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A Critical Essay Assignment Answer Q&A

Introduction - A Critical Essay Assignment Answer 

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A company's reputation may be improved by adhering to appropriate corporate practices. It's both a pleasure and a boon to working for a firm with a stellar reputation. More people may want to do deal with a business if that has an image of being responsible in its business approach and development, as well as in its treatment of workers, consumers, and society. Even in the age of social media, maintaining a high standard of conduct is critical to one's image. When it comes to a company's ethics, it all starts at the hierarchy (Aagaard, 2016). Businesses need to have a strong ethical position to ensure that people perceive better about them and prefer them over others. Ethical practices and approaches have been proved to be beneficial for a company and therefore large organizations have been focusing on being ethically strong and responsible.

Companies in different industries have adopted strategies that are in favour of society and the entire environment. In this essay, the discussion will be focused on the aspects of ethical responsibilities and how they shape the businesses to gain more value (Ferrell etal., 2019). The case context of Tesco has been selected for this essay to signify the subject with rationale justification.

Question1: In an organisation of your choice (select an organisation you know), explain how business objectives are affected by ethical considerations and their implications to the stakeholders, apply relevant industry examples

The Tesco principle that drives its commitment to CSR is that "every little support makes a big impact". Providing superior customer service and being a good corporate citizen go hand in hand, and this lets the business achieve both goals at the same time (Nyame-Asiamah and Ghulam, 2019). The brand thinks that even little effort may have a big effect on the behaviour of the employees, clients, and the communities in which it operates. Three key pillars support the growth of surrounding communities as part of its community strategy. As a way to give back to the areas where the customers and staff reside, they started their "Your Answer, We Help You" initiative in 2016. Up to 180 public projects get funding for every round of the scheme.

Approximately 700 applications have been endorsed in the six rounds of the program, with nearly 17 million consumers having voted for a project. More than HUF 190 million has been given to applicant groups to help fund their initiatives. There is little doubt that food waste is a significant burden on both the environment and society. Because of this, Tesco has made an effort to not discard any material that might be eaten by humans (Nyame-Asiamah and Ghulam, 2019). Hungarian Food Bank Association and its partner groups received a total of 7,448 tons of excess food in the fiscal year 2018/19. Staff and customers equally may feel confident that Tesco will back them in their efforts to raise awareness of local problems that matter most to them and Tesco consumers (Sughra, 2019). Employees at Tesco have the chance to give back to their communities by volunteering for one day a year. It seems that the brand has been taking significant initiatives to cater to humankind.

Triple Bottom Line

When it comes to business, a concept is recognized as the "triple bottom line" (TBL) asserts that firms should priorities social and environmental issues in addition to financial ones. There must be three bottom lines: profit, people, and the planet, according to TBL philosophy (Lata, 2018). A TBL measures a company's commitment and environmental consequences over the term. Elkington's "triple bottom line" was formed in 1994 by the acclaimed British management consultant and sustainability expert, John Elkington. The concept was that a business may be run in a manner that not only generates profits but also enhances the welfare of its employees and the health of the environment. When discussing a company's bottom line in economics, people often refer to its profitability.

Sustainability in business practices is an aim Elkington's TBL framework pursues, in which corporations look beyond profitability to incorporate social and environmental concerns to quantify the overall cost of operations (Conway, 2018). Moreover, according to TBL, a company's inability to fully compensate for the costs of conducting business is caused by a narrow emphasis on economics alone, rather than also considering the company's social interactions.

Profit: UK's largest retailer essayed a 28 per cent rise in operational earnings for the first half of 2021 compared to the corresponding time in 2018. Prior to this year, Tesco had predicted a full-year modified retail operating income of 2.5-2.6 billion pounds, which it achieved in 2019-20 (Conway, 2018). Tesco has managed to gain profit by making suitable approaches to satisfy the community and environmental needs. The brand has in eased its efforts to concentrate on the customers and how their requirements and wellbeing can be assured.

People: "Quiet Hour" is now a constant feature at all Tesco's bigger shops in Scotland. Initially, the grocery giant developed the program because it recognized that certain consumers with Autism would be overwhelmed by the loud sounds, flashing lights, strong scents, and the number of people present. The Quiet Hour will take place from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. on Wednesdays and Saturdays when Scottish retailers will dim their lights and reduce the volume of their checkouts (Conway, 2018). Tesco wants to be sure that their shops stay a destination where "everyone is welcome," yet they realize that certain customers experience buying distinctively. 20% of the UK population has an impairment. Customers of all ages, including the aged, those with toddlers, and those with mental health problems, will benefit from the new program.

