Compare and Contrast Essay Topics


Corporate Citizenship and Business Ethics

Corporate Citizenship can be defined as the responsibility of a business enterprise towards the externalities, i.e. the external impact on people uninvolved in the internal decision-making process, presented towards society in general. Corporate Citizenship and the ethical aspects surrounding corporate environments have become subjects of rising significance in the current information age. Access to information has become widely available to consumers around the world. As such, consumers are generally more aware of the extrinsic impact of corporate decisions and their ethical failings both home and abroad. Earliest instances of the use of the term corporate citizenship were found around the 1980s becoming widely accepted within the business environment in the early 2000s. There are multiple perspectives and overarching issues such as the shareholder vs. stakeholder perspectives, supply chain ethics and ineffective regulatory implications leading to worsening ethical conditioning, explored below:

Shareholder Vs. Shareholder Value perspectives

There are multiple debates within Corporate Citizenship such as the stakeholder versus shareholder value perspectives and the efficacy of varying regulatory and reporting aspects of business environments. A business is inherently a profit-seeking concern with the main stated goal of strengthening the bottom line of the organisation and increasing the returns rates for its investors. The argument basically states that a business should not be concerned with externalities but rather with maximising shareholder value. The following are possible topics to be explored under this field of research:

  • The growth of Amazon Inc. in a digitalised consumer environment: how has the Covid-19 pandemic impacted the online retail business landscape?
  • The economic argument for business ethics: Can a business be considered ethical if they invest unsustainably in their CSR efforts?
  • Introducing a balanced scorecard reporting framework to enhance corporate responsibility factors in business decisions; an examination of Apple’s balanced scorecard approach.
  • An assessment of global practices in CSR reporting and supply chain standardisation; an examination of Primark.
  • Converting Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Into a Unique Selling Point (USP); an assessment of the business and marketing models of The Body Shop.
  • Can CSR provide competitive advantage and share value increment; a market impact assessment of CSR marketing at Pepsi.

The stakeholder perspective, on the other hand, essentially comprises the accounting of individuals outside the decision-making parties involved in corporate actions.

  • The assessment of Apple Inc.’s market portfolio strategy; is shifting from pioneering advantage to market-based supply chain synergy beneficial to the consumers?
  • Privatisation of public medicinal supply distribution during Covid-19 Pandemic; was privatisation the best method of handing out vaccines under the trump administration?
  • Bayer’s purchase of Monsanto; an assessment of externalities and their impact on brand perception by association.
  • An assessment of the class action Lawsuits within the Videogame industry; a historical assessment of Bethesda Softworks and the multiple lawsuits faced by the company.
  • Environmental impact of the Cruise industry; understanding the bailout scheme presented to the Cruise industry and the failures in climate change and taxation policy revision therein.
  • Deontological versus Utilitarian view of the stakeholder perspective; does a company perform better with end result orientation or process orientation?

Supply Chain Ethics

The global supply chain provides organisations with low-cost production options which deliver a competitive advantage when functioning at a global scale.  However, there have been multiple instances of human rights, refugee coercion, child labour, prison labour and unsafe working conditions leading to significant tragedies within these low-cost production locations.

  • A modern-day failure in supply chain control within the global fast fashion industry; examining the Xingjian forced labour cotton controversy.
  • A historical examination of the supply chain diversion into low-cost economies; are profit margins more important than human rights?
  • Examining the supply chain in Bangladesh; are the corporate accords to support labour regulations and worker rights being upheld in the Bangladeshi market?
  • The impact of offshore outsourcing in the US; examining the competitive advantage and ethical drawbacks of outsourcing to Chinese manufacturing concerns.
  • The US warehouse industry and the unethical treatment of workers therein; are secondary contractual warehousing concerns mistreating their employees?
  • Meat packing industry; an assessment of the three major Kentucky based chicken producing companies.
  • An examination of worker treatment at amazon’s distribution centres: Is Amazon practising modern-day Taylorism?
  • Corporate ethics in the fast fashion industry; why is the industry of fast fashion entangled with Human rights, child labour laws and discrimination.

Cost of Doing Business Perspective in Corporate scandals

Finally, the cost of doing business view towards fines due to ineffective regulatory control has presented the paper with multiple opportunities to assess the impact such state deterrents have on the market environment. As most fines faced by organisations engaged in unethical activities do not exceed their profits from said activity, this deterrence is being seen as just another business expense. The following are possible topics to be explored under this field of research:

  • The Wells Fargo cross-selling scandal; how the most respected firm lost its reputation from corporate culture borne unethical sales practices.
  • HSBC money laundering Scandal; an examination of how large corporations have gotten away with minor fines when faced with grievous charges.
  • Volkswagen defeat device Scandal; how did fines become a cost of doing business in the European automobile market?
  • Lessons from the 2007/8 economic recession; an examination of the 2020 sub-prime auto loan market.
  • Kushner companies tenant fines and immoral construction harassment case; how do unethical practices stay hidden for so long within the governance environment?
  • Prevalence of industrial malpractice; an examination of Payday Loan companies and the ineffectual practice of debtor harassment in the USA.
  • Theranos and Nikola; fraudulent firms in the tech industry and the reason why they are harder to track within the current market environment.
  • The collapse of Wire card; examining corporate fraud and why they keep happening.
  • The practice of reverse mortgage integration of Chinese firms into the US markets; an examination of banking concerns and global due diligence failures.
  • Perdue Pharma and deceptive marketing; how did the opioid crisis get this bad?



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