Golden Rule #3: Differentiate ethics from impact

The Impaakt Team

6 min Read Time | August 10th 2021

Key Takeaways

1

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

2

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

3

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.”

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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.



If you’re interested in covering topics such as Corruption and (Un)ethical Behaviour (competitive, tax evasion, etc.), make sure to read our dedicated guides.


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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