Planet: Tesco has committed to ensuring that no edible food gets thrown away in all UK store outlets. They constantly improve their planning, purchasing, and clearing procedures for food near to its expiration date to decrease the quantity of food excess at the end of each day (Lata, 2018). A surplus of food is donated to charity and community organizations that feed the hungry, and to coworkers via the Colleague Shop. Surplus food is provided to pets or turned to animal feed. They recuperate energy from food leftovers through anaerobic digestion or incineration when no other choices exist.

Tesco has cut food waste by 42% since 2016/17 and is on track to halve it by 2030. In 2020, just 0.37 per cent of the food handled by the Group was wasted. Tesco has started a new program across ten locations that allow consumers to purchase recyclable and resilient food, drink, home and cosmetic supplies (Lata, 2018). Customers will be able to purchase items in reusable containers that can be returned to the shop to be washed, restocked, and reused.

Power/Interest Grid

Stakeholder management is a significant aspect that requires constant emphasis from a company. Especially when it comes to enhancing brand value through ethical practices, companies need to focus on prioritizing the right stakeholders to hold the market value properly (Slack and Lewis, 2019). In order to ensure that the most beneficial and appropriate stakeholders are rightly treated and managed, stakeholder analysis is essential.

High power-High interest: Investors, suppliers and shareholders are the most important shareholders of Tesco (Slack and Lewis, 2019). They have the highest authority over the company and have the greatest interests in the company's profitability prospects. These stakeholders will have to be managed with extreme priority.

High power - Low Interest: The government and the local community support units have the highest power over the company's approaches yet they are least interested in the activities of the company and how it operates (Rosnizam etal., 2020). Tesco will have to keep thee stakeholders satisfied as they hold the power.

Low power High interest: Employees of Tesco have low power authority and high interests when to comes to company’s operational approaches and revenue generation. The company will have to monitor these stakeholders.

Low power - low interest: The local community and the customers have low power and low interest in the company’s actions and how they do business approaches (Rosnizam etal., 2020). Tesco will have to keep these stakeholders informed.

Question2: Using relevant concepts, models, and research evidence, evaluate the impacts of sustainable business on the external environment, and identify how leaders can effectively maintain a competitive advantage using these methods

Small and medium-sized company owners, corporate executives, and other professionals are all showing an increased interest in sustainability in recent years. Researchers now have a chance to delve into a commercial area that has a lot of potential because of the growing interest from professionals. However, there is also the issue of assessing the long-term effect of sustainable initiatives. Leaders of giant companies have been advocating for the rise of efficient practices and approaches for resilience within the company (James and Cooper, n.d). They have been curating practices in favour of the planet and humankind to gain market reputation and dominance over others. Tesco has also been influential in this area of concern and has constantly been strategizing ways to satisfy the requirements of the people and the environment to assure that they maintain the balance and operate responsibly. Especially the preferences and dynamics of the retail industry have shaped the initiative taken by Tesco to a significant extent.

PEST analysis


The Brexit agreement (Britain's withdrawal from the EU) has produced uncertainties in the corporate environment. Brexit, according to Tesco's chairman John Alan, has raised prices by 3% to 5%. The arrangement, claimed Cameron, has involved tariff-free trade. But it's not that easy since there are administrative fees. Around 80% of the firm's food comes from the EU (Ren, 2021). Tariff increases have significantly influenced the selling value. It has changed the dimension and profitability approaches of Tesco.


The covid-19 epidemic has severely harmed businesses. It was owing to the restrictions on physical interaction, social isolation, confinement, and commercial closure (Adamyk, 2019). Tesco escaped the pandemic because of the e-commerce set-up and online purchasing. In reality, the epidemic enhanced sales and incomes. Tesco's annual sales and net income mounted by 1.3 billion and 360 million pounds respectively in 2020, the pandemic year. But still, the rising unemployment rate makes an environment of monetary and social turmoil which might harm the retail business profitability.


