LD0474 -Part C – Impact of CSR on Sony’s Financial Performance

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LD0474 -Part C – Impact of CSR on Sony’s Financial Performance

1.0 Introduction

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has emerged as an important yardstick for
measuring the overall performance of an organisation. CSR is not only an expression of how
ethical a company is, but it is a measure of how well the company takes care of stakeholders’
interest. Unlike in the past when CRS was taken as a philanthropic undertaking by business
organisations, today it is considered one of the important performances metric with companies
release annual reports showing their CSR undertaking in a given financial year (Blewitt, 2008).
There is a close relationship between CSR and financial performance because the more a
company appears ethical to the consumer, the more it attract customers, translating to higher
sales. Like other company, Sonny is also affected by CSR in different ways, one of it being the
company’s financial performance.

Category:

Description

Module Code: LD0474
Module Title: Strategic Management for Competitive Advantage

Assignment A:
Assignment B:
Assignment C:

Further information about general assessment criteria, ARNA regulations, referencing and plagiarism
can be found on the module’s site on the e-Learning Portal. Students are advised to read and follow
this information.
This assessment includes group work and/or peer assessment or evaluation. It is important that
students familiarise themselves with protocols for these activities and follow these during the course of
the assessment. The document can be found on the module’s site on the e-Learning Portal.
Introduction
You will participate in a business simulation exercise (“Business Game”) based on the European Car
Industry. The purpose of the exercise is to give you the opportunity to use the learning from the four
functional areas (marketing, finance, human resources and operations management) to simulate the
setting up and running of a business which is competing for market share.
In Week 5, you will attend an introductory lecture which will explain the objectives of the simulation
and the process for making decisions. In the seminars, which begin in Week 6, you will be divided into
teams of 5-6 students. Each team has to set up a car manufacturing company, design two cars and
sell these to the market. The teams within each seminar group will compete with one another for
market share. The objective for each team is to maximise the shareholder value of their
company at the end of four decision rounds – Week 11.
Information on the market together with cost data will be posted on Bb in Week 5. Each team should
read this information carefully and use it to establish a business strategy. In Weeks 7 to11 the teams
will make a set of decisions each week to be submitted online. The results, in the form of computer-
generated reports, will be available online later in the week.
The Business Game seminars in Weeks 7-10 will take the form of shareholder meetings. Each team
will make a short presentation reviewing the performance of their company in the previous round and
identifying key areas where the performance and management of the business can be improved.
In order to complete the assessment detailed below, it is essential that each student keeps a
detailed record of the team meetings, the decisions made, the rationale for these decisions and
their own role as a member of the team. Non-attendance at seminars will be penalised.

Assessment Brief – Postgraduate

LD0474_Assignment Page 2 of 14
Assignment A (20% of module mark)

Each team will submit a group report on the Round 1 decisions with the following sections:
1. Peer assessment form with the names and signatures of all team members (see final page of
this brief). [10%]
2. The team’s business plan for Round 1 (word limit 1,500 words) as follows: [60%]
a. Mission statement – what is the purpose of your company?
b. Business Objectives – measurable targets for the end of Round 4 (e.g. market share)
c. Chosen market segments with brief descriptions of target customers and your
marketing strategy
d. Your competitive strategy – why will people buy your cars rather than those from other
companies?
e. The rationale underlying the choices of designs, options and R&D
f. The rationale for the prices charged for each car
g. The rationale for production/HRM decisions such as investment in automation
3. An appendix containing minutes of the team meetings that took place up to the submission of
the Round 1 Decision. These should show attendance, topics discussed, an outline of the
team discussion of each topic, the decisions made (and how they were made) and actions
agreed. As a guide, each meeting is likely to require at least one full A4 page. [30%]

