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TRIMESTER 2 – 2015
DUE DATE: MONDAY 7 September, 2015, BEFORE 11.59 PM (AEST)
MARKS: 40%
Assignment Task:
“Neoclassical economics and several management theories assert that the corporation’s sole objective is maximizing shareholder wealth. Despite these theoretical approaches, however, actual corporate conduct in some cases is inconsistent with shareholder value maximization as the sole objective of the corporation. In fact, corporations are now engaging in environmental and social causes with multiple stakeholders in mind and this is especially true for the world’s largest corporations” (extracted from ‘The Role of the Corporation in Society: An Alternative View and Opportunities for Future Research’ By George Serafeim May 27, 2013). Today companies have actively been involved in social activities taking a wider responsibility to society and disclosing corporate social responsibility reports.
You are required to:
• Analyze and discuss the change of corporations’ focus as described above in the context of stakeholder theory, positive accounting theory and/or other relevant theories (whichever theory/theories you consider relevant for the analysis).
• Analyze and discuss the costs and benefits, if there are any, of corporations taking social responsibilities and making such disclosure in the context of efficiency and opportunistic perspectives of PAT.
Your arguments and analysis for the requirement above have to be supported by relevant academic refereed articles (at least 6). You should provide evidence that you have carefully examined the literature, understand it, and have been able to summarize its essential content by integrating these articles into your own arguments and perspective.
General requirement:
This assignment comprises 40% of the total assessment in MAA725.The assignment is to be completed as a Group assignment (maximum 3 people and minimum 2 people per group). The number of words is 3,000 excluding the reference list, appendices and the cover page. The actual word count must be stated on the cover page of the assignment. A deduction of 2 marks from marks allocated to this assignment will apply if the number of words is under by more than 10% of 3,000 words or over by more than 20% of 3000 words. Word limits allow the student to structure the assignment to allow for the preparation of an informative yet succinct report.
The formation of a group must be achieved by students self-enrolling into a group on CloudDeakin. Students must be carefully to choose their group. Change to another group is not allowed after 24th August 2015.
You are expected to show the integration and coherence of your analysis in Introduction as well as Conclusion Sections. Failure to do so will attract lower marks on these two sections.
You will need to do some personal research in order to complete this assignment. Therefore, it is strongly recommended students start to form the assignment group and prepare for the assignment as early as possible.
You are required to, and must, read and incorporate academic journal articles and other relevant materials into your assignment. At least six academic refereed articles are ‘must have’. Failure to do so will lead to low marks received.
The assignment documents MUST be typed using arial 12 font, properly referenced and ideally 1.5 line spacing (refer to ‘Guide to assignment writing and referencing booklet) and include a REFERENCE LIST (in alphabetical order) outlining the book(s) and any journal articles, electronic sources etc. used. Marks will be deducted if your work is not properly referenced or a reference list not included. It is recommended to use the Harvard citation format, but it is not compulsory. You can choose any citation format you feel appropriate to your assignment, but make sure to keep the format consistent throughout the assignment. Each page must be numbered.
This assignment must be submitted electronically by the due date as a Microsoft Word document by uploading it to the assignment dropbox, via the MAA725 site on CloudDeakin. When uploading your assignment, the document must be given a name using the following syntax: your group number _ one of your group member’s Deakin student ID number _MAA725.doc (or ‘.docx’) (for example, group001_123456789_MAA725.doc).
Only one copy of the assignment per group is required to be submitted online.
Please review the section on ‘Plagiarism’ in the Unit Guide for MAA725 and on the CloudDeakin site for this unit. You need to check that your assignment does not contain plagiarism. This is done automatically when submitting your assignment to the dropbox which uses Turnitin, which checks your assignment for plagiarism and generates an originality report that you can use to be confident that your assignment does not contain plagiarism. For example, Turnitin will tell us (but tell you first) the extent to which your work has copied material from others without appropriate recognition through referencing. If this is excessive you will lose marks or you may not receive any marks, or you may have some form of disciplinary action taken if the issue is severe. So you have an opportunity to submit an unmarked draft copy of your assignment to Turnitin and then take appropriate action to amend your report before final submission.
