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Corporate Social Responsibility and Governance Assignment

Learning Outcome 1: Understand laws and practices in a national and international context

Learning Outcome 2: Understand the nature and importance of corporate governance and ethical behavior

Learning Outcome 3: Be able to assess the impact of financial reporting on a business organisation's stakeholders

Learning Outcome 4: Understand the principal approaches of governance and assessment of risk

Learning Outcome 5: Be able to communicate complex issues in CSR and governance

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Introduction

In the modern days, society has been making greater demands on the organisations towards acting a socially responsible manner, supplementary to their traditional roles of offering goods and services (Cho, Chung, and Young, 2019; Fernández-Guadañoand Sarria-Pedroza, 2018). As a result of the same, there has also been a rise in the number of academic studies and literatures related to corporate social responsibility (CSR). There exists a particular relationship between CSR and the financial performance of the organisation and the same has gained considerable attention (Akben-Selcuk, 2019). Although, there exists no consensus amongst the results obtained from these studies (Akben-Selcuk, 2019; K. Lee, and H. Lee, 2019). Corporate social responsibility and corporate governance have been significant research issues for several years. The relationship that exists between corporate governance and CSR are being studied in the financial literatures, along with the relationships between CSR, corporate financial problem and risks (Sahut, Peris-Ortiz, Teulonand Boubaker, 2019).

Although corporate governance and CSR have originated from the distinct academic categories of thoughts, the problems and concerns that are addressed by these aspects are converging, because the issues associated to the ethics, transparency, disclosure and accountability have been influencing the business decisions (Kaymak, and Bektas, 2017). The issues of corporate governance are often undertaken with the agency theory that stipulates that for protecting the interests of the shareholders, an organisation is needed to establish viable internal as well as external mechanisms for overseeing the managerial decisions as well as aligning their interests with that of the shareholders. On the other hand, CSR is evaluated through the lens of the stakeholder management approach that stresses on the significance to identify and satisfy the varied groups which position divergent and contradictory demands on the organisation (Kaymak, and Bektas, 2017).

Organisations have traditionally been conceived as theprofit maximising, self-centred entities that are associated with philosophies of free market and central tenets of capitalism. Until lately, the relationship between self-interested organisation, economic growth, and capitalism have largely remained unquestioned within the policy circles. However, the latest and monumental organisational scandals and failures have been redirecting the attention towards the issues of accountability, ethics, good governance, thereby heightening the debate associated with topic of corporate governance and the ethics associated with economic conduct (Jamali, Safieddine, and Rabbath, 2008). The following discussion would focus towards the different aspects of corporate social responsibility and corporate governance, along with the legal factors that are associated with it. The case of Tesco PLC has been taken into consideration to gain a better perspective regarding the same.

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An identification and assessment of key laws and practices in both a national and international context. You should include practical examples based on the company you have researched.

Laws and Practices in National and International Context

The concept of corporate social responsibility has emerged to become very well known, over the past one and half decade. The government representatives, employees, international organisations, NGOs and academic scholars have been contemplating their roles with respect to CSR activities. Several laws have been drafted which promote the socially responsible behaviour of the organisations (Lambooy, 2014). The international organisations are responsible for promoting the principles of CSR. With respect to the global challenges, the international as well as the European law is specifically crucial. The Earth Charter is fundamentally a modern declaration of the fundamental ethical principles that are associated with building a just, peaceful and sustainable global society in the modern 21st century. It comprises of all the principle values that are covered by the environmental treaties, international human rights and Universal Declaration of Human Rights, in short form (Lambooy, 2014).

