Dissertation Proposal Examples
Many students have asked me the following question: ‘What makes a good dissertation proposal?’ With this in mind, I have taken time out to write what I think a good dissertation proposal comprises of. I have written a handful of dissertations at undergraduate and postgraduate levels and I have used the same dissertation proposal framework and every dissertation proposal I have submitted has been awarded a high grade. In this post, I will write a proposal for an MBA Dissertation and will include all the relevant sections for the proposal. You will find out at first hand that your dissertation proposal will turn out to be a mini project in its own right. It is worthwhile noting that your final dissertation project should not deviate away from your original proposal and research question. Below is the title for the MBA dissertation proposal;
The Informational Relevance Of Corporate Social Responsibility: Does It Impact The Company Workforce Or Profit?
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) tactics help the corporations attract talent. CSR helps companies to gain the positive image in social respects as well as financial and other performance parameters. The CSR is an obligation which is totally beyond the required economics and law for a specific organization to follow long term aims which are even good for society. It is the prolonged commitment of a business to ethically behave and contribute to development national economy while advancing the life quality of company employees and also the local community and the whole society in total. The main purpose of this research proposal is to analyze the effectiveness of corporate social responsibility that UK’s largest and leading supermarket TESCO has enforced in its management system. The research proposal discusses the impact of corporate social responsibility on the workforce of an organization and significance of this practice in current market and benefits/limitations brought by CSR to the society.
One of the remarkable developments that is being observed in twenty-first century in the marketplace is that the businesses are showing concerns about ethical issues and human rights as much as they are about being responsible in the issues relating to environment, social concerns and economic growth. Besides, there is increasing signs of legislative and other initiatives by the members of the public to exert pressure on these business organizations to emphasize on ethical business conduct regarding processes and actions. There is abundant correlation between financial and social performance of business organizations (Kanji, 2010).
The nature of benefits and their magnitude are higher than financial benefits as seen by improved image of such corporations resulting in increased loyalty from consumers and management of risks due to their association of ethical values and confidence in these organizations as involved in actions that are considered as ‘right things’. These include issues related to labor welfare and concerns about health and safety policies. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) tactics help the corporations attract talent. CSR helps companies to gain the positive image in social respects as well as financial and other performance parameters. The main objective of this research proposal is to analyze the effectiveness of corporate social responsibility that UK’s largest and leading supermarket TESCO has enforced in its management system. The research proposal discusses the impact of corporate social responsibility on the profit of an organization and significance of this practice in current market.
Does corporate social responsibility impact the workforce of an organization and how significant it is in current market to meet/accomplish the customer and employee related expectations?
Research Aim and Objectives
The main aim of the research is to deeply examine the significance of corporate social responsibility and the intensity of its growth among various organizations. The research paper intends to critically examine the corporate social responsibility initiatives taken by TESCO and evaluates the efficiency and limitations of these practices.
- Examine the importance of corporate social responsibilities in organizations of 21st century.
- Evaluate the characteristics attributions of corporate social responsibilities
- Discuss and analyze the dimensions of corporate social responsibilities
- Examine the effectiveness and limitations of corporate social responsibilities of TESCO
TESCO is UK’s largest retail business and is recognized as one of the leading supermarket chains in the world. Now it is planning to open about thousand discount stores across the US. It is planning to invest $2.5 billion in the span of over five years for its US business foray and presently coming out with investment of $250 million (£120 million) currently. The entry and expansion plan of TESCO in US and worldwide it to directly compete with US department stores giant, Wal-Mart. TESCO is one of prominent organizations which is known for its various types of initiatives related corporate social responsibility and the advancement it brought due to these initiatives to society (Glancey, 2008).
In the beginning the Corporate Social Responsibility practiced by the corporations was limited to building schools for their employees’ children and housing arrangement for their staff and workers. There is changed perspective in the corporations about enhanced actions displaying CSR by variety of actions. It is now commonly realized by many companies that they can no more ignore the social responsibility angle. There is lot of hard thinking on the part of corporations on how to discharge these social responsibilities in appropriate ways. These efforts have made CSR to enter in corporate lexicon and a means of getting more favorable attention. Though being ethical sounds great as a moral principle, but there will be changes when it comes to their practical implementation.
Murray (2006) describes that there are many issues and questions to be answered to determine what the best means of choosing the right action is and how to implement it. But there will be different expectations from different sections of society. Besides, social responsibility acts cost lot of money which has to be carefully considered. This has to be weighed in terms of costs that would be borne by not being socially responsible as well (Murray, 2006). A firm which does not show ethical responsibility is in the danger of negative valuation from the stakeholders who may change the ways of communicating with the firm. In severe cases the suppliers may refuse to supply the goods and consumers may stop patronizing such firms which will bring direct loss or costs to the company. These considerations show that the company has to view their social responsibility investment in a comprehensive as to total effects on the company fortunes in the present days of keen awareness about company performance in the area of ethical and socially responsible conduct (Delios, 2010).