Tesco provides meals based on local social and cultural patterns. For Muslim clients in the UK, the firm employs the Halal meat certification. Tesco UK also sells kosher items to a Jewish clientele. People have been moving away from meat towards plant-based vegan meals in recent years (Lukic and Krvgic, n.d). Veganism is gaining popularity in Western and European markets. In 2020, interest in vegan and plant-based goods has increased by 4.1 billion pounds. This has changed the approach of Tesco and it has introduced the initiative of plant-based protein.


At checkouts, the shop claims to be utilising heat sensors to monitor the line-ups. Upgraded scanners, improved self-tills, and checkout cameras are also being employed to cut down on wait times (Lukic and Krvgic, n.d). About a quarter of Tesco's revenues now come from self-service checkout tills, according to the retailer. Tesco is conducting a study with Recycling Technologies to increase the amount of packaging that is recyclable and to assist in meeting the goal.

Circular Economy

A circular economy refers to a financial system in which natural resources, equipment, and goods lose their worth as little as feasible, renewable resources are utilized, and systems thinking is at the centre of the attempt. For a long time, analysts, legislators, and business leaders have been talking about a new approach to sustainability called the circular economy (Upadhyay, Kumar and Akter, 2021). The circular economy is what it's termed. No matter how the concept of the circular economy has been conceptualised, all describe a new method for generating value and, in turn, economic success by increasing product lifespans and resettling waste back to their original point of origin - in other words, making better use of resources by repurposing them multiple times.

With a share of the UK grocery market of about 28%, Tesco is the biggest retailer in the country. There are almost 7,000 Tesco 'superstores' in the United Kingdom, with 25,000 distinct product lines available. In-house manufactured and packaged Tesco own-brand items make up a significant percentage of the market. Tesco has been on a plastic wrapping reformation effort since the beginning of 2018. The first step in this journey was to build a company-wide packaging strategy approved by the group CEO and clearly articulated across the distribution chain (Upadhyay, Kumar and Akter, 2021). The 4R plan – remove, reduce, reuse and recycle – was introduced by Tesco in mid-2019, and it has since been the basis for all of their package design. Reinventing the package, the product and the business model of Tesco's 4R strategy aligns with the transition to a circular economy for plastics so that needless plastic may be avoided, while the customer experience is preserved or improved.

Over 100 million pieces of plastic have been removed from Tesco's massive retail network by implementing two simple design and process reconsiderations: the deletion of supplementary caps on cream containers or multi-pack wrappers. Tesco managed to get rid of 1 billion pieces of plastic from their shops by the year 2021 by implementing additional 4R strategies. More than 40% of Tesco's consumers purchase a multi-pack, and more than 180,000 canned multi-packs are sold each day (Hashim et al., 2021). Previously, plastic material has been used to encase these multi-purchase bundles.

Since January 2020, Tesco has no longer used these plastic sheets in any of its shops in the United Kingdom. A multi-buy offer is still available, but rather than being provided at the time of purchase, the reduction would be applied automatically for empty containers. An estimated 350 tons of hard-to-recycle plastic film were saved because of this simple method of software programming, according to estimates (Hashim et al., 2021). Tesco attempts to gather and recycle 1,000 tons of plastic per year once its soft plastic collection sites have been fully implemented. Local authorities seldom collect and recycle soft plastics, which are often discarded.

The company has started selling washing sprayer bottle refills under their own label. Filling existing spray bottles with tap water and using refill capsules is a basic way for consumers to make their own cleanser (Hashim et al., 2021). They could save up to 60 million plastic items in a year using a small bottle and refilling it numerous times using refilling capsules. In this way, Tesco has been managing to contribute positively to the community and also keeping their customer service standards intact.

Question3: Discuss an Effective Strategy for Leading Responsibly and Evaluate Contemporary Methods of Communications and Working Practices in the Post-COVID-19 Pandemic Business Environment Context

VUCA Model


Tesco has to deal with a wide range of issues, from internal and external instability, in every element of the firm and its strategic drivers. All aspects of business and strategy are affected by these issues. The management and response to a COVID-19 outbreak is the responsibility of the organization's executives (He and Harris, 2020). In order to succeed in this endeavour, Tesco must successfully develop and diversify its management and communication methods in the workplace.

