BU7404 : Leading and Managing Ethically


University of Chester


Faculty of Business & Management Assessment Brief

Module Code

BU7404 : Leading and Managing Ethically

Assessment Task


Preparatory tasks:

Choose an organisation which you currently work in, or have worked in, or have access to in-depth knowledge of (e.g. a family business, one that a family member works for).


Choose one of the following HRM topics:

·         Employee voice

·         Reward management

·         Performance management

·         Flexibility, well-being and work-life balance



Within your chosen area of HRM, and with reference to relevant ethical theories, identify and explain an issue, policy or practice which represents a potential ethical problem or dilemma.


Critically analyse and evaluate the organisation’s current approach to this area of HRM and its management of the ethical problem or dilemma you identify, drawing on both HRM and ethical academic literature.


Make two or three recommendations as to how your organisation could adopt a more ethical approach in this area.


Specific Criteria / Guidance



There is no one correct way to approach this assessment.  However, please take account of the following guidance.


  1. Your work will be marked according to the following criteria (please see the marking rubric below for details of what each element covers in relation to the task):


·         Highlighting key business ethics theories and its importance in every organisation, with emphasis to your selected organization. (10%)

·         Knowledge and understanding of ethical and HRM theory and practice (20%)

·         Critical analysis and interpretation of HRM theory and practice – with reference to the chosen ethical HRM issue (40%)

·         Critical reflection, personal and professional evaluation, and application – making informed recommendations to improve HR practice with reference to the chosen ethical HRM issue (30%)


  1. The key to this paper is to be able to identify, integrate and synthesise relevant academic business ethics theories with close analysis and evaluation of a specific HRM issue within an organisation.

·         This means using each to inform, interpret, analyse and evaluate the other

·         Make sure that you include both ethical and HRM theory and sources

·         How might a particular theory help to explain the nature of the identified ethical issue in HRM practice?

·         How does your identified ethical issue in HRM practice help to evaluate a particular theory?


  1. It is usually more effective to aim for an in-depth analysis with a narrow focus, rather than trying to cover many different things.

·         Make sure that you choose to discuss a specific HRM practice which represents an ethical issue or dilemma.

·         You are not expected to provide a comprehensive account of your chosen HRM topic or ethical theory.

·         You will be given credit for being able to select appropriate and relevant materials and integrate them effectively.


  1. You may choose any organisation, but it is recommended that you chose one in which you either work or are very familiar with.  The more personal and inside knowledge you have of that organisation, the more detailed and insightful your analysis is likely to be.


  1. Use the following to help structure your paper:


·         Include a brief introduction to your chosen organisation, for example the industry in which it is based, the nature of its work and operations, any relevant history e.g. reasons for recent changes.  However, this introduction should be kept to a minimum.  Make sure what you include is relevant and will help the reader to understand your analysis and evaluation.


·         Describe your chosen ethical problem or dilemma in academically informed ways, with reference to both relevant HRM theory and literature and business and corporate ethics theory literature.  You should contextualize the ethical issue within the wider HRM practice within which it sits.


·         Explain and discuss the nature of the ethical problem or dilemma, for example how it has arisen, whether it is recognized as an ethical issue (and why), how significant or serious it is, who it potentially affects, what the potential consequences might be, why it has not been resolved up to now.


·         Provide a critical evaluation of the organisation’s current approach to your chosen area of HRM and your identified ethical problem or dilemma.  This should reflect and draw on your discussion of the nature of the dilemma and discussion of relevant theory and literature.


·         Include two or three recommendations to enable the organisation to adopt a more ethical approach in your chosen area.  These should directly draw on your discussion and evaluation of the problem and existing approach.  You should be able to justify your recommendations as appropriate for the organisational context and with reference to relevant academic literature.



Key Resources/Reading



Please refer to the recommended and further reading on the module pages.












Please refer to the Assessment Guidance (on moodle page) for detailed information on: –

·         Academic Malpractice

·         APA Reference Guide

·         Late Work Penalties

·         Excess word count penalties

·         University Generic Marking Criteria


It is your responsibility to ensure that you are familiar with the above as failure to do this may impact on your achievement in this assessment.