Therefore it is advisable that you check your assignment for plagiarism by uploading it to Turnitin at least more than 4 days prior to the due date. This is because it might take a few days or longer before you receive your originality report. Then, you might need some time to make adjustments to your assignment and upload it again to Turnitin if need be.
Note that uploading your assignment to Turnitin via the prescribed link in the CoudDeakin site for this unit constitutes submission to this unit AND also constitutes a declaration regarding the contents of the assignment being all your own work, except where appropriate references to the work of others has been acknowledged. You can upload your assignment to Turnitin as many times as you like up to the due date. In order to avoid a late submission penalty, you must upload your assignment to Turnitin by the due date. Assignments submitted after the due date (or the extension date approved by the Unit Chair) incur a penalty of 3 marks per day, deducted from the final mark achieved.
Should a student try to conduct a plagiarism/collusion test through the CloudDeakin site of any other Unit, it would attract a high turnitin score on your final version of MAA725 assignment. It is very important to remember that you should not undertake such activity.
Students are advised that a significant selection of submitted assignments may be checked during the marking process to verify that plagiarism has not occurred. If an undue number of assignments checked are identified as subject of concern, then all assignments might be similarly checked. If plagiarism is suspected, the corresponding assignment(s) will automatically be referred to the Faculty Academic Progress and Discipline Committee (FAPDC) at Deakin University. Plagiarism can result in expulsion from Deakin University.
Students should note that Turnitin will automatically reject assignments that are uploaded after 11:59 pm on the due date. This will be the case even if the assignment were submitted one minute after 11:59 pm on the due date. Please note, assignments that are submitted late (including those that have extension approved by the unit chair) still be able to be submitted through the Dropbox. However, the system will show the submission date/time in red.
It is important that students familiarize themselves with the online submission procedures well before the due date for this assignment. The most common problem when submitting an assignment electronically is an improperly configured Internet browser. Students can test if their browsers are properly configured. This can be done from the CloudDeakin homepage. The Unit Chair does not accept excuses for late, incorrect or incomplete submissions of assignments due to problems with uploading them to Turnitin. Check your ability to submit electronically at the outset of this trimester and advise staff via CloudDeakin if you are having a problem. It is the responsibility of each student to keep backup copies (both soft and hard) of their assignments. The Unit Chair will not accept excuses for late submissions due to computer-related matters (e.g., lost documents, virus infected documents, hardware failure, stolen computers, etc.). Back up your draft copies of your assignment in progress often and to a remote device for safe-keeping.
Submitting a hard copy of this assignment is not required.
Students who anticipate possible difficulty in lodging this assignment online (for example, being in a remote place on the due date with no computer access) must contact the Unit Chair at least one week prior to the due date in order to make alternative arrangements for submission.
Students who require a time extension in relation to this assignment should submit a written request to the Unit Chair, supported with documentation (for example, medical certificate). Such requests should be e-mailed to the Unit Chair. Requests for time extensions should be emailed to Unit Chair AT LEAST ONE BUSINESS DAY BEFORE the due date of submission. After this deadline, extension requests received by the Unit Chair will not be considered. No extension exists until such time as it is approved in writing by the Unit Chair. Students are also reminded that extensions will only be given for exceptional and unusual circumstances outside the students’ control.
Before commencing your assignment you should read:
o Writing a Research Essay by Professor B Cooper
o Plagiarism and Collusion Support Resources
These can all be found in Contents under Assessment
In-text referencing: Students are encouraged to make use of in-text referencing throughout this assignment. Any issues that you refer to and arguments that you put forward should be supported by reference to relevant sources of information.
Use of footnotes: Footnotes should not be used.
Use of figures and tables in analytic reports: While the use of figures and tables could sometimes help embellish a report, it is important to bear in mind that they should not overshadow the substance of the report. A report that predominantly consists of figures and tables with very little explanatory text would not be viewed favorably from an assessment perspective. No more than two tables and figures are acceptable in this assignment and they are expected to be fully discussed and analyzed in the body of the report. Tables and/or figures should be numbered sequentially, given appropriate captions and placed in the main body of the assignment at suitable points.
Use of appendices: The use of appendices is not recommended for this assignment.
