Sustainable development and organisations: a critical introduction

Sustainable development and organisations: a critical introduction

Paper details:

Against the background of the assignment title, ‘Sustainable development and organisations: a critical introduction’, write a short but well-structured report in which you attend to the following issues:

• Firstly, identify what according to you would be a generally acceptable definition of sustainable development. Then reflect on the basic theoretical implication(s) (meaning) of this definition.

• Next, critically assess the applicability of this definition to the day-to-day operation of contemporary organisations.

• As part of the previous point, elaborate on the challenges that we would face when aspiring to apply the idea of sustainable development to contemporary organisations. Also identify and elaborate on the opportunities that will count in our favour in this case.

• Finally, write a synthesis in which you (as the writer) do the ‘talking’. Therefore, based on everything that you have researched and written for this assignment thus far, write a few paragraphs to collect and clarify your thoughts on the topic.

NOTE: Your report should be well-structured as stated above. This means that it should contain an arrangement of contents that would tell the reader in no uncertain terms what goes on inside, from the beginning to the end.
Finally, your assignment should normally not be in excess of between four to five typed pages (excluding the lists of contents and references).
See Addendum 1 Important guidelines on preparing a written assignment.
1. Introduction
2. Sustainable development: towards a general definition
3. The applicability of sustainable development and its principles to contemporary organisations: a critical assessment
3.1 Challenges in the way of organisational sustainability
3.2 Opportunities in favour of organisational sustainability
4. Synthesis
5. List of references

1. Introductory paragraph: This consists of general points or attention-grabbing details leading to the main idea. For instance, there are several means that effective writers use to ‘hook’ their readers, such as:

• Beginning with an amusing or interesting anecdote;
• Beginning with a question, beginning with a quotation; or
• Beginning with a startling or paradoxical statement.

The main idea is often written at the end of this paragraph in a thesis statement, which may also contain three or more reasons (written very succinctly) for supporting this main idea. Each of these reasons should be elaborated on in the body paragraphs that follow.

2. Arguments: Arguments put forward must be shown to be relevant, evidence convincing and examinable for both sides. It consists of several paragraphs depending on the length of the essay:

• First body paragraph – This often begins with a transition word or words like “Firstly” or “The first of these reasons” and gives examples and/or details relating to the first supporting reason.

• Second body paragraph – This often begins with a transition word or words like “Next” or “Secondly” or “Another reason” or “The second of these reasons” and gives examples and/or details relating to the second supporting reason.

• Third body paragraph – This often begins with a transition word or words like “Finally” or “In the last place” or “The final reason” and gives examples and/or details relating to the third supporting reason (which is often the strongest of the three supporting reasons).

• Concluding paragraph – This paragraph may begin with “In conclusion” or “To conclude” (although some markers find these somewhat mundane). Some writers like to end with a relevant quotation, or end with a question, or end with a prediction or warning. Another concluding technique is to end with some idea or detail from the beginning of the essay (thus bringing this idea full cycle

Your written assignment should contain clarified and substantiated statements and arguments, i.e. whatever you write down needs to be well explained and unambiguous and the origin thereof verified (referenced). If something is your own idea, then say so (just make sure that it actually is your own idea). Referencing style? The Business School generally subscribes to the Harvard Style of Referencing. Alternatively, use a style that you feel comfortable with; as long as you use this consistently.

The type of reference that you use should be in line with what would normally be appropriate for a Masters Degree student. Needless to say, you should include a list of references at the back of your assignment in alphabetical order and in the correct format. Look at the next extract as guidance when selecting the type of reference that you will use:

‘Remember the following division of references as a guideline – i.e. 60% journal articles, 20% books or book chapters, 15% reports, and 5% internet sources. The ideal, but admittedly not always possible situation would be to maximise the journal articles to 65% and to minimise the internet sources to zero.’

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