ACCT20080 Ethics & Governance: Individual Capstone Project
Capstone: The what, why and how
This capstone introduces you to researching and interpreting the voluntary disclosures of a publicly listed company to determine its governance and ethical outlook. The knowledge you have gained from modules 6–9 are of high importance to this exercise. These skills are highly valued by business specialists such as:
Remember that it is a company’s stakeholders who determine what is acceptable and not acceptable for that company to do. Therefore, to determine where a company is looking to for its guidance (for example, shareholders, powerful stakeholders, all stakeholders) is an important step in identifying a company’s likely ethical outlook. A bank that is focused upon its most powerful shareholders will talk to them directly in their voluntary disclosures, and this will manifest itself in how the company conducts itself in society. In contrast, a company that is vitally concerned about how society views its actions relating to the environment will disclose information suitable to that audience, and will probably conduct its affairs in a complementary manner.
Investors seeking to invest in companies committed to sustainable operations may choose the latter company over the former (however, there are many other considerations such as the company’s return on investment record that cannot be ignored), while an investment fund that needs to grow its own return on investor funds might choose the former to invest in.
This capstone project is not about making judgments concerning the likely ethics of a company; we simply do not have enough information on hand to make such a judgment. And remember that a company wholly focused on profits and returns to shareholders can be just a ethical (in the eyes of its stakeholders) as one who takes an interest in its environmental “footprint”. What is of interest to us is that each company is different and can be ethical in different ways. This capstone is about investigating and coming to a conclusion about a company’s likely ethical and governance outlook. You will read the company’s own disclosures, apply appropriate theories and come to reasonable conclusions, all of which you will report upon.
The following steps are about how you will undertake this assessment.
You have been provided with an ASX company code. Locate your company's name and further details such as the company's web address. You may even find the company's latest financial report located there.
If you are studying ACCT20074 or ACCT20075 this term, you will notice that you have already been allocated the same company.
Once you have your company, you are required to research and report on the company, its industry and its likely governance and ethical outlook. You are to provide a report in the following structure:
The four requirements for your report are as follows:
1. Introduce and summarise the company (500 words, 8 marks)
In this section, please tell us about the company, the industry it is in, and its recent history.
2. Summary of corporate governance at your company (500 words, 8 marks)
Please locate the latest annual report published by your company. Locate the following and provide a summary of what they say:
Provide an overall summary of the report stating what immediate priorities of the company are and what plans might be in place to achieve them.
You are not expected to provide a financial analysis of the company unless it supports any of the points above.
3. Board orientation (1,000 words, 16 marks)
Review your company’s most recent annual report and its web site. You should also read any media releases it might show on its web site. Analyse what you find and determine the most likely orientation of its board. You will find the table on page 11 of the Module 7 Study Guide very useful, as well as the supporting discussion.
Make sure you justify your conclusion with reference to whichever theories are most applicable.
4. Interpretation of company communications using Legitimacy Theory (500 words, 8 marks)
You might want to start preparing for this section by locating and reading the three academic journal articles referenced on Page 7 of the Module 8 Study Guide. They are excellent examples of how you might look for evidence of a company concerned with its legitimacy.
You will be assessed on:
Proper referencing is expected. Failure to accurately and consistently apply the APA referencing standard will result in up to 5 marks being penalised off your overall grade. If in doubt, you can find the APA standard here.
With the ramified economic changes, each and every organization needs to strengthen the corporate social responsibilities and corporate governance program. In this report, corporate governance compliance and board composition of the Speedcast International telecommunication company has been taken into consideration. After that, composition of the Board of directors of the Company has been assessed. After that assessment of the chairperson report have been evaluated to assess whether company has any legal issues or any future business perspectives. Afterward, the Board orientation at Speedcast international limited telecommunication service have been divulged to assess the executive and non-executive directors functioning in the company.
Speedcast International Limited is a leading network with satellite communications by offering high-qualified network managed in nearly 60 countries by availing them maritime serving the customers. The company has its headquarters in Hong Kong with 30 teleport operations, support offices, and other 25 international sales. The company is known for its unique infrastructure while serving the requirements to the customers at global level. More than 4000 links on land and sea supported mission with critical application where it distinguish them with strong operational expertise with highly effective support that are the foundations of success of SpeedCast. The company is listed on ASX (Australian Stock Exchange). The company has successfully resolved issues of Stena Drilling while adding Wi-Fi to manage the communication on board`s global feet. SpeedCast crew avails to pay through personnel paying through the credit card and PayPal with the help of self-service portal with 3200 customers in the 140 countries. The company generates a revenue of 514.2 million dollars. Some of the competitors are Rignet, TVL, immarsat, smile, NSSL Global, huge networks, and telemark Group. Inclusive of above, competitors together raise 369.5 million in between 4.6 thousand employees. The profits (profit before tax) for the company in 2017 is 7748 thousand USD and it reflects 4764 USD thousand in 2018. Moreover, the personnel can communicate with the help of internet accessibility with family and friends through the engagement of social media platforms (SpeedCast International Telecommunication Company, 2018). The company strives to avail customers with entire communication with IT solution, which go beyond the VSAT standard, which are proud to add the reliable crew Wi-Fi to services. There is a convenient with cost solution effectiveness removing the need to manage administration, payment plans, and finally allow to focusing on the critical corporate operations. The company has different administration areas as being handled by SpeedCast international limited communication service for the clients while delivering of retirement, operation, technology, and corporate markets(SpeedCast International Telecommunication Company, 2018). The group is considered to be one of the largest service availing. The company avails a wide variety of services that will include different stakeholders, share plan for the employees, secretarial services for the companies, and management of the stakeholders. A company further delivers critical communication solution with the multi-accessible technology, more than 80 satellites orbit network, and bolstering with the extensive support from the more than 40 nations. The company avails managed services with differentiated technology with offerings inclusive of crew welfare, data, voice application, content solution, integrated services, and a strong safety culture (SpeedCast International Telecommunication Company, 2018).