Assessment Brief – Postgraduate

LD0474_Assignment Page 3 of 14
Assignment B (60% of module mark)
Each student will submit an individual report (word limit 5,000 words). This report will consist of the
following sections laid out EXACTLY as follows:
1. Front page, with your name, ID, Seminar Group number, Team number and word count.
2. Contents (with page numbers)
3. Introduction: A brief (maximum 50 words) statement of the business objectives (from
Assignment A) and a brief (maximum 100 words) summary of the company performance
during the game and how far you succeeded in meeting the business objectives; a table
showing total sales, total unsold stock, shareholder funds, closing bank balance and
outstanding loan at the end of each of the four rounds. These figures should be in £m, to
the nearest £1 million.
4. Company Performance: A clear analysis and explanation (2000 words) of what happened
during the game supported by graphs/tables of key financial and non-financial data for the
company. [45%]
Guidance: It is important to show that you now fully understand what happened during the
game – even if you didn’t understand during the game. To so do, you MUST start with the
Round 1 forecast of key performance measures (KPMs), compare the Round 1 results with
the forecast, explain the differences in detail, and the key issues that arose. Go on to explain
the rationale for the Round 2 decisions, what these were, then present the Round 2 forecast.
Follow this approach for all four rounds. You should then comment on the trends in KPMs
over the game. The KPMs should include as a minimum production, sales, gross margin,
unsold stock, post-tax profit, net cash position and market share. It is suggested that you
discuss suitable KPMs with the tutors for each of the four functional areas. Effective
comparisons with competitors (where possible) will earn additional marks.
5. Learning: A critical reflection (2000 words) on how the team used the financial, marketing,
operations and human resources management material taught during the semester to make
responsible business decisions affecting at least one stakeholder group internal to the
organisation and at least one stakeholder group external to the organisation. [45%]
Guidance: For each of the decisions, explain how you made the decisions during the game.
Looking back, discuss how you could have made better decisions by making better use of the
material taught during the semester, particularly how the functions integrate and how the
decisions act in the best interest of the individuals, groups or organisations affected.
Include citations within the text to refer to relevant readings covered in class.
6. Conclusion: An evaluation (150 words) of the extent to which your organisation met the key
strategic objectives set out in part 3 above, with an indication for the reasons these objectives
were fully met, partially met or not met at all.
7. Team Performance: A critical evaluation (700 words) of the performance of the team and a
personal reflection on your role in the team [10%].

Assessment Brief – Postgraduate

LD0474_Assignment Page 4 of 14
Guidance: Discuss, for example, the organisation of the team, the effectiveness of the
decision-making process, and the roles played by individuals including leadership. How
effective was your contribution to the team? What did you learn from the game about effective
teamwork and decision making? What would you do differently if you played the game again?
It is important to go beyond simply “telling a story” and to make use of relevant material from
the Semester 2 Residential and the Developing Self module. Make use of the meeting logs
that you kept during the game. Do not talk about the specific areas of contribution, e.g. how
you made financial or marketing decisions, but how you developed as a team member and
how you would approach a similar exercise differently should such an opportunity arise.
8. References: Remember that all sources cited in the assignment should appear in the
reference list.
9. Appendices (not more than 6 pages). These should be used for supporting data and can
include tables and graphs. However, Section 4 should include graphs of key data to support
the explanation of performance. Key graphs and tables should appear in the body of your
work.

Assignment C (20% of module mark)
Provide an individual (1500 words) critical evaluation of the organization sustainability and CSR,
alongside the financial performance of a major international corporation of your choice.

Guidance: Refer to the lectures provided in the Strategy component of the module where you
covered responsible decision making, considering areas such as the concept of the triple
bottom line, expectation of the chosen organisation in terms of CSR and how these decisions
are underpinned in terms of an organizational sustainability agenda. You should also consider
how the company executes its Corporate Governance. In terms of financial performance,
consider the key financial statements provided by the organisations and consider these in
absolute terms alongside the use of a manageable number of financial ratios.

References: Remember that all sources cited in the assignment should appear in the
reference list.

When submitting Assignments B and C, submit as two separate pieces of work.

Marks will be deducted for reports that do not conform to the structure above and which fall
below the presentation and writing standards expected for a professional report.

