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MOD003353 Business Environment Assignment Sample

Assignment Brief

Assessed Learning Outcomes:
Identify the financial and ICT issues for key business functions.
Appraise and recognize use of corporate governance and ethics within a business context.
Weighting: 50%
Word Limit: 2500 Words


• This assignment must be completed individually.

• You must use the Harvard referencing system.

• Your work must indicate the number of words you have used. Written assignments must not exceed the specified maximum number of words. When a written assignment is marked, the excessive use of words beyond the word limit is reflected in the academic judgement of the piece of work which results in a lower mark being awarded for the piece of work (regulation 6.74).

• Assignment submissions are to be made anonymously. Do not write your name anywhere on your work.

• Write your student ID number at the top of every page.

• Where the assignment comprises more than one task, all tasks must be submitted in a single document for assignment help

• You must number all pages.


This is a 2,500-word assessment and it consists of two tasks.
You are required to write 1250 words on each of the two tasks. Each task is 50% of the total marks for this module. Therefore, you must attempt both tasks.

ASSESSMENT TASK 1: (1250 words)

“Innovation is increasingly seen as a key strategic priority due to its potential to create sustainable competitive advantage. Innovative organizations are more able to mobilize the knowledge, skills, and experiences of people, and create new products, services and processes successfully to get things done faster, better and at a lower cost. When customers buy the outcome of innovations, companies increase their turnover.” (Cole and Kelly, 2015).


A. Assess the impacts of innovation and technology and how it has affected the sales, profits and growth of one of the following companies.

1 Future Plc
2 Network International Plc
3 Next Plc
4 Page group Plc
5 TUI Plc


• Knowledge and understanding of technological innovation
• Understanding of the relationships between innovation and economic development
• Abilities to appreciate the role of technological change in economic progress
• Identify the financial and ICT issues for key business functions


1. Demonstrate your understanding of innovation and the role of technological change in economic progress.
2. A brief overview of your chosen company and practical illustrations of how innovation has impacted the operations, sales and the profits of your chosen company.

ASSESSMENT TASK 2: (1250 words)


Corporate Governance specifies the distribution of rights and responsibilities among different participants in the company, such as the board, managers, shareholders and other stakeholders. (Source: OECD April, 1999).

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is “the continuing commitment by business to behave ethically and contribute to economic development while improving the quality of life of the workforce and their families as well as of the local community and society at large (Source: World Business Council for Sustainable Development).


A. Evaluate the importance of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) for the same organization of your choice in Task One above.
B. Apply Archie Carroll’s (1991) CSR model to your chosen organization.


• Knowledge and understanding of corporate governance.

• Abilities to appraise and recognize use of corporate governance and ethics
within a business context.

• Understanding of the importance of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).

• Understanding of a CSR model (Archie Carroll’s model) and its practical applications.


1. You must briefly discuss corporate governance, including the responsibilities of the Board of Directors to the stakeholders.

2. Explain the four areas that make up corporate social responsibility as identified by Archie Carroll. (1991). Apply this model to your chosen company. Please give relevant practical examples to demonstrate your understanding of this model.



Innovation and technology are the two aspects that have a significant effect on the economic development of today's business world, both in the nation and globally, as well as corporate social responsibility, which each organization can embrace in order to grow a reputable company and a large business. This report seeks to describe what technology and innovation imply, and how the two variables will impact the business situation in a dynamically growing sector, as well as how companies respond and what is the appropriate corporate social responsibility approach that they could implement to become a trustworthy employer, a respected label, and company, while steadily developing their strategies in alignment with the stakeholders' and market demand.
The two factors of innovation and technology were described in the first part of the study. Innovation is the process of increasing the quality and lowering the prices of a company's products and services while maintaining a competitive benefit. Technology, on the other hand, is the science that is used to generate profits (Schiederig et al., 2012). A few instances of innovation and technology are provided to demonstrate the effect that these two components have on the economic environment, as well as how revenues have improved when an organization has developed and implemented technological advances.

The second section of this report defines CSR and explains how a business can be managed by following a set of standards and practices that ensure the board of directors is responsible, equitable, and open in all of their dealings with all of their investors and partners of the company. The Archie Carroll pyramid is one of the three most effective CSR principles, and it is demonstrated in the corporate environment with a case study of the chosen organization of the report, which is, Next PLC.  

Assessment 1

Innovation and Technology

The term "technological innovation" refers to a broader definition of the term "innovation." While innovation is a very well-defined term, it has a wide range of meanings for many people, particularly in the education and corporate worlds.

