Annex 1 is the requirement for this assignment.
You are required to submit a 3000 word essay by 17 December 2019 via Blackboard on
the following subject:
What are the obstacles preventing good corporate governance and how might they
be overcome? Discuss, using course materials and concepts used in the module.
There are several different ways of addressing this question and more guidance will
be provided during the lectures and on Blackboard. However, one way of
demonstrating that you have understood the course material and concepts is to show
that different conceptualisations of corporate governance lead to different
idealisations of good corporate governance, some of which may be contradictory.
It is possible to use both more theoretical and more practical ways of answering. You
may, for example, look at competing theories and, by demonstrating their
implications for corporate governance, decide that there can be no ‘good’ corporate
governance. You could focus on how corporate governance has developed in practice
and argue whether or not this indicates progress towards good governance. You
might argue that calls for better governance are misplaced and their implementation
is harmful or, conversely, that good governance is only being prevented by powerful
groups opposed to its implementation. Even if you do not use a largely theoretical
approach, you will need to make sense of how theory applies to the material that you
examine. At a minimum, you should be able to show how agency theory and
stakeholder theory are relevant. And there are more choices still, which will be
outlined in the coming lectures. Which you choose, and how you go about answering
it is largely up to you but I would advise checking with me if you plan to deviate far
from these general approaches.
Good essays will have a strong structure and clear development of ideas, exploring
the arguments critically. This is again why using competing conceptualisations is
helpful – it enables you to readily critique different positions.
Examples are welcome. However, aim to make them as brief and as relevant as
possible. Avoid repetition and lists of points – this is an academic essay and will be
marked as such.
Remember that there is a clear question that you are being asked and your essay
should be used to arrange an argument that leads to an answer to that question. The
actual answer is, too a large extent, up to you – we are looking for you to
demonstrate your command of the material not to give the ‘right’ answer.
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