The board of directors of the company is accompanied with the executive and non-executive directors of the company. After assessing the annual report of company, it has been observed that the board of SpeedCast international limited telecommunication service formulates effective composition, as most of the directors are non-executive, senior executive, and increased female presentation at the senior independent leadership level. The board of directors increase the number of females with underrepresented hiring in the proportion for the overall employee base. The company can expand the participation in development and networking, which focus on traditional presented groups that is served by the industry. John Angus Mackay, AM, heads the board (SpeedCast International Telecommunication Company, 2018). The status of company`s director is independent and non-executive and also all the directors are anticipated to disclose when they become so conscious regarding situations with the circumstances that has the ability to hamper the status of independence. The below table brings out the names of the directors of SpeedCast international limited telecommunication services with their independent status of their independence with their appointment date-
|Directors||Independent status||Date of appointment|
|John Angus Mackay, AM||Director, Chairman||14 July 2014|
|Grant Scott Ferguson||Director||14 July 2014|
|Peter Edward Jackson||Director||14 July 2014|
|Michael Martin Malone||Director||14 July 2014|
|Caroline Van Scheltinga||Director||5 April 2018|
|Pierre-Jean (‘PJ’) Joseph Andre Beylier||Director||14 July 2014|
|Michael Stuart Berk||Director||14 July 2014 to 17 May 2018|
|Edward Francis Sippel||Director||14 July 2014 to 31 December 2018|
Source: (SpeedCast International Telecommunication Company, 2018).
Further, there are details of other managerial personnel of the organisation acting with an executive position as being presented below-
(Source: (SpeedCast International Telecommunication Company, 2018).)
The report of chairperson is highlighted in the form of message in the statement of financial position. The report highlights organisation’s financial statements for 2018 where SpeedCast international limited telecommunication service solidified the position, as it has been leading communication service provider in world with more than 3200 customers with diversified portfolio Government, energy, maritime, enterprise, media and telecommunication. In 2018, SpeedCast solidifies the position as it is one of the world`s leading remote service provider with communication (SpeedCast International Telecommunication Company, 2018). The company has executed the acquisition in December 2018 of company named as Globecomm that would almost double the scale of the revenue in its high global government with growing sector and further, it brings significant cost and the revenue opportunities with synergy. In addition to this, in 2018, financial performance is weak than it is expected. With stronger organic growth opportunities mostly in three departments Government, EEM, and Maritime as it expects recovery in energy market reflecting a disappointing year for the share price. The core focus of organisation in 2019 is to create a stronger base of business by delivering the organic growth and reducing the debt advantage. The company is creating appropriate growth prospects for year 2019 (SpeedCast International Telecommunication Company, 2018). However, crucial reason is that it is able to create an outstanding platform at global level with best leadership team. Blue chip additions to the team can reflect a broader strengthening of the personnel availed to the company and its ability to attract the best talent (Mahadeo & Soobaroyen, 2016). Several milestones have to be achieved by group where the fact is related to company welcoming new member to the board as non-executive directors and independent presented clearly in the report. The organisation has several different CEOs for its each of the department. However, it has been found that they will not extend specific reports (SpeedCast International Telecommunication Company, 2018).
Undoubtedly, it is necessary to employ human resources with the remuneration committee as being constituted at SpeedCast international limited telecommunication. This committee helps in setting up the remuneration for the different employees and determining the performance appraisal in organization. Remuneration committee has to pay remuneration to the key managers as being detailed in the remuneration report. These types of information is in according to with the needs of corporation Act, 2001 and with tis regulations (Dallas, 2015). The data is availed and audited as per the required of the sec 208 (3C). The remuneration discloses to maintain the objective of high standard clarity enabled with transparency in relation to communication with all the relevant stakeholders (SpeedCast International Telecommunication Company, 2018). The framework is designed with inclusive of portion of payment as being fixed and other part of the remuneration id variable. It is important to note that fixed portion focuses on aim to retain main people with supporting with competitive payment aligned with the skillset (Abbadi, Hijazi, & Al-Rahahleh, 2016). The variable element of remuneration will include short-term incentive and long-term incentives.