Innovation is described as taking extra measures in creating new goods and services for the industry or the public in general that resolve unmet needs or address conflicts that have not been solved previously (Williamson et al., 2013). Technical innovation, on the other hand, emphasizes the technological features of the commodity or system rather than the overall marketing strategy of an enterprise. When describing the technology, it's important to consider how society actually categorizes it, whether it's scientific progress or general advancements in resources and machinery that help everyone live better lives. Technology is a compilation of techniques and methods that systems use in order to gain comprehensive information. This is fueled by creativity, which is the philosophy that describes how and when technological innovation emerges, as well as how ideas evolve, whether for individuals or companies.

Role of technological change in economic progress

Technology is constantly evolving and updating, particularly when it comes to machines and the programs that run on them. The Internet of Things (IoT) is one of the most common technological developments. This is the point at which the world will endeavor to link all technological devices to the internet in order to achieve the perfect combination between the physical and digital worlds (Huang et al., 2016). The role of technology will vary depending on the sector. IoT will have a piece of the data on how customer interaction with their goods impacts them. Examining their digital experiences will reveal this. This information can also be used to improve marketing strategies and customer experience, giving a particular company a head start on advertising new and current products.

Direct job growth, new services and sectors, workforce change, and company innovation are four indicators of how technology and innovation have influenced the industrial development of the nation.

? It all begins with the development of jobs, as this indicates that there is still service or sector that can expand and generate wealth in this country. ICT industries are the biggest shareholders, and they are developing and will continue to expand as they allow the launch of new businesses, such as Facebook, where one can promote both existing and new businesses (Berger et al., 2016).

? Workforce transaction enables established businesses such as Amazon and Upwork (formerly oDesk) to break down their roles into specific fragments that can be subcontracted to contractors.

? Business innovation aids businesses in modernizing business operations and improving productivity. ICT has linked devices all over the world, opening up a slew of new opportunities to support businesses and consumers by allowing them to enter locations they couldn't before.

? Business companies use social media to implement emerging innovations in their operations. Since it covers over three-quarters of the globe, this is by far one of the most important marketing strategies for small and midsize enterprises.

Innovation and Technology used by Next PLC

Next plc is a British international retailer of clothes, accessories, and home goods with head office in Enderby, England. It has approximately 700 stores, with approximately 500 in the United Kingdom and approximately 200 in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. Next is the UK’s leading fashion retailer by revenue, having surpassed Marks & Spencer in late 2012 and mid-2014. It has own-label goods that are delivered from its fulfillment centers and are localized through mobile and web interactions (Wigley, 2012).

Impact of Innovation on Operations, Sales, and Profits at Next PLC

In 1864, Joseph Hepworth established the business as a designer, and it was known as Joseph Hepworth & Son. Hepworth began his career in collaboration with James Rhodes, however, the collaboration ended in 1872. Hepworth quickly enlarged the business on his own and became a forerunner in the creation of retail shops in the United Kingdom. Later, the company changed its name to Next PLC and now the business is led by Simon Wolfson, who is the CEO of the company (Volná, 2012).

There are numerous possibilities within technology that can lead to new and creative ways of improving how the company operates. This will drastically reduce contact, ordering, and late deliveries, eliminating the need for prolonged conferences or phone calls to resolve minor issues (Ganda, 2019). These are often carried out through conferences, which may take place in various countries and require a significant amount of time and money to arrange. Smartphone advances in recent years have allowed web-based conferencing. They necessitate strong internet connectivity as well as a camera so that companies can access and collaborate online. This saves a lot of money and benefits the organization while still allowing those involved to see what's going on. The following practices are being used to achieve these goals:

? Communication: It is extremely crucial for the success of any company. Companies still use phones as a necessity, with the most popular phone being a Smartphone, which allows the user to access the network, business apps, and emails while on the go and in the form of a compact portable gadget. Large companies might stay linked to their employees and consumers via text messages, networking sites, emails, and other contact apps, which can provide additional channels for advertising and fast responses.

? Software and Hardware: Next requires hardware and software components that enable them to manage and gather information in seconds, as well as the ability to verify with each team, which will improve stock management and data analysis while freeing up workers to concentrate on revenue-generating activities. Next would also benefit from Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) because they are distributors and even use barcode technology to monitor inventory and sales. They use smartphone barcoding apps to analyze actual information, which significantly improves buying and helps them to monitor stock levels (Danquah&Amankwah-Amoah, 2017).