Corporate Social Responsibility Failures: An Overview
There are instances where the failure on CSR front made the companies to suffer huge losses to themselves as well as to the individuals and society. Bhopal gas tragedy in 1984 caused death of thousands of people and many were handicapped due to leakage of poisonous gas. General Electric was responsible for polluting Hudson River and failed to clean it up. Company is still engaged in legal battle on allocation of liability but has not cleaned up the mess. This is also due to the financial burden of regulation that can affect the national economy. This is evident in Australian government’s unwillingness to accept Kyoto Protocol citing the loss to national economy and to its national interests. It argued that accepting Kyoto Protocols would make more losses to Australian interests than to any other OECD countries. There is also criticism of CSR on the fact that companies do pay taxes to the government so that government has to take measures to safeguard people and society from adverse effects on environment (Ramchander, 2012).
Lange (2012) describe that usually, attention to CSR is brought only by the eruption of a crisis. This is seen in Exxon Valdez incident in Alaska in 1989, where the environmental management issues came to be highlighted and given importance in public discussions. Issue of lead poisoning with paint employed by giant toy company Mattel forced it to recall millions of toys. This resulted in the company to incorporate risk management and new quality control processes. Same is the case of Magellan Metals which was responsible for death of thousands of people due to lead poisoning which forced the company to stop the operations (Lange, 2012).
Dimensions of Corporate Social Responsibility
Organizational Strategic Planning Systems and Social Accountability and Social Investment
Strategic planning systems determine the quality of management regarding processes and people. So the company has to place policies to identify and monitor the ethical and human resources strategies. These must also evaluate the socio-economic trends of the community and exhibit required measure of social and economic responsibility. They must have proper reporting systems on the social investments and social accountability. Attention must be given for environment protection and other issues and should have respected the human rights of public and the employees (Bhattacharya & Korschun, 2012).
According to Dowling (2012) the social accountability of corporation is measured in terms of improvement of workplaces and the communities. So it focuses on improving the social infrastructure and helping the community with new technology and programs for imparting skills and education to the communities and thereby ensures sustained improvement. It should also imbibe the culture of transparency in business activities and also a system that prevents corruption and underhand dealings, interest shown in overall development of communities, planning the provision of investments in education, healthcare and other improvements. In general, business must meet the expectations of the society in providing education and being responsible for their actions (Dowling, 2012).
Environment protection and Sustainability- EPS
Rivoli (2011) explains that business activities can be subjected to allegations of negligence and liability for causing harm to the environment. Apart from general issues concerning the pollution of air, water and disposal of toxic wastes, issues such as Bhopal, Love Canal and Exxon Valdez show the extent of environmental responsibilities the companies have to bear in mind. While everyone agrees on the responsibility of business for the protection of natural environment, there is also a claim for making them responsible for natural world. Though the businesses have direct responsibility to human life, sometimes there are calls for making them responsible for protection of overall natural world as well. According to this view the businesses should also have responsibility to protect plants, animals and ecosystems- as these are considered as ethical values- the businesses must also address these issues. For example, reduction in usage of paper may be done for economic purposes, but this action will show that the company is caring about environment also (Rivoli, 2011).
Corporate Governance and Economic Responsibility (CGER)
Corporate governance addresses the issues regarding the responsibilities of top management of the company to investors. In the last decade there is increased awareness about the corporate governance and scrutiny of shareholders about company policies in this regard. These have resulted in shareholder’s strong movements especially regarding the management of pension funds, religious and socially responsibility investment pressure groups and institutional investors. These forces are trying to change the management behavior including bringing about excellent corporate governance standards. They would like to implement these policies regarding corporate policies about employment ethical policies, community involvement and environmental issues. Basically, business has to attend to following responsibilities to its stakeholders;
- Profitability – Business earns profits for its investors by the activities of adding values to raw materials by process them with the help of machines and labor force.
- Transparency – A transparent business policy is designed to provide the necessary information to the concerned parties regarding financial position and strategies, thus helping the direct stakeholders (Waller, 2011).
- Nondiscrimination – In this context, the business uses same yardsticks to all its customers, suppliers, employees and dealers.
- Sustainability – It ensures that the business has sustainable growth by constant improvement in processes and having long lasting relationships with customers and suppliers.
- Ethics and Human Resources: (HER): Business ethics is concerned with having policies of ethical business conduct. This issue has got prominence in the recent business affairs with the evolution of principle of CSR.
Even the consumers are more aware of the environmental and ethical considerations about the companies whose products they buy. So businesses must accommodate ethical practices in their business strategies. It is essential for the corporations to conduct ethical training sessions helping them to be aware of ethical and environmental impacts of their actions. It is essential to study the total impact of all aspects of supply chain management and labor practices (like working hours) and must be able to avoid labor exploitation, inhumane treatment and ensuring hygienic and safe working environment to the workers. It also involves avoiding or prohibiting discrimination based on sex, age and race. Transparency must be maintained in issues such as fund raising and volunteering for community activities (Wagner, 2009).
