Assessment 1 Essay – Sustained text (2000-3000w)

Graduate Qualities Assessed Understanding business theory and practice

Intelligent use of information

Creative problem solving

Responsible and ethical behaviour

Learning and professional development

Topic Unilever and Profitability

Length 1500-2,000 words.

This does not include references and appendices; that is, the body of your paper should be between 1,500 and 2,000 words.

Weighting 20%

Due Date 27 Feb 2015

Type of Collaboration Individual Assessment

Marking Criteria

The marking criteria are as follows:

  1. The ability to consider multiple perspectives and explain how they are relevant to this case

(30% of total mark);

  1. The use of theoretical and conceptual arguments to support and critique aspects of the case

(10% of total mark);

  1. The ability to make credible decision-relevant conclusions backed by argument and relevant information (25% of total mark);
  2. The logical and argumentative quality of the essay (15% of total mark); and,
  3. The linguistic quality of the essay (e.g., grammar and style) (20% of total mark).

Style and Format The style and format are to be consistent with the requirements of both the Sydney Business School and conventional protocols of graduate-level, academic essay writing. The font size should be 12, lines should be double-spaced, all pages should be numbered at the bottom right of the page, and printing should be double-sided (that is, print on the front and back of the page).

Assessment Submission




  1. Explain Unilever’s business model and how it seeks to be responsible to society and to the environment. Include some discussion of how this responsibility may be important to your home country.
  2. Explain whether or not you think that Unilever’s model is or is not desirable for stockholders (those who own equity shares in Unilever. They are considered to be the owners of Unilever).
  3. Discuss a particular problem that Unilever faces. That problem follows from the fact that the group we call “stockholders” is diverse.  Some investors are only interested in the short-term profits of a company.  Other investors are interested in the long-term profits of a company.  Carrying out social and environmental responsibilities as Unilever tries to do can affect short-term and long-term investors differently.  Explain that difference.  Do you think that Unilever should sacrifice its social and environmental commitments in order to be responsible to “short-term” investors, those who want to make a profit in the short-term and really don’t care about the long-term profitability of Unilever?  Defend your position with arguments.
  4. Discuss whether or not you personally would invest in a company if you knew that its short-term (1 to 3 years) profit would be lower because of its social and environmental responsibilities?
  5. Do you think that society would be better off if more companies were as committed to social and environmental issues as is Unilever? Do you think that our governments should require companies to be as socially and environmentally responsible as Unilever?  Discuss the long-term implications for all of us (including stockholders) if we allow companies to focus simply on returns to shareholders.



This case study should be between 1500 and 2000 words.  That is about 6 to 8 double-spaced A4 pages with a font size of 12.  The case should be submitted to me in the manner described for all assignments in the subject outline.  The marking criteria are as described in the subject outline.