? Security: Next places a premium on security since they need credit card information to make purchases. Since most leading organizations are vulnerable to security attacks and malware, using technology to secure sensitive and financial information will give rivals and online scammers an opportunity. With the protection of passwords, consumers can maintain their details secure. Regrettably, hackers may use technologies to circumvent these measures and gain access to this information. Firewalls, which have been security measures that check outgoing and incoming network traffic, will prohibit this. Firewalls have been around for over three decades and serve as a shield between unreliable external networks and the inside network.

? Research: Investigation is also beneficial to Next because it provides the designers with a broader variety of merchandise to ensure that they are not slandering other manufacturers' designs. Consumers must compare several different opinions, and the worldwide web (www) has a multitude of details, so it also allows the user to search other major retailers to match the prices of the products they desire.

Rising awareness about internet information and the risk to its confidentiality have necessitated the adaptation and development of new innovations to assist with information retention and also to be obedient to the law (Trott& Simms, 2017). Companies are being forced to make significant investments in digital innovations to guarantee they are not only complying with legal enforcement requirements but also to provide an assurance of protection to their customers. If Next invests in people and fresh ideas, they will become one of the major international companies with the growth of iOS, email, and fax. 

Assessment 2

Corporate Governance

A framework of policies, laws, and procedures used to manage a company is known as corporate governance. Corporate governance is the process of balancing the needs of a corporation's various stakeholders, including administration, vendors, consumers, investors, public financiers, and the general public. Since then, “corporate governance” had become a well-integrated policy and educational terminology. The report investigates any inter-relationships between managers, directors, and stakeholders of the company to assess the latest developments.

Brief History of Corporate Governance in the UK

In the 1970s, the term "corporate governance" was coined in the Western World. Within three decades, corporate governance was becoming a topic of discussion among regulators, managers, scholars, and shareholders all over the world. Between the mid-1970s and the middle of the 1990s, there was proper growth. The Cadbury Review on the economic dimensions of corporate governance, which was accompanied by a framework of best practice, kicked off the "change" in the mid-nineties. The "Cadbury Code," which was targeted at listed businesses and focused on principles of corporate conduct and morality, was eventually embraced by the Region and the Stock Market as a guideline of proper board practice (Cheffins, 2013).

Responsibilities of the Board of Directors

Board members enable the organization with oversight, perspective, and vision, and the board can make decisions based on what is appropriate for the business. The board has five core tasks to meet (Solomon, 2020). Numerous boards' first task is to recruit a Chief executive officer to oversee the firm's day-to-day operations and programs. They must also guarantee that executive directors are fully prepared to commit to any organizational changes or enhancements. The next step is to develop a mission, vision, and principles that will guide current and future operations. The third step is to develop organizational policies and objectives, ensuring that the company's organizational structure and resources are suitable for executing the strategic plan. The fourth step is to assign and observe the execution of objectives, policies, and marketing strategies to the administration. They must consult with superiors in order to evaluate the requirements to ensure that internal objectives are met. Understanding and taking into account the needs of appropriate stakeholders and shareholders is the last step. They will do so by tracking relationships and reviewing relevant data in order to increase shareholder and stakeholder confidence and cooperation (Jo &Harjoto, 2012).

Importance of CSR for Next PLC

CSR for Next PLC is important because it is a reputable company with a lot of social and economic responsibilities. By using a proper CSR model, the company can strengthen its image and maintain its brand value. Structured corporate social responsibility initiatives will also improve employee engagement and increase workplace efficiency (Taneja, 2017).

Archie Carroll’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Model

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is a way for businesses to take responsibility for the company's market practices that have social and environmental consequences. Philanthropic, ethical, legal, and economic factors can all be considered. Each will have positive and negative aspects, but they should be evaluated in order for Next PLC to expand (O'Connor & Rafferty, 2012). There have been reports which state the company has violated some of these factors for the growth of the company. However, they also have managed to execute them significantly over the past years.

PHILANTHROPIC: This basically refers to being a successful global corporate leader and doing what the investors want. The company's obligations can be debated, and it can be decided on how the resources in the enterprise should be invested. It emphasizes more pleasant aspects of life, such as how workers' quality of life and the surrounding environment can be enhanced. Next PLC attempted to integrate CSR into the company in order to guarantee that the company encourages performance while handling and managing risk. The firm has a clear governance structure in place to assure that all workers are held responsible for their decisions.

ETHICAL: This basically refers to doing what the international investors want and acting morally for all parties concerned (Ali et al., 2017). Ethical duty entails societal standards that outweigh any financial or social obligations. Ethical duties encompass a broad variety of responsibilities, and since they are not enforced by statute, they must be reviewed and updated for each situation. Environmental, socioeconomic, and reputational considerations, as well as the effect on stakeholders, are incorporated into decision-making to guarantee that the company has a positive influence on the population.