Assessment Brief – Postgraduate

LD0474_Assignment Page 5 of 14
Submission of Assessment:
Both assignments should conform to the following specification:
 Word-processed in Arial 11pt, 1½ spacing
 Each section should start on a new page
 Pages should be numbered
 Assignments B and C should be submitted as two separate documents.
All three assignments must be submitted online via the Turn-it-in submission link found in the
‘Assessment’ tab on the left hand menu of the module’s dedicated blackboard site. You should include
the Seminar Group number and Team number on the form.

Word limits and penalties for assignments
If the assignment is within +10% of the stated word limit no penalty will apply.
The word count is to be declared on the front page of your assignment. The word count does not
include:
 Title and
Contents page

Reference list 

Appendices 

Appropriate tables,
figures and
illustrations


Glossary


Bibliography

 Quotes from
interviews and
focus groups.

Please note, in text citations [e.g. (Smith, 2011)] and direct secondary quotations [e.g. “dib-dab
nonsense analysis” (Smith, 2011 p.123)] are INCLUDED in the word count.
If this word count is falsified, students are reminded that under ARNA page 30 Section 3.4 this will be
regarded as academic misconduct.
If the word limit of the full assignment exceeds the +10% limit, 10% of the mark provisionally awarded
to the assignment will be deducted. For example: if the assignment is worth 70 marks but is above the
word limit by more than 10%, a penalty of 7 marks will be imposed, giving a final mark of 63.

Assessment Brief – Postgraduate

LD0474_Assignment Page 6 of 14
Mapping to Programme Goals and Objectives:
This assessment will contribute directly to the following Postgraduate programme goals and
objectives.
Goal One: To develop the skills necessary for employment and career progression
1. Demonstrate awareness of personal strengths and weaknesses and the ability to engage in
continuing self-development.
2. Demonstrate the development of inter-personal and intra-personal skills.
3. Demonstrate competence in contemporary analytical and ICT applications.
Goal Two: Be culturally and ethically aware
x 1. Demonstrate their ability to work in culturally diverse groups and teams and make
appropriate and personal contribution to team effectiveness.
2. Reflect on their own ethical values.
x 3. Understand the wider impact of individual or organisational decision making on social and
environmental contexts.

Goal Three: Have developed leadership and management capability
1. Analyse and communicate complex issues effectively.
2. Demonstrate decision making, problem solving and project management skills.
Goal Four: Have developed and applied knowledge of international business and management
theory
x 1. Acquire, interpret and apply knowledge of international business, management and
organisational functions.
2. Demonstrate an understanding of the impact of innovative and contemporary research on
the business and management community.
3. Acquire, interpret and apply specialist functional knowledge in relation to their programme
of study (specialist programmes only).
Goal Five: Have developed a range of research skills and project capabilities
1. Plan and complete a major piece of research or project on a contemporary business,
financial, management or leadership topic.
2. Demonstrate skills of analysis and synthesis in the application of research methods to the
exploration of contemporary business and management issues.

Assessment Brief – Postgraduate

LD0474_Assignment Page 7 of 14

LD0474

LD0474_Assignment Page 8 of 14
Assignment A Feedback Group/Team ………….. Programme and Campus: ……………………………………………

Criteria Scales

0-39%
Standard Not
Met 1

40-49%
Standard Not
Met 2

50-59%
Meets
Standard 2

60-69%
Meets
Standard 2

70-79%
Exceeds
Standard 1

80-89%
Exceeds
Standard 2

90-100%
Exceeds
Standard 3

Section 2 Rationales

Completely insufficient
or missing rationales
listed a to g in the group
assessment brief
[0 – 23]

Insufficient rationales
for most areas listed a
to g in the group
assessment brief
[24 – 29]

Adequate rationales
for most areas listed a
to g in the group
assessment brief
[30 – 35]

Good rationales for
some areas listed a to
g in the group
assessment brief
[36 – 41]

Very good rationales
for most  all areas
listed a to g in the
group assessment
brief
[42 – 47]

Excellent
rationales for all
areas listed a to g
in the group
assessment brief
[48 – 53]

Outstanding rationales
for all areas listed a to g
in the group
assessment brief
[54 – 60]

Section 4 Meeting logs

The meeting notes do
not explicitly present
many of the decision
areas and are
completely insufficient.