With the context of CSR, there are a large assortment of private self-regulatory instrument that are associated with the environmental or social aspects of economic activities, like private labels, codes of conducts and so on, that have emerged. Some of these have been unilaterally adopted by the multinational organisations, while on the other hand, the others have been developed jointly with the international institutions or NGOs (Lambooy, 2014). There exist certain informal laws that govern the responsibilities and the implementation of CSR activities by the organisations. Conventions or guidelines have been drafted through agreement between the organisations and state governments. Furthermore, the collective approach of corporate governance has been influenced by the introduction of the legislation by the government for reporting the CSR issues. For instance, the European Union Commission has published documents that encourage the CSR actions that are to be dictated by the standards that have been authored by the OECD and ILO (Hill, 2006). The informal law comprises of a set of normative patterns and ideas of action and behaviour which are not based on any sharp distinction between law and fact, or morals and law.

The primary regulations and laws that are associated with corporate governance include The Company Act 2006, which codifies and replaces the common law duties of directors. The statutory duties that are included under this ACT include the following:
• Promoting success within the organisation
• Acting within the powers and in accordance with the constitutions of the organisation
• Exercising reasonable care, diligence and skill
• Avoiding conflicts of interest
• Exercising independent judgement
• Declaring any kind of interest in the proposed arrangement or transaction with the organisation
• Not accepting any kind of benefits from the third parties

The other laws that are associated with corporate governance include Financial Services and Market Act 2000 (FSMA 2000), the Financial Services Act 2010, the Bribery Act 2010, the Insolvency Act 1986, the Criminal Justice Act 1993, Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007 (MacDuff, 2019). The organisations practicing in the United Kingdom are also required to follow the UK Corporate Governance Code that represents the key recommendations for corporate governance, regarding the best practices.
The major regulations that are associated with CSR activities for the organisations operating in the UK include the following:
• Race Relations Act 2001
• Employment Act 2002
• Companies Act 2006
• Health and Safety at Work Act 1974

The organisations that apply the Triple Bottom Line approach to CSR are generally guided by these legislations. In addition to these, the Accounts Modernisation Directive requires the large public limited companies to report publicly regarding the environmentally significant matters (Toal and Broomes, 2019).

With respect to the case of Tesco PLC., the company is in compliance with the Corporate Governance Code that has been implemented in the UK. The organisation has applied the principles of the UK CorporateGovernance Code 2016 for providing effective and entrepreneurial leadership that would ascertain that it promotes the long term success of the organisation(Tesco plc, 2019a). The Board of the company has kept itself updated with the changes that have been made in the UK Corporate Governance Code 2018 and aims towards complying with all the relevant new provisions that have been included in the 2018 Code. An assessment has already been conducted by the Board regarding the changes that are to be reported and have decided upon adopting to the most practically possible earliest prior to releasing their Annual Report 2019 (Tesco plc, 2019a). Moreover, the company also has a Corporate Social Responsibility Committee that is engaged with overseeing the corporate and social obligations of the organisation, being a responsible citizen. The committee also oversees that the conducts of the organisation are in response to the social and corporate obligations(Tesco plc, 2019a). The CSR activities of Tesco is cumulatively named as "The Little Helps Plan" that focus towardsplanning its activities on the environmental and social challenges that would matter the most to the consumers, suppliers, colleagues and stakeholders of the firm (Tesco plc, 2019b).

Importance of Corporate Governance and Ethical Behaviour

"An explanation of the importance of corporate governance and ethical behavior."
Ethical Issues Arising in Relation to Corporate Activities

"An evaluation of the ethical issues arising in relation to corporate activities and a review of any solutions to overcome these issues"
Review of Any Solutions to Overcome the Ethical Issues

Identification and Assessment of The Impact of Financial Reporting on The Stakeholders

"An identification and assessment of the impact of financial reporting on the stakeholders of your chosen company"

Identification of Principal Approaches of Governance

"An identification of principal approaches of governance which must include a review of how risk can be managed to achieve effective corporate governance."

Management of Risks for Achieving Effective Corporate Governance

Identification of CSR And Governance Issues Related to Tesco

"An identification of CSR and governance issues relating to your chosen company"

Conclusion

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