CSR in TESCO
TESCO has offered an interesting case for understanding how the management can benefit by involving in Corporate Social Responsibility activities applied in their business plans. TESCO shows how these issues are addressed in external and internal activities. The external activities the company is involved are in local employment and regeneration projects and detailed plan for initiative of linking the sales with donation of computers to schools and establishment of ethical trading practices with various suppliers. This policy must be seen in the context of the criticism of big supermarket businesses which were accused of forcing the suppliers like vulnerable farmers to sell at very low prices and then selling them at high prices to make unreasonably high profits from such deals. Though the investigative reports have failed to corroborate any evidence about these baseless charges, the supermarkets shave taken steps to assure the public that they follow ethical practices in this regards and are able to get public support.
In line with above policy, TESCO released Corporate Social Responsibility review for the year 2001-2002 commenting in its Annual Report. In the CSR Review the company showed a strong emphasis on the external activities such as environmental and social performance as termed by the Chief Executives for these activities. The issues cover the environmental issues such as efforts of the company in recycling and measures taken to improve the energy efficiency across all the processes. It also mentioned the community activities with CSR goals such as donating computers to the schools and working with authorities for “Regeneration” program which offered to train the unemployed people who could be employed in their stores (Krumwiede, 2012).
Internal CSR activities highlighted in the Annual Report show the steps taken to impart better health and improved safety measures and employment diversity and offering occupational pension scheme. It signed an agreement in 1998, with the recognized labor union, the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers- USDAW, for handling issues about restructuring programs which gave a central mechanism to deal with this and other issues. In fact, Bill Connor, General Secretary of USDAW, commented that the agreement is the beginning of a partnership that giving the opportunity for mutual consultation and involvement. Similarly, John Monks, General Secretary of TUC even declared that poor employees should join TESCO and understand the good relation of partnership between the union and the management.
The research study will be based on implementing Positivism Analysis. Positivism is based on methods and philosophical approaches that hold that in social and natural sciences, it is sensory experiences and logical treatments that are the valid sources of all useful information. This does not accept as valid techniques of gaining knowledge the methods of the Meditative and Intuitional efforts to gain any knowledge.
Positivism holds that the goal of knowledge is to define and understand the phenomena we experience. The only purpose of a study is to limit to areas which can be observed and measured. From a Positivist’s viewpoint one cannot understand anything beyond this. It means Positivism explains the relationship between philosophy and logic. As it is impossible to directly measure or monitor the emotions and thoughts they are not the valid topics required for scientific analysis. The things that could not be measures, such as people’s emotions and the nature of people’s thinking are of no use in research using positivism research methodology (Silverman, 2004).
Positivism looks at the science as a way to arrive at the Truth and also a way to comprehend the universe so that one will be able to predict and control it. The physical world and the Universe operate on the Cause and Effect principle which can be easily distinguished with the help of unique scientific research method applied. Science is just a mechanical phenomenon. With the help of deductive reasoning it is possible to postulate theories which can be practically tested. Observation and measurement are the heart of scientific methods. But the main approach of science is the Research and it is the effort to recognize the natural laws by direct observation and management (Churchill & Iacobucci, 2009).
Primary Data Collection
The research proposal will implement the qualitative and quantitative research methodologies to execute the research purposes. The data to be analyzed in the research topic is based on the interviews with the employees of TESCO. Additionally, TESCO published annual reports and journals are used in the same context.
Also a survey having consumers and the employees of TESCO as participants will be conducted by making them answer a questionnaire featuring ten different relevant questions associated with corporate social responsibility of TESCO. The main intention of this survey is to collect the various views and thoughts of TESCO employees and the customers. The survey data obtained will be critically analyzed to draw the conclusion for the research study conducted. The participants will be given a questionnaire with multiple answers for each question. The survey is one of the efficient techniques which can be used as a means of primary data collection to carefully examine the real time data obtained from the actual individuals associated with the system.
Interview conducted with employees in management department will be the basis for the research findings. It is required to gather information effectively. Interview offers the best method to gather information directly. These are done with each employee in private. If there is a time constraint, then group interviews can be done. The data collected will be maintained highly confidential and the collected data will be used for the purpose of research study only.
Secondary data Collection
The research will also rely up on the information and data collected by:
- Online books
The research proposal given totally abides every safety and privacy related considerations by assuring that every privacy acts and safety measurements are followed thoroughly throughout the whole process of research study. The detail collected by employees or the consumers of the organization will not be no where misused or used for any other purpose. The research study performed and the data to be given in the dissertation will comply with the originality policies outlined at the university.
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