There should be a wide range of business models for different types of business units and a diverse pool of human resources, management strategies, means and objectives ranging from the most basic financial goals to a more holistic approach. There is more variety outside the organisation, as shown by varied consumer wants, diverse cultural values, an abundance of stakeholders with conflicting claims, a diverse political, economic, and legal environment, and lastly the contrasting tactics of competing organisations (Li, Ghosh and Nachmias, 2020). The majority of businesses today are increasingly confronted with each of these sorts of diversity. Managing differences is rarely an easy task, and diminishing variety frequently entails becoming more inflexible in response.


It's impossible for Tesco to avoid dealing with the epidemic's unintended repercussions, which are felt more rapidly and extensively than ever before, due to the development of the COVID-19 pandemic. There has been a shift from traditional value chains to value webs. Unpredictability has increased to a high degree of complexity in the company's image, financial flows, value chain flows, top management, and corporate governance difficulties, among other things. The less defined Tesco's limits become, the greater the risk it has of having an influence on the value chain flow as a result of blunders, frictions, reversals of trends, or even shocks to the system (Ajmal et al., 2021). It is possible to effectively and fiercely diminish the challenge and danger of the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic under uncertain settings or unprecedented circumstances but taking advantage of these possibilities presents significant hurdles.


As if dealing with these complex drivers wasn't difficult enough, Tesco's leadership and management team now have to deal with a new problem in the wake of COVID-19 implementation. Even if the organization's management and executive team come up with temporary answers to the uncertainty, instability, and ambiguity facing Tesco, the retail sector, and one's own personal position, the scenario might alter the following day, depending on the circumstances. Solutions that are effective now may be obsolete tomorrow (He and Harris, 2020). VUCA environments (volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous) are increasingly being used to describe business situations. Even while there are procedures in place to reduce the dangers connected with an occurrence of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is not feasible to completely eliminate them.


Business today is distinguished by an excessive amount of information and an increasing lack of clarity on how to evaluate and implement the information gathered. Because of the wide range of accounting standards, financial statistics are difficult to interpret. Because of the ever-increasing ambiguity, studies, scenarios, survey findings, and essays grow less dependable over time. Many firms are finding it more challenging to identify the distinct value drivers that drive their operations (Li, Ghosh and Nachmias, 2020). Is it the reputation, the cost, the linked service, the privileged connections, the quickness, the expertise, or something else that is important? The lines between cause and effect become more muddled.

Recent research has revealed that high degrees of social media use, along with the published news on Covid-19, have resulted in increased emotional suffering in certain people. Other studies have shown that participating in online activities throughout times of crisis encourages people to critically analyse risks and information in order to preserve a sense of normalcy in their usual activities. Some people have been compelled to look for platforms that have social networking features in order to retain ties with friends and family while living under Covid-19 restrictions. As a result, different groups of people will have varied emotional reactions to and behaviours in response to the same digital communication medium (Severo, De Guimarães and Dellarmelin, 2021). Consumers' opinions of the whole service experience might be significantly impacted by a poor encounter with one communication channel in the case of a service outage. This implies that technological problems, as well as other difficulties such as delivery failures and poor customer service, will have an influence on the service quality provided by providers.

Some say that consumer discontent has been stronger or more acute throughout the Covid-19 crisis as a result of changing alignments amongst players in an unstable and risky environment and that this is the case. Prior research has looked at the perceived value of technology for consumers, specifically the potential of information to enable people and their ability to exert control over their online activities, and the results have been positive. Individuals may attain focused objectives such as personal progress and fulfilment via the use of technology (Sun et al., 2021). It is true that the epidemic has led to a rise in internet usage as a source of amusement as well as an increase in the use of technology to conduct services like healthcare and education. An surge in online consumer engagement in news media, entertainment, and the fashion business, among other areas, has indicated an increase in the use of social media as a medium of communication.


A corporate ethics program is now in place at almost every corporation. In part, this is due to the fact that digital communication and technology have made it simpler to uncover and expose moral errors. Companies are increasing their efforts to maintain high standards of ethical conduct in the workplace in order to prevent any unwanted consequences. Companies are being highly conscious about their actions and how they can increase their market reputation through advanced practices. Catering to the humankind and environment is the foundational approach for many big and small companies. Especially brands like Tesco are highly regarded for being ethically strong and influential. In this essay, a comprehensive justification has been provided on Tesco's ethical practices and how Tesco has been aligning its approaches in favour of the company's objectives.


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