that is not their own, this compromises the fairness of the assessment process, brings the validity of their qualification into question – in particular by presenting an inaccurate account of their knowledge, skills and attributes – and poses a threat to the reputation of UK higher education. There are potentially serious ramifications for the public if people who falsely claim to be competent as a result of an academic award.” (QAA, 2016).
Websites such as; and to name a few, provide students with a range of academic documentation to buy. This can be anything from an outline for an essay to a PhD level thesis. When challenged about how ethical this is, a representative of one company said “If the service is used correctly then there is no conflict of ethics” and “The essays are not to be submitted but used for learning purposes”. However many of the sites state that the documents are unique and offer a guarantee that the documents are not plagiarised. Some have loyalty programmes and offer discounts for repeat business; others offer free essays for download, submitted by other students. A 10,000 word dissertation costs about £1,100.
A 2008 article from the BBC notes that use of essay writing services is on the increase; Bartlett (2009) and Rogerson (2014) document its significance in the USA and Australia respectively. The QAA (2016) identified a range of issues, including English language skills; pressure to achieve and cultural differences as leading to an increase.
Sources used to provide the above information (accessed June 2017)
Question 1
Using Utilitarianism and one other ethical theory taught in the module, critically analyse how the two theories could be used to argue the case both for and against the purchasing of essays or dissertations by University students. You should ensure that you use a range of relevant academic sources to support your work and link these to the case study information provided.

Case Study 2 – CSR Theories and Online Gambling
Online gaming, or gambling, is the wagering of something of value, usually money, on the outcome of an event or game using the internet. Online gaming includes such activities as poker, casinos (where people can play traditional casino games, like roulette or blackjack, but online), sports betting, bingo and lotteries. Of these, casino games and sports betting make up the largest share of the market. The market volume of online gaming was forecasted to reach 51.96 billion U.S. dollars in 2018, more than doubling since 2009. (, 2017). (2017) state that it although it is hard to accurately state the size of the online gambling industry, estimates are $20 billion-$50 billion per year in revenue, and include 20,000-30,000 active sites serving customers. They tend to be sited where the regulations are supportive of online gambling and include countries such as Canada, Gibraltar and Costa Rica and often provide a significant number of jobs. Some countries, such as the US have passed legislation to enable them to prosecute executives and firms engaged in online gambling, in an attempt to stop it. Other countries have chosen instead to license, regulate and tax the industry. The industry shows steady growth year on year.
Some online gambling companies support charities or make donations (, 2014), or are set up, like the National Lottery in the UK, to provide money for good causes. Examples include donating food, money and entertainment to charities (, 2014), however some US States legally require charitable donations to be made (, no date). There is a growing interest in CSR and the gambling industry in general (, 2011).
The Financial Times (2016) reported on an initial review of the online gambling industry in the UK and how it highlighted a range of activities which could be unfair to customers. Companies are accused of confusing customers rather than making rules clear, but the industry is complaining of increased regulation and taxation.
The Independent (2012) reported that as many as 1% of the UK population could be considered gambling addicts and noted that there is far less monitoring, support and research into this form of addiction than others such as alcohol or drug addiction. The article goes on to provide examples of the impact of gambling addiction on individuals and those around them. provide a range of services for those whose gambling is a problem. They note that if problem gambling progresses, it can lead to criminal activities to fund the gambling and affects family, relationships, mental health and debt levels. They provide a range of suggestions for managing the problems as well as a helpline and counselling.
Sources used to provide the above information (accessed June 2017)

Tropicana Continues Holiday Tradition of Charitable Giving,1
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Betting on Casinos to Provide Charitable Donations

Question 2
Using Carroll’s model and one other CSR model from those provided in the course materials (i.e. Chryssides and Kaler or Reidenbach and Robin), analyse the level of CSR development that is evidenced by the online gambling industry. Your discussion should include Milton Friedman’s viewpoint. You should ensure that you use a range of relevant academic sources to support your work and link these to the case study information provided.

Case Study 3 – Stakeholder Issues in Fair Trade defines Fairtrade as “Fairtrade is a simple way to make a difference to the lives of the people who grow the things we love. We do this by changing the way trade works through better prices, decent working conditions and a fair deal for farmers and workers in developing countries.”
This is achieved by setting social, economic and environmental standards for companies who buy produce and the farmers and workers who grow it; certification of products and ingredients; work with individual companies to develop their own standards; lobby government; work directly with producers; raise awareness with the public. Additionally, there is a Fairtrade Premium which provides a communal fund for the local farmers and workers to use to improve what elements of their lives and communities they wish e.g. education, healthcare, infrastructure etc.
There are two elements to Fairtrade activities: Fairtrade organisations which are involved in the supply of Fairtrade products; and producer networks involved in the production of Fairtrade products. One or other of these is in evidence across a large proportion of the globe
There are however criticisms of Fairtrade and it is alleged not to benefit those whom it should help. A Huffington Post (2014) article notes that the poorest coffee growers do not benefit; the approaches can encourage poor practice such as supplying lower quality coffee beans; it encourages more production of coffee rather than addresses the root causes of poverty in these regions. A Guardian article in 2009 makes the same observations in relation to cocoa production. Peters (2011) provides a range of reasons why the fair-trade movement is unethical. This article from The Independent has a number of case studies and different viewpoints
Sources used to provide the above information (accessed June 2017)
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Question 3
Using this example, identify a range of internal and external stakeholders involved in Fair Trade and use a stakeholder map to plot their relative importance. Explain the purpose of a stakeholder map using relevant theory. Evaluate the different expectations three key stakeholders might have in relation to CSR practices, using the information provided in the case study above. You should ensure that you use a range of relevant academic sources to support your work and link this to the case study information provided.

Case Study 4 – Personal Impact and Future Trends in CSR
Many sources feel that CSR is changing as expectations of organisations change. There are a range of future trends in CSR being suggested (Crane and Matten, 2013). These trends will have an impact on the organisation, the workplace and on your career. Some examples of changes may be: different work patterns; acquiring different knowledge and skills; increase in self-employment; focus on sustainability; triple bottom line reporting.
Sources used to provide the above information (accessed June 2017)
Question 4
Using academic sources, identify a range of possible future trends in CSR and justify why you feel these are significant. Then reflect on how these trends will affect organisations in future, and in particular how they might impact on your future in the workplace. You should clearly outline what kind of organisation you would like to work in (or are already working in), and use this to specifically discuss how this would affect you. Remember that as well as working for a multi-national organisation, you could work in the public sector, for a small or medium-sized organisation, for a charity, or set up your own business. You should ensure that you use a range of relevant academic sources to support your work.


Sample Solution