Guide to assignment writing and referencing: Information on writing assignments and referencing at Deakin University is available at:
Feedback on assignments will be sent to the corresponding Deakin e-mail address of the student by 15 Deakin University business days from the due date or the approved extension date, whichever is later.
Recommended Assignment Structure
1 Title page
2 Introduction
3 Literature review (At least 6 academic articles)
4 Analysis
5 Conclusion
6 References
This should be the first page (cover page) of your assignment, and it must include the following information:
• Unit code and unit name
• Name of the Unit Chair
• Group number
• Each group member’s full name, Deakin student ID number
• Number of words
• Due date: Monday 7 September, 2015, by 11:59pm (AEST). If granted a time extension, then insert the following:
o Revised date approved by the unit-chair (show approved date).
• The following statement: “I certify that the attached work is entirely my
own, except where material quoted or paraphrased is acknowledged in the text. I also declare that it has not been submitted for assessment in any other unit or course.” Assignments that do not contain this statement will not be assessed.
Please note that electronic submission of your assignment constitutes your signature in confirmation of this statement. Accordingly, students are not required to complete an ‘Assignment Attachment Sheet’ for this assignment.
Mark Allocation Evaluation Criteria:
You MUST prepare your assignment in STRICT accordance with the Mark Allocation Evaluation Criteria as set out below.
Mark Allocation Evaluation Criteria
Steps Evaluation Criteria Allocated Marks
1 Structure of the assignment: A clear structure must be readily evident. That is, the assignment must have a clearly stated introduction, literature review, analysis, conclusion and bibliography sections. Headings and other ‘extra’ evidence of structure will be rewarded. 5
2 Introduction: This should be a clear, concise statement setting out the assignment’s objective. It should identify the order in which the assignment’s sections will be presented. It should state, in the briefest terms, how the objective is to be reached and briefly state the conclusion reached. It should clearly indicate the integration of sections in the assignment. This should be no more than one or two brief paragraphs. 7
3 Literature review (based on at least 6 academic refereed articles published in accounting, corporate governance, business ethics journals and/or similar journals). The articles must be clearly identified as to author, date and source. This section must set out in relatively brief terms the nature, content and conclusions of each article. There should be evidence that you have carefully examined the literature, understand it, and have been able to summarise its essential content. There should be evidence of an intention to integrate these articles into your own argument and perspective. You should not quote whole sections from these articles – for example, from the summary, introduction or conclusion sections. Reference to these articles and other sources should be evident in a properly constructed bibliography. 25
4 Analysis (critical analysis is expected). You must be investigative. You need to collect relevant information, cases, and other material via an internet search and via national and international news media. These sources should be linked with the literature review. In light of the materials reviewed, you must present and support your viewpoint in a logical, consistent and coherent manner. Arguments must not simply be regurgitations of pro and con material taken from your text book. You should be able to show that you can integrate various viewpoints and arguments in a way that demonstrates understanding and the desire and ability to reach a conclusion of your own.
Lists of arguments or perspectives will get low marks. Students will differ in their selection, focus, opinion and emphasis of different perspectives. That is, there is no right answer as such.
We are looking for evidence that you have understood the issues and have thought carefully about them. ‘Broad brush’ arguments or statements that lead in no particular direction will be given low marks.
In the absence of clear evidence that you have put something of yourself into your arguments, the mark for this section will be no more than moderate.
5 There must be a concise and well formulated conclusion. This should be specific and be consistent with and based on your analysis. If it suddenly appears magically as if from nowhere, as would be the case if your analysis leads in no particular direction throughout, relatively low marks will be awarded. Integration and coherence of the analysis should be reflected in the conclusion section. 8
6 Format, spelling, grammar, presentation and referencing.
Full marks for this section require excellence in all areas of assignment presentation – including formatting, spelling, grammar, presentation and referencing.
Marks will be deducted for any aspect of assignment presentation that falls short of excellence. 5
You will get a link at CloudDeakin under “Assessment 1’ resource folder to take a peer assessment task. All team members must complete this task before the deadline of assignment submission. As a team member you will evaluate your contribution and other team member’s contribution to complete this assignment. 10
Total Marks 100
The 100 marks abo

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