Recent Question/Assignment

MGMT11109 Introduction to Business
Assessment task 2 – Written Assessment
Purpose : The purpose of this assessment item is to assess a students’ ability to formulate an Academic Essay that demonstrates a student’s critical thinking and communication skills. Students are required to read the following peer reviewed journal articles and be able to demonstrate critical thinking and to communicate this thinking in an appropriate communication style.
Read this article: Ameer, R., & Othman, R. (2012). Sustainability Practices and Corporate Financial Performance: A Study Based on the Top Global Corporations. Journal of Business Ethics, 108(1), 61-79.
Students are then asked to write a 1500 words Academic Essay answering the following topic question:
“Critically evaluate the business case for the use of ethics and social responsibility to guide business decisions by outlining recent peer reviewed scholarly literature such as Ameer & Othman (2012). Does the scholarly literature support the use of ethics and social responsibility in the current global business environment?-
Students are expected to demonstrate the critical thinking skills to assess evidence and put forward an argument regarding the use of ethics and social responsibility in the global and local business environment. Read the article then point out some points that you agree or disagree with, and explain your choice.
The student will then be asked to demonstrate their critical thinking skills via communicating in a written piece of work to a business standard in Australia. A business standard means an appropriate structure (introduction, body and conclusion), length, word choice, expression, grammar, punctuation and correct spelling using Australian English. The use of colloquial language is generally discouraged in business communication.
Students will further demonstrate critical thinking and information literacy skills by including 8 peer reviewed scholarly journal references to support their argument to pass this criteria in their 'Reference List'.
Students will demonstrate their communication skills by using the third person passive writing style. Students will be asked on this occasion not to use diagrams/pictures in their Academic Essay. This will give further opportunity to demonstrate intermediate communication written skills.
Your submission will be assessed on the extent to which it meets each of the following criteria:
1. Evidence of student critical thinking applied to the global and local business environment. (10 marks)
2. Evidence of student critical thinking in arguing an ethical position and provision of an analysis backing up this ethical position concerning the social responsibility of modern business managers. (10 marks)
3. Relevant and accurate use of scholarly sources with 8 scholarly peer reviewed journal references required to pass. (5 marks)
4. Use of written communication skills including choices made regarding appropriate structure to essay (introduction, body, conclusion), length, word choice, expression, grammar, punctuation and correct spelling using Australian English. (10 marks)
5. Strict conformity to the exact requirements of the CQU APA Referencing Guide (in-text References are to be used throughout, as appropriate, and a reference list must be provided). (5 marks)
Peer reviewed academic journals – This definition includes journal titles that are recognised at as both peer reviewed and peer refereed
Scholarly sources - Students are required to cite academic literature from various sources which could be books, book chapters, peer reviewed academic journals and conference papers.
Non-scholarly sources - newspaper or media articles or websites or blogs
Your Academic Essay needs to be at least 1500 words and be referenced using the CQU American Psychological Association (APA) abridged guide Term 1 2018 Referencing Style Guide. You need to provide at least eight peer reviewed journal articles (scholarly references) to pass this criteria. The following definitions apply.
Peer reviewed academic journals – This definition includes journal titles that are recognised at as both peer reviewed and peer refereed
Scholarly sources - Students are required to cite academic literature from various sources which could be books, book chapters, peer reviewed academic journals and conference papers.
Non-scholarly sources - newspaper or media articles or websites or blogs
Do not reference Wikipedia sites for this or any other assessment in this Unit. Wikipedia sites are not considered a worthy source as the authorship of this information is not clear.

