Sustainability Problems in Firms

Essay structure:

Is clear
Is related to the broad topic provided
No longer than 15 words
Establishes the theoretical domain of the assignment

Common ground /status quo: Gives us a general picture of something that we are generally aware of
E.g firms working on general sustainability problems via specific SDGs
Problem :
A particular issue firms face when solving sustainability problems
Firms may not have the inclination or capacity to work on sustainability problems [Hint: Bansal (2005)].
Might distract from other value-creating activities
Too many problems which ones to work on?
How Bayer do firms implement SDG(s)? Over time?
Course of investigation: A case study of this particular firm (justify: size, country, business domain) to illustrate how it has implemented a particular (or number of) SDGs over time, whether it is related to its core area (which ones).
Possibly mention:
A few statistics (one or two) to illustrate the importance of the topic are expected examples:
E.g. . xxx% of the population suffer from diabetes with a citation or
The WHO estimates that xxx% of people will turn blind by 2030 in this country due to lack of basic health infrastructure.
Important to cite every source.

Theoretical Background:
Explains some relatively abstract concept(s) through definitions and maybe provide an example or instance
An abstract concept cannot be readily seen or measured(e.g. sustainability, culture or competitive advantage). It helps us get an overview and hence simplifies the story (general and concise discussions etc.)
• I don’t have to state: ‘Firms are trying to solve hunger, poverty and pollution problems’.
• Instead I can say ‘Firms are solving sustainability related problems’.
• I can then be more specific about which problems when required (in data and findings part)
We can look at the following in order to achieve theoretical depth
Drivers and costs related to implementing that concept (e.g. implementing sustainability through SDG Bayer) or having a particular attribute (e.g. a type of organizational culture) Examples:
• A firm that adopts an SDG will behave and communicate very differently if (1) it feels strongly about contributing to sustainability improvements and goals; (2) it is pressured by the government to adopt SDGs in its policy
• Outcomes of that concept implementation or attribute
We often note that contrary to expectations, implementation of transformative technologies may not be profitable. We need to understand why that is the case.

Theoretical background and other sections:
• Academic books
• Chapters in Edited books
• Journal articles Google scholar
• Slides of Professors (reference list or citations) Myebs

Introduction, Methodology
• Bloomberg(Library Terminal only) for financial data
• Myebs Statista
• Nexis Annual reports
• Government and Supranational agencies (UN, EU, World Bank, UNCTAD, world economic forum etc.)
• USPTO (Patent office); European Patent Office Newspapers and magazines

It is mandatory to use one source from Statista.
Only one table or figure must be used
Methodology: Empirical setting: Which firm, why and over which recent time periods (typically 2018 to 2022)
Data sources: Annual reports etc.
Data: What was the data that you collected (SDGs…), using keyword search
Analytical approach: Evaluation of how the numbers or communication changed over time; how many times mentioned, associated with strategy words etc.

Recommendation/ Solution:
What did you find in terms of SDGs? ESGs?
Was there an evolution over the last five years?
Maybe there is a difference between what is stated and what they do (words versus investments)?

Discussion and Conclusion:

Overview of main findings
Implications of findings
Recommendations and critique
Limitations of your study (data that was lacking) Generalizability
Future work

In conclusion, xxxxx

A discussion looks like at the big picture of solutions and may contain some of the following elements:
An overview of the importance of your findings.
What are the implications for: The firm
Policy makers
Limitations of the study Data used
Difficulties of relying on annual reports
Future work
More data collection
Different types of data

Essay requirements:

Direct quote (verbatim):
Fewer than 40 words: Always provide the author, year, and page number of the quotation.
For 40 words and more:
• Always provide the author, year, and page number of the quotation. (E.g. p. 23, pp. 34-35). In addition
• Use block quotation without parentheses
• Indent paragraph by 0.5 inches

Indirect quote (Paraphrase or use your own words)
Summarize (summing up)

Reference list for journal articles:
Author (s): Who is / are responsible for this work?
Date: When was this work published?
Title: What is this work called?
Source: Where can I retrieve this work?

Font is Times New Roman
The font size is 12 in all text sections and 10 in footnotes.
Titles should be distinguished from the text and may be enlarged.
The line spacing in the text should be 1 1/2 spaces.
The margins: left: 4 cm / right: 2 cm / top: 3 cm / bottom: 2 cm.
The page number has to be set in the heading line at the right-hand edge.
Include a mini-title of your work in the heading line with fives spaces left before the page number.
The text should be block style, the footnotes in block style with indentions (except for the first paragraph)

Headings and sub-headings
Main chapters are consecutively numbered beginning with 1
Every chapter can be divided into as many sub-sections as necessary
A period is place between chapter and sub-sections but there is no final period (e.g., 1.1.2) If a chapter has a sub-section (2.1), then a second sub-section is mandatory (2.2)
Every sub-section should include at least 1⁄2 page of text
Abbreviations such as “etc.” should be avoided in headlines

Title case: headings, titles, and subtitles (outside reference lists): Capitalize all major words and all words of four letters or more in
headings, titles, and subtitles (outside reference lists)
Sentence caps capitalize the first word and the first word after a colon when the phrase is a complete sentence

Reference List
Formatting and order are important and should be informative Reference lists give information about
The depth of the literature review (several topic areas or rather concentrated)
The quality of the theory
Potential sources of relevant papers for the reader
Possibly (not always) data sources

Running header
Title of the thesis in very few words, then five spaces, then the page number
This header appears on: Preliminary pages
Every page of main text Reference pages Appendices
Are not for citation, but for background information!
Keep footnotes to a minimum: Rather include thoughts in your main text!
Single-line spacing, double between notes
Use raised superscript numeral with no space between the numeral and the first word, such as 1Euro

Figures and tables
Figures and tables should complete the text in concise form and should only be included if they are relevant to the argument Recommended to place the important tables and figures inside the text. If there are figures and tables, a reference must be made in
the text section (call-out)
All figures and tables are to be numbered separately and consecutively throughout the paper with Arabic numerals (Table 1, Table 2, …; Figure 1, Figure 2, …)
Include a List of Figures and/or List of Tables at the beginning of the work where figures and tables are listed separately (always, even in “small” assignments)

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