LEGAL: This literally means adhering to the stakeholders' policies and guidelines. Businesses must respect the rules and the laws, according to the legal obligation. Should businesses choose to evade their legal obligations? However, if spotted, the cost may be extremely high, and companies can be forced to shut down. Every year, the corporation's board of directors examines social corporate responsibility while continuously assessing results and discussing legal matters.

ECONOMIC: This is essentially about global capitalism and how to make money in the economy. It examines the corporation's duty to provide services and products, as well as how to benefit from supplying them. Investors can expect a return on their expenditure in any company (Carroll, 2016). They still have staff who want to be healthy and reasonably compensated, as well as consumers who expect high-quality goods. Next PLC has formed a new CSR division, which comprises the corporation's senior managers. This group of higher authorities meets on a daily basis to discuss strategies, evaluate performance, and ensure that the organization meets its goals. The business divisions are where the majority of the company's CSR operation takes place. It's led by a group of senior executives who serve as corporate responsibility ambassadors (Thompson &McLarney, 2017). They verify that the organization operates responsibly and advise the business's corporate responsibility policy.


This study looks at how Next's dynamic development can be supported by innovation and technology. The study covered topics such as job development, employee transactions, market innovation, and business organization using innovation and technology. The report also focused on how Next uses technology to interact both domestically and abroad. In addition, research is undertaken to look at traditional and new patterns, and security technology determines their requirements for a healthy digital marketplace. We also examined corporate governance, its background, and how the board of directors should comply with the relevant rules and procedures in order for Next PLC to accomplish its objectives and goals in the future. Finally, the usage of Archie Carroll’s Model was explained. 


Ali, W., Frynas, J.G. and Mahmood, Z., 2017. Determinants of corporate social responsibility (CSR) disclosure in developed and developing countries: A literature review. Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management, 24(4), pp.273-294.

Berger, E.S. and Kuckertz, A., 2016. The challenge of dealing with complexity in entrepreneurship, innovation and technology research: An introduction. In Complexity in entrepreneurship, innovation and technology research (pp. 1-9). Springer, Cham.

Cheffins, B.R., 2013. The history of corporate governance. The Oxford handbook of corporate governance, 46, pp.56-58.

Carroll, A.B., 2016. Carroll’s pyramid of CSR: taking another look. International journal of corporate social responsibility, 1(1), pp.1-8.

Danquah, M. and Amankwah-Amoah, J., 2017.Assessing the relationships between human capital, innovation and technology adoption: Evidence from sub-Saharan Africa. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 122, pp.24-33.

Ganda, F., 2019.The impact of innovation and technology investments on carbon emissions in selected organization for economic Co-operation and development countries. Journal of cleaner production, 217, pp.469-483.

Huang, K.E., Wu, J.H., Lu, S.Y. and Lin, Y.C., 2016. Innovation and technology creation effects on organizational performance. Journal of Business Research, 69(6), pp.2187-2192.

Jo, H. and Harjoto, M.A., 2012. The causal effect of corporate governance on corporate social responsibility. Journal of business ethics, 106(1), pp.53-72.

O'Connor, M. and Rafferty, M., 2012.Corporate governance and innovation. Journal of financial and quantitative analysis, pp.397-413.

Schiederig, T., Tietze, F. and Herstatt, C., 2012.Green innovation in technology and innovation management–an exploratory literature review. R&d Management, 42(2), pp.180-192.

Solomon, J., 2020. Corporate governance and accountability. John Wiley & Sons.

Taneja, G., 2017. What happens “NEXT”? Emerald Emerging Markets Case Studies.

Thompson, J. and McLarney, C., 2017. What effects will the strategy changes undertaken by next Plc have on themselves and their competition in the UK Clothing Retail Market? Journal of Commerce and Management Thought, 8(2), p.234.

Trott, P. and Simms, C., 2017. An examination of product innovation in low-and medium-technology industries: Cases from the UK packaged food sector. Research Policy, 46(3), pp.605-623.

Volná, D., 2012. An Investigation into the Key Drivers Which Affect Brand Loyalty in Relation to NEXT, Plc.

Wigley, S.M., 2012. Core Competence & Diversification in Apparel Retailing -the case of Next Plc.

Williamson, J.M., Lounsbury, J.W. and Han, L.D., 2013. Key personality traits of engineers for innovation and technology development. Journal of Engineering and Technology Management, 30(2), pp.157-168.

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