The North Australian Pastoral Company (NAPCO) is a privately owned, popular Australian cattle company. The company is one of the major producers of beef cattle and can be considered as one of the largest as well as oldest players within the territory of Australian beef industry (Linnenluecke et al. 2014). In this business report, challenges of NAPCO are being discussed alongside plausible solutions of overcoming those. The internal and external environmental factors are effectively analyzed through SWOT, PESTLE and Porter’s Five Forces Analysis and how far the organizational internal environment is well adjusted for coping with external industry and environmental changes are looked into.
Political: The Australian cattle industry is operative in a liberalized environment. NAPCO being a prominent beef producer in Australia faces a convenient business environment in the home ground. NAPCO is found to export the beef producers to different markets of which Korea, America and Japan are considered the largest markets (Linnenluecke et al. 2014). The export scenarios contain respective norms and conditions regarding the export nations, which the company has to abide by to fulfill the business requirements. The unilateral trade liberalization is said to have compelled the business industry, inclusive of NAPCO in competing within international business genre against heavily subsided producers.
Economic: NAPCO first encountered troubled business time after World War I in the form of the market downturn and terrible drought. Though the 2002 crisis had hampered the beef business of NAPCO, the company faced increasing competition from US beef that resulted in a dip in the Australian share of Japanese beef imports (Farmer, 2011). While the 2008 economic meltdown had caused the sales to dip as well; NAPCO came up with alternative business measures to cope with the business situation.
Sociological: Alexandria Downs Station has been the central property of NAPCO ever since its inception. After that, properties have bought and sold but Alexandria has remained; even though proposition was made of selling it off during 1910-30s to deal with the rising debts (Linnenluecke et al. 2014). Afterward, NAPCO became limited liability company with the diversification of its land holdings and setting up of its vertically integrated supply chain.
Technological: Technological advancement has definitely helped in bettering the meat production and business management (Hughes, 2013).
Legal: Supplying live cattle to the markets of North Africa involve legal bindings, which is both an opportunity and business liability (Linnenluecke et al. 2014).
Environmental: Drought and severe climatic changes have been part and parcel of NAPCO’s cattle business (Hegarty, 2012). The cattle industry nowadays thrives on maintaining environment-friendly business approaches to cut down on the impacts on nature i.e. greenhouse gas emission and also to offer greener products to the consumers.
Bargaining power of suppliers: NAPCO produces its meat at home ground, thus supplier power is pretty low for the industry does not need to rely on suppliers for core ingredients.
The threat of substitutes: Low force of substitution as the prevalence of corporate ownership can be found in the Northern production zone and therefore NAPCO comes under this policy as well; alongside concentration of the processing and feedlot industry (McRae, 2012).
Bargaining power of buyers: Buyers did have options of switching to other nations apart from Australia in earlier days (Whan et al. 2013). But after the disease outbreak, decrease in the cattle slaughtering and other reasons; Australian beef production acts as a major player in the export scenario.
Threat of new entrants: The threat is low for Australian beef production is one of the best in the world and the disease-free meat is a major USP of business (McRae, 2012). NAPCO is a prominent meat producer in the Northern region.
Industry rivalry: Industry rivalry is pretty intense as increased competition from US market is always there and is growing even more on account of slaughtering of high domestic cattle and relatively weaker demand from the sector of food service (Whan et al. 2013).
Land ownership is one of the major strengths of pastoral business and NAPCO is no exception to this. Cattle business strives on big chunks of land territories for the cattle needs larger area to roam about and this is essential in pastoral business. The cattle business of Northern Australia has regional access to live export markets, which indeed is effective for the smooth operation of business activities (Prayaga, 2014). Efficient methods of production help NAPCO in retaining its effective business operations; whereas being labeled as major exporter adds to the company image positively.
Relying on a relatively small numbered export markets can be counted as a significant weakness for the company. Disease incidences amongst the cattle are another major problem the company faces, yet NAPCO manages to deliver its business with effective precision (Linnenluecke et al. 2014). Volatile international commodity markets can be mentioned as a prolific weakness for the cattle business; whereas concentrated processing capacity can attribute to the business weakness as well.
Australia being a relatively small producer of beef on an international scale, low consumption at home ground allows companies like NAPCO in exporting a significant volume of beef every year (Bentley et al. 2015). Management of production risk can be counted as a potential opportunity for NAPCO and this opportunity is multifold with the ever-increasing demand from the markets of Asia.
Uncertain lease renewals can often act as a threatening factor for the cattle business. Suspension of trade coupled with increasing input prices also can be considered as a threat to this business domain. Moreover, the rise in animal activism has led the animal activists in banning live exports which is harmful to business as well (Prayaga, 2014). Climactic change is another crucial threat to the cattle business of NAPCO because natural environment plays a vital role in the development of cattle and also in maintaining the large territories of land.
The Australian meat production industry is vastly export-oriented and is found to be exposed to the changes in demand and price in the international business scenario (Thompsonand Martin, 2011). Though Japan can be counted as the most significant market for Australia in lieu of export value, USA market had been crucial in terms of export volume. It has been noted that beef exports to Japan have faced a fall after BSE incident, which led to more than 50% less Japanese beef consumption. The decreased slaughtering of cattle in the USA, fallouts in relation to Lean Finely Beef adds to the Australian business as well as to NAPCO (Linnenluecke et al. 2014).
Several acquired properties enabled the NAPCO in targeting the grain-fed product markets alongside adding the diversification of geography to its lands and flexible approach towards its respective herd disposition. Composite breeding programs have helped NAPCO in doing its business effectively in this age; as the concerned programs make sure NAPCO can opt for integration of vital generic traits of various breeds in order to be ready for improved drought resistance along with the requirements of fit-to-market (Sparkes et al. 2011). Considerable investments have taken place as well from the side of NAPCO into the stewardship of environment; whereas new techniques of property panning have also been introduced in the business space.
Studies reveal that Australia prides itself on the production of superior quality beef, which is majorly free from diseases (Rutherford, 2015). This competitive advantage is surely a plus point for Australian beef business but this is to be kept in mind that northern beef production is of lower quality in comparison to southern beef; and NAPCO being a major Northern beef producer, it apparently targets the Asian markets by means of live exports (Linnenluecke et al. 2014). This process helps the company in garnering more business on a global scale with increased business revenue.
The adoption of the National Livestock Identification System (NLIS) in the Australian territory has helped the Australian beef industry as well as NAPCO in maintaining a ‘clean and green image’, which aids not just in tracking the animals, but also in case of an emergency situation such as disease outbreak amongst cattle (Hodge, 2010). A disease outbreak in the US had led Japan to suspend the US imports of beef for a considerable time span. This incident had given Australia, especially NAPCO a much-needed business opportunity in gaining a foothold in the meat market of Japan.
It can be mentioned in this context that a major accomplishment of NAPCO has been its very survival in spite of dealing in harsh climatic conditions; drastic changes in market demand and last but not the least an attempted corporate takeover (Lesslie et al. 2013). As the beef industry of Australia is heavily dependent on international markets and trade developments, the future growth relies on these factors precisely. The involuntary effects affect the business of NAPCO; but the company, as well as the cattle industry, has grown more awareness regarding biodiversity maintenance, impacts of climatic changes, implementation of environmentally sustainable practices of land management; water usage and others (Hodge, 2010).
In the concluding segment, this can be put forth that the beef industry of Australia, specifically NAPCO is on a perennial research mode for ensuring the improvement of the production efficiency. This constant striving for betterment has allowed the business company in maintaining profitability, especially in a scenario where input prices are on a hike. The low price of beef, declined export of Japan – all these relegate to business phases of recent times NAPCO has to face. But the company manages to produce quality beef even in the times of trouble.

Editable Microsoft Word Document
Word Count: 1732 words including References

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