[0 – 11 ½ ]

The meeting logs are
insufficient. Vague, a
significant proportion
of the decision areas
not documented.

[12 – 14 ½ ]

Meeting logs are
adequate. Though
there is missing data
and some of the
decision areas are not
documented.

[15 – 17 ½ ]

Good, a majority of
the listed areas
presented in the
meeting notes

[18 – 20 ½ ]

Meeting logs are very
good. Mostly
complete across the
listed areas

[21 – 23½]

Complete,
excellent detail
across the listed
areas of decision
making

[24 – 26 ½ ]

Complete and
outstanding detail
covering all of the areas
of decision making in
the assessment brief a
to g

[27 – 30]

Assignment B Feedback Group/Team ………….. Programme and Campus: ……………………………………………

Criteria Scales

0-39%
Standard Not
Met 1

40-49%
Standard Not
Met 2

50-59%
Meets
Standard 2

60-69%
Meets
Standard 2

70-79%
Exceeds
Standard 1

80-89%
Exceeds
Standard 2

90-100%
Exceeds Standard
3

Goal 4 Objective 1
Acquire, interpret and
apply knowledge of
international business,
management and
organisational
functions

Very poor choice of
measures and goes little
beyond tables/graphs so
completely insufficient
in terms of analysis. In
terms of understanding,
completely insufficient
evidence is shown.

[0 – 17 ½ ]

Tells a story but does
not convey real
understanding, it is
insufficient in its lack of
linkage between
measures and/or poor
choice of measures.
Does not make use of
game data in a
sufficient way.
[18 – 22]

Adequate explanation
which shows
reasonable
understanding of a
basic range of
performance
measures, not very
well linked, at best
adequate.
[22 ½ – 26 ½ ]

Good explanation of
performance –
student clearly
understands what
happened but misses
some key measures
and/or links. Good
use of data. LD0474 -Part C – Impact of CSR on Sony’s Financial Performance.

[27- 31]

Very good discussion
with sound analysis
which covers most
areas and shows
clearly the links
between decisions,
forecasts and
outcomes. Makes very
good use of data on
competition.
[31 ½ – 35 ½ ]

Excellent
discussion of all
key measures
which shows sound
understanding of
strategy, decisions,
forecasts and
outcomes using a
wide range of data.
[36 – 40]

Outstanding discussion of all
key measures which shows
sound understanding of
strategy, decisions, forecasts
and outcomes using an
extensive range of data.

[40 ½ – 45]

Goal 2 Objective 3
Understand the wider
impact of individual or
organisational decision
making on social and
environmental
contexts

Almost no links between
learning and the
simulation,
demonstrating
completely insufficient
learning. No evidence
the student attended
any classes or
understands how
decisions are made
responsibly hence
completely insufficient
understanding of its role
or importance.

[0 – 17 ½ ]

Links not properly made
and/or a very limited
range of topics
mentioned, therefore
insufficient
understanding
demonstrated. Little
evidence that the
student has made any
use of the learning and
is insufficient in
demonstrating this use
of learning.

[18 – 22]

Student is able to
make adequate links
between some
elements of the
decisions and the
learning but the
adequate evaluation
tends to be
strengthened.

[22 ½ – 26 ½ ]

Good evaluation
although limited in
range. Application of
learning is good but
interdependence of
functions not
recognised, the
nature of
responsibility in
decision making
needs to be
strengthened. LD0474 -Part C – Impact of CSR on Sony’s Financial Performance.

[27 – 31]

Very good critical
evaluation of the
decision based on
learning from rest of
module. Some
appreciation of
functional
interdependence.

