Assignment 4 is a critical analysis assignment. For this assignment, we are assigning the company W.L. Gore and asking that you think of, research and consider a”Corporate Social Responsibility” (“CSR”) problem or opportunity facing W.L Gore.
Exactly what corporate social responsibility is, is not 100% clear and is the subject of some controversy. Some research on this topic at the outset might help. However, the most common definitions of CSR define CSR as a responsibility of businesses to behave ethically and contribute to economic development of the business while also improving the quality of life of the workforce and their families as well as of the community and society as a whole. There are some “laissez faire” capitalists who will say that there’s no such thing as corporate social responsibility and that the responsibility of a business is to maximize profits for its shareholder. For our purposes, we’re assuming that there is at least some level of corporate social responsibility. The extent to which you think there ought to be such responsibility can (and probably will anyway) influence your analysis.
First, you will need a research basis for your essay. NPC is providing you with 2 sources to start you off:
1. Innovation: The Classic Traps
2. W. L. Gore – Culture of Innovation case
Both resources can be accessed from the “slides and documents” page for this course on the NPC student website.
You may find and use any additional academically reliable resources you like. The NPC virtual library can be used to gather additional research material. The precise amount of research and the extent to which you use additional outside sources (other than the above two) is left to your discretion. A good paper can be written with just the 2 sources above, but additional sources may be helpful.
Once you’ve done your research, the next step is to write your paper. The over-all goal of your paper is to present the corporate social responsibility problem or opportunity. (This can be one you think of by yourself or one that you read about, though remember that citations are necessary whenever quoting another source.)
While there is not necessarily one “best” way to write a critical analysis paper and you can still earn a good grade with another format, we strongly suggest the following structure:
• Start with an Introduction discussing: a brief description of the background of the corporate social responsibility (CSR) problem or opportunity facing Starbucks, the stakeholders impacted; what organizational environments are relevant (external, task, and internal), and the current situation (the nature and dimension of the problem/opportunity). Your introduction must end with a specific one-sentence statement of the management problem/opportunity that your paper will address. The one-sentence statement is critical because is it frames the rest of your paper.
• Two Alternative Solutions: Each solution must address the CSR problem/opportunity you stated in your introduction – do not address a different problem or opportunity than the one stated. State the solution first, and then explain what the solution involves – your discussion of a solution should also clarify what specific steps that W. L. Gore must take and what specific managers should be involved in the implementation of the solution. Use academically sound sources (example: scholarly or peer-reviewed articles) to support your solutions – with quotes and/or paraphrasing.
• An Evaluation: Each alternative solution must be evaluated separately, using a pro/con structure. Then your evaluation should explain how the solution is feasible and what aspects of the implemented solution the organization must monitor to make sure implementation of the solution stays on track.
• Your Recommendation: Discuss with well-reasoned arguments why one of your two stated solutions is the best course of action at this company as compared to the one you did not choose, and support your choice with academically sound sources.
• A list of References must be attached, as a separate page to the critical analysis paper. The Reference list should be APA formatted (as an alternative, MLA or Chicago style formatting is also acceptable). If you are unfamiliar with these citation styles, the Purdue Online Writing Lab can be of great help. https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/section/2/
Length: The minimum length is 750 words. There is no maximum length. The exact length is left to your discretion.
Please review the Sample Critical Analysis Paper with comments (accessible from the slides and documents page) to get a visual picture of how your paper should be structured.