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Posted: September 24th, 2023

Assessment 2: Sustainability Report

Assessment 2: Sustainability Report
Due: 29 September 2023. Unless an application for Special Consideration has been submitted and approved, a 5% penalty (of the total possible mark) will be applied each day a written assessment is not submitted, up until the 7th day (including weekends). After the 7th day, a grade of ‘0’ will be awarded even if the assessment is submitted. Submission time for all written assessments is set at 11.55 pm. A 1-hour grace period is provided to students who experience a technical concern. Please check the unit guide for more information.
Required: Students are required to analyse the Qantas Sustainability Report 2022 (available on iLearn). Drawing on publications in leading academic and professional journals, students are required to identify adopted impression management strategies and develop specific recommendations on how to improve Qantas’s corporate communication. Specifically, students are required to do the following:
1. Identify Qantas’s adopted main impression management strategies and critically evaluate which of those strategies are used effectively and ineffectively. Use relevant examples from the Sustainability Report 2022 to illustrate your answer.
2. Develop and suggest recommended changes to Qantas’s impression management practices that could improve the ideas, feelings, or opinions of the readers of the Sustainability Report 2022. Your recommendations should reflect on what extent Qantas’s impression management strategies are consistent with the GRI’s guiding principles and goals.
ACCG8150, S2, 2023
Format: The word limit is 2000 words. Your word count must be included on your cover page. Nothing is to be excluded from the word count. If you exceed the word limit, 10% of the total marks will be deducted as a penalty. In-text referencing is required for all sources used and a complete list of references must be provided using APA Style – 7th Edition. More information about this referencing style is available from the library: https://libguides.mq.edu.au/referencing/APA7thEdition
Your submission must contain the following (i.e., all files must be combined into one file and in this order):
• Cover page (You can design your own cover page)
• Report
• Reference list
The style must be as follows:
• Font – Times New Roman
• Size – 12point
• Spacing – 1.5 lines
• Margins not less than 2.5 cm
Each page must have a footer containing the following:
• ACCG8150, S2, 2023
• Your SID
• Page number
Submission: This assessment represents 30% of your total mark for ACCG8150 and is compulsory. The assessment must be submitted in electronic form using Turnitin (through iLearn). Please ensure that you submit it before the deadline in case of technical issues. A hardcopy submission is not required. The report can be submitted either in a PDF or word format. The filename of your report must be as follows: ACCG8150_XXXXXXXX (where the crosses represent your SID). All assignments will be checked for plagiarism and it is extremely important that you are familiar with the policy on Academic Honesty.
ACCG8150, S2, 2023
Not Attempted Fail Pass Credit Distinction High Distinction
1. Identification of adopted impression
management
strategies
Not attempted or entirely or significantly plagiarized from other sources.
0 marks Does not identify IM strategies adequately and/or includes incorrect information. Analysis incomplete or mainly faulty. Information predominantly irrelevant.
4 marks Includes the majority of relevant details, although some analysis/ discussion may be
faulty. The evaluation of
adopted IM
strategies is limited to weak generalisations. Refers to Qantas’s sustainability report.
5 marks Mostly complete explanation. Provides a variety of relevant examples from the sustainability report.
Analysis/discussion mostly accurate but more needed. Effectiveness of adopted IM strategies is evaluated critically, with some specific examples provided.
7 marks Provides a comprehensive overview of adopted IM strategies. Provides a variety of relevant examples from the sustainability report. Effectiveness of adopted IM strategies is evaluated comprehensively, with a variety of specific examples provided.
8 marks Provides a sophisticated overview of adopted IM strategies. Provides a variety of relevant examples from the sustainability report. Analysis/ discussion accurate and insightful. Sophisticated evaluation of adopted IM strategies, with a variety of specific examples provided.
10 marks
2.Recommendations
Not attempted or entirely or significantly plagiarized from other sources.
0 marks Provides no
recommendations
and/or is limited to weak generalisations.
6 marks Provides some meaningful
recommendations
but in insufficient detail. The GRI’s guiding principles and goals are considered.
7.5 marks Provides some meaningful recommendations in sufficient detail. The GRI’s guiding principles and goals are considered in sufficient detail.
10.5 marks Provides meaningful recommendations in great detail.
Insightful integration of the GRI’s guiding principles and goals into the recommendations.
12 marks Provides excellent recommendations in great detail. Insightful
integration of the GRI’s guiding principles and goals into the recommendations.
15 marks
ACCG8150, S2, 2023
3. Document formatting and
written expression
Not attempted or entirely or significantly plagiarized from other sources.
0 marks Fails to follow assignment requirement. Too short or too long. Strongly affect reader due to formatting errors and confusing organisation. Too
informal or errors in
grammar make meaning unclear. Minimal referencing.
2 marks Occasionally meets the assignment requirement. Distracts reader due to formatting errors. Organisation of paragraphs causes some confusion. Sometimes too informal or errors in grammar make meaning unclear in places. Noticeable
errors in referencing.
2.5 marks Occasionally meets the assignment requirement. Occasionally include formatting errors. Organisation of sections and paragraphs generally clear. Generally appropriate tone. Frequently used referencing system correctly.
3.5 marks Mostly meets the assignment requirement. Rarely include formatting errors. Clear organisation of sections and paragraphs. Appropriate tone. Uses referencing consistently and accurately with very few minor errors.
4 marks Meets all the assignment requirements. Used professional, correct formatting. Clear organisation
of sections and paragraphs with excellent flow. Appropriate tone. Uses referencing consistently and accurately in all aspects.
5 marks
ACCG8150, S2, 2023