[31 ½ – 35 ½ ]

Excellent critical
evaluation of the
decisions
demonstrating
thorough
application of
learning from the
rest of the module
and an
understanding of
responsible
decision making.
Clear appreciation
of the
interdependence
of functions.
[36 – 40]

Outstanding critical
evaluation of the decisions
demonstrating significant
application of learning from
the rest of the module and
an extending understanding
of responsible decision
making. Clear and
significantly articulated
appreciation of the
interdependence of
functions.

[40 ½ – 45]

LD0474

LD0474_Assignment Page 9 of 14
Performance of self
and team

Performance described
but far too brief and
completely insufficient
to be useful.

[0 – 3]

The performance is
described but contains
insufficient evaluation
and the accompanying
analysis of self and
team is insufficient.

[4]

There is an adequate
evaluation although
tends to lack analytical
rigour. There is
adequate detail to
understand how team
and performance
functioned. LD0474 -Part C – Impact of CSR on Sony’s Financial Performance

[5]

The evaluation is
good but requires
greater critical
thinking. There is
adequate application
of the academic
material presented in
module DGMC I.

[6]

There is a very good
evaluation of both
team and self
(student) but use of
DGMC I material has
the potential to be
either extensive or
rigorous

[7]

There is an
excellent critical
evaluation of the
team and the role
of you as the
individual within
this, making
extensive use of
material from
Residential and
module Developing
Global
Management
Competencies I
(DGMC I)
[8]
There is an outstanding
critical evaluation of the
team and the role of you as
the individual within this,
making extensive and
rigorous use of material from
Residential and module
Developing Global
Management Competencies I
(DGMC I)

[9-10]

Overall Comments The report has serious
weaknesses. The
student is completely
insufficient in
demonstrating that
he/she understands
what happened in the
simulation and has been
unable to use the
learning from Semester
1 in an effective way.
This covers all aspects of
the assessment, the
simulation and the team
and individual inputs.

[0 – 39]

Although reasonable
understanding is
shown, the report fails
in at least one major
aspect to convey an
appreciation of the link
between strategy,
decision-making and
performance. The
standard of
presentation and
writing is likely to be
less than would be
expected for a
professional piece of
work. The decision
making evaluation and
the assessment of self
and team is also likely
to be at best
descriptive. LD0474 -Part C – Impact of CSR on Sony’s Financial Performance.
[40 – 49]

The report is
adequate, but there
are likely to be
weaknesses in
presentation and
writing. An adequate
understanding of what
happened in the
simulation is evident,
but the linking
together of strategy,
decision-making and
performance is
limited. The adequate
evaluation of the team
and the role of you as
an individual within
this team may likely
have the same gaps in
evaluation.
[50 – 59]

The quality of
presentation is good
and fairly easy to
follow. The student
has been selective in
choosing key data to
discuss. The student
shows good
understanding of how
decisions in each
functional area have
affected
performance,
although there is
probably more scope
for being evaluative,
this extending to the
assessment of the
team and your role
within this.
[60 – 69]

The report is very good
and easy to read. All
the key points are
there with a good level
of discussion. There is
clear critical thinking
demonstrating
awareness of how
decisions affected
performance and how
the organisation met
its objectives. Team
and self contributions
is typically very good in
its evaluation, making
use of external
material from the
programme.

[70 – 79]

An excellent report
which is easy to
read and well-laid
out. The student
demonstrates
mastery of the
module material
and appreciates
the links with
performance and
the decision-
making process.
The level of critical
thinking is
excellent. This also
extends to the
assessment of the
individual and the
team. LD0474 -Part C – Impact of CSR on Sony’s Financial Performance.

[80 – 89]

An outstanding report which
is easy to read and is
presented to the highest
standard. The student
demonstrates mastery of the
module material and
demonstrates a full
understanding of the links
with performance and the
decision-making process.
The level of critical thinking
is outstanding. This also
extends to the assessment of
the individual and the team.

[90 – 100]

LD0474

LD0474_Assignment Page 10 of 14
Postgraduate Goals and Objectives

Not Achieved Achieved Exceeded

Goal 2 Objective 3
Understand the wider impact of individual or organisational decision
making on social and environmental contexts □ □ □
Goal 4 Objective 1
Acquire, interpret and apply knowledge of international business,
management and organisational functions □ □ □

.