The plan for the incentives is designed in such a way that it drives personnel in order to work as per the achievement of the short term and long term business goals. The main principles govern group`s remuneration framework to-
Further, it is important to ensure that performance goals for the variable remuneration that are aligned with the drivers of group success and also the achievement of business objectives. The aim is to ensure the maximisation of the stakeholder benefits in relation to the attraction and retention related to high quality execution team (Lai, 2017). The elements of salary and remuneration component consists of base salary, short-term incentives, long-term incentives, and allowances with the non-monetary benefits (SpeedCast International Telecommunication Company, 2018).
(Source: (SpeedCast International Telecommunication Company, 2018).)
(Source: (SpeedCast International Telecommunication Company, 2018).)
The organisation has the practise while following and appointing new person to the board. A perfect set of board consists of knowledge, skills, and experience, which is evaluated before employing any person. Abilities of person is regarding the expected role and responsibilities when evaluating the hiring procedure. The process beings with process of selection. After the procedure, many potential candidates have been checked on the basis of appropriateness of vacant position (
Salim, Arjomandi, & Seufert, 2016). With the screening procedure, there are details of any directorship and the commitment that already held by the potential candidate needed to disclose the selected committee. These potential persons are placed at appropriate places on the vacant position as per their appropriateness. After the screening process, there are the details of any directorship where commitment held through a potential as needed to disclose as per the selection committee (Christensen, Kent, Routledge, & Stewart, 2015). After the acceptance of agreement, a candidate acknowledges all the terms and conditions attached with the post and it is adhered when undertaking the responsibilities (SpeedCast International Telecommunication Company, 2018).
With due diligence, director`s appointment is undertaken to fill the vacant position with the duration of appointment of the casual directors with last until AGM takes place. When the proposition while selecting the director to fill the place of casual vacancy to keep the stakeholders while seeking the approval. Listing rules of ASX will be followed to be re-elected by the directors (Qu, Percy, Stewart, & Hu, 2018). As per the financial statements of company, it fulfils the processes of the company for their new appointment.
Interpreting the organisation’s communication through legitimacy theory
The theory is main enabler of the company to adopt several ethical practises while operating ethical practises and its functioning. An organisation will have to be profound can be ethical by conducting the business and reflecting ethics by disclosing on the social and environmental actions in order to communicate with the stakeholders through corporate communication. Integrated reports have been prepared by the financial reports where the organisation will strive to prove the legitimacy to society when operating (Appuhami, & Bhuyan, 2015). An organisation has to be legitimate as it is responsible for the resources availed by environment, discloses it carefully from its actions, and also the usage in regards to the stakeholder’s communication. A company undertakes several initiatives to the community to go through a program of CSRT and undertake several activities to improve environmental operations and also making the contribution to community as being given below (Cullen, & Christopher, 2012). The core focus of organisation in 2019 is to create a stronger base of business by delivering the organic growth and reducing the debt advantage. The company is creating appropriate growth prospects for year 2019 (SpeedCast International Telecommunication Company, 2018).
The company undertakes action that can assist the environment to remain safe by saving wildlife
Furthermore, the company undertaken several initiatives for the betterment of environment and finally disclosing it to the annual reports with separate sustainability report. The disclosures are given below-
The company supports charity by raising funds for the people who suffers while operating in electronic work
The company strives to bring awareness regarding breast cancer and then provide them basic medication which they need it to cure (Gibson, & O'Donovan, 2007).
Other more sustainable actions opted for the internal stakeholders such as employees are given below-
Availing the parenting leaves at liberal level that can be ensured through group at 84 percent of the employees in order to return it to the company after availing it.
After assisting the contribution to the social cause of increasing the awareness regarding the equal opportunities for both male and female at the top-level management with aim to increase the proportion of women in the workforce (SpeedCast International Telecommunication Company, 2018).
Effective contribution in order to raise the knowledge of staff by availing special training to every employee for eighteen hours every year (Taylor., Tower, Van Der Zahn, & Neilson, 2008).
In order to conclude the company`s legitimate theory for the different set of stakeholders. A company seems to have sustainable operations for interested parties in terms of both financial parameters and non-financial parameter. The organisation has undertaken the voluntary disclosed at its ethical actions. From this perspective, the actions as being reported with the company showing the vital concerning the company for the society (Farrar, 2011).
After assessing the annual report of the company, it could be inferred that company has maintained strong corporate governance and strengthen its legal compliance to sustain in market. However, most of the directors are non-executive, senior executive, and increased female presentation at the senior independent leadership level and taking managerial decisions. An organisation will have to be profound can be ethical by conducting the business and reflecting ethics by disclosing on the social and environmental actions in order to communicate with the stakeholders through corporate communication. Integrated reports have been prepared by the financial reports where the organisation will strive to prove the legitimacy to society when operating. The company undertaken several initiatives for the betterment of environment and finally disclosing it to the annual reports with separate sustainability report to align its business with the triple bottom line approach. It has been done with a view to pay back to society and environment to sustain in market in long run.