Golden Rule #3: Differentiate ethics from impact

Key Takeaways

1.  Ethic assessment involves evaluating the right and wrong behaviours and practices, but Impaakt tries to analyse the impact of these practices.

2.  To move from an ethical assessment to an impact assessment, you will need to analyse the consequences of good or bad ethics and describe what was the loss/benefit, who suffered/benefited and how much positive/negative impact has been caused.


The third golden rule for an outstanding analysis looks to distinguish right and wrong practices, which are ethical assessments, and impact assessment.

What’s the problem?

  • Bad ethics, such as corporate governance, bribery, insider trading, and fraud, should only be reported if they lead to a concrete negative impact on the planet and society. If you cannot quantify these negative impacts, then you cannot write on this topic.

  • Likewise, good ethics does not necessarily translate to good impact.

What you must do

  • Find information on what the consequences have been of bad/good ethics. You must describe what was the loss/benefit, who suffered/benefited and how much positive/negative impact has been caused.

  • Reporting on the ethical issue only is not good enough and will be rejected.

  • Make sure you cover this topic to its fullest potential. Do not select one-offs cases, unless they have a significant or persistent impact.

Example

Ethical issue:

  • The company is accused of engaging in financial or environmental fraud (without evidence of the impact).
  • The company is marked by bad governance with cases of bribery or corruption (without evidence of the impact).


These cannot be treated as a valid topic and will be rejected. However, ethical issues can lead to tangible impact, which in turn can be examined in an analysis.

Related impact topics

  • The company has polluted the local ecosystem due to environmental norms being circumvented.
  • The financial fraud has led to financial loss for local communities.
  • The bad governance of the company has resulted in harmful products being put on the market.
  • The opaque governance results in unfair working conditions across countries.

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