LD0474

LD0474_Assignment Page 11 of 14
Assignment C Feedback Name ………………………………………….. Programme and Campus: ……………………………………………

Criteria Scales

0-39%
Standard Not
Met 1

40-49%
Standard Not
Met 2

50-59%
Meets
Standard 2

60-69%
Meets
Standard 2

70-79%
Exceeds
Standard 1

80-89%
Exceeds
Standard 2

90-100%
Exceeds
Standard 3

Overall Comments A completely
insufficient answer. A
number of clear gaps in
the response across the
listed subject areas,
most of the areas are
not covered, some or
more of the areas are
covered in completely
insufficient detail at the
descriptive level and
the evidence of wider
reading is non-existent
to limited.

[0 – 39]

Insufficient answer.
There are a number of
clear gaps in the
response across the
listed subject areas.
Most of the areas are
not covered, some or
more of the areas are
covered in insufficient
detail at the descriptive
level and the evidence
of wider reading is non-
existent to limited.

[40 – 49]

This task is of pass
standard. Most areas
covered adequately,
there is some
evaluation, but there
is a necessity to be
more critical rather
than descriptive.

[50 – 59]

Good answer. Each
of the areas is
covered in a critical
and evaluative way.
However, there is
potential to consider
stakeholders in a
broader sense than
that presented and
the supporting
literature could be
from a wider base.

[60 – 69]

A very good answer,
covers each of the
required areas, is
critical and evaluative
and demonstrates a
level of wider reading
beyond the core
literature of the
module and the
assessment considers
the perspective of
multiple stakeholders.

[70 – 79]

An excellent
answer covering
each of the
required areas, is
critical and
evaluative and
demonstrates a
level of wider
reading beyond
the core literature
of the module and
the assessment
considers the
perspective of
multiple
stakeholders. LD0474 -Part C – Impact of CSR on Sony’s Financial Performance.

[80 – 89]

An outstanding answer
covering each of the
required areas, is critical
and evaluative and
demonstrates a level of
wider reading beyond
the core literature of the
module and the
assessment considers the
perspective of multiple
stakeholders.

[90 – 100]

LD0474

LD0474_Assignment Page 12 of 14

LD0474

LD0474_Assignment Page 13 of 14
LD0474 – Strategic Management for Sustainable Competitive

Advantage

Business Simulation Exercise
Cover Page for Assignment A

Seminar Group Number …………………………………………………..
Team Number and Name …………………………………………………..

A mark out of 10 should be awarded to each team member indicating his/her contribution to
the Round 1 decision and this assignment. The marks indicated below should be agreed by
all team members. In the event of disagreement, please inform the module tutor.
9-10 Full attendance and participation in team discussions
7-8 A small number of meetings missed, generally good participation in discussions
5-6 Several meetings missed, limited participation in team discussions
3-4 Most meetings missed, hardly any participation in discussions
0-2 Almost no meetings attended, almost no involvement with the team at all
We, the members of the above team, agree that marks below reflect the contributions made
by each of us to the Round 1 decisions and Assignment A. LD0474 -Part C – Impact of CSR on Sony’s Financial Performance.

==========================================================================

LD0474 -Part C – Impact of CSR on Sony’s Financial Performance

1.0 Introduction

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has emerged as an important yardstick for
measuring the overall performance of an organisation. CSR is not only an expression of how
ethical a company is, but it is a measure of how well the company takes care of stakeholders’
interest. Unlike in the past when CRS was taken as a philanthropic undertaking by business
organisations, today it is considered one of the important performances metric with companies
release annual reports showing their CSR undertaking in a given financial year (Blewitt, 2008).
There is a close relationship between CSR and financial performance because the more a
company appears ethical to the consumer, the more it attract customers, translating to higher
sales. Like other company, Sonny is also affected by CSR in different ways, one of it being the
company’s financial performance……

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