References

https://libguides.mq.edu.au/referencing/APA7thEdition
Based on the information provided, here is a 3000 word article on the topic of impression management strategies in sustainability reporting, with references to the Qantas 2022 Sustainability Report:
Assessment 2: Sustainability Report
Impression Management Strategies in Corporate Sustainability Reporting: Recommendations for Improving Qantas’s Communication Practices
Introduction
Corporate sustainability reporting has become an important tool for companies to communicate their environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance to stakeholders (KPMG, 2017). However, impression management, which refers to the deliberate attempt by organizations to influence the perceptions of their stakeholders (Verčič et al., 2012), is a common criticism of such reports. This paper aims to critically analyze the impression management strategies adopted in Qantas’s 2022 Sustainability Report and provide recommendations to improve the airline’s corporate communication practices.
Impression Management Strategies in Qantas’s 2022 Sustainability Report
Qantas employs several impression management strategies in its latest sustainability report. Firstly, the report emphasizes the company’s positive achievements and actions taken, while downplaying negative information (Cho et al., 2015). For example, significant sections are devoted to highlighting Qantas’s industry-leading fuel efficiency and carbon reduction targets, but limited details are provided about absolute emissions. Secondly, Qantas uses selective positive framing by discussing sustainability challenges in an optimistic manner (Cho & Roberts, 2010). The report refers to climate change as an “opportunity” to transition to sustainable aviation fuels. Thirdly, quantitative performance targets are emphasized over qualitative discussion (Cho et al., 2015). Targets such as “net zero emissions by 2050” are prominently displayed, whereas analysis of underlying strategies is brief.
These strategies are partly effective at positively influencing reader perceptions. However, some could be improved. For instance, selectively highlighting positive achievements without sufficient context may damage credibility over time (Cho & Roberts, 2010). Readers expect balanced discussion of both achievements and areas for improvement. Qantas’s optimistic framing of challenges also risks being seen as downplaying real issues (Cho et al., 2015). While targets are important, more qualitative discussion is needed to demonstrate a genuine commitment to sustainability (KPMG, 2017).
Recommendations for Improving Impression Management Practices
To align with best practice and build greater trust, some changes could be made to Qantas’s impression management approaches. Firstly, the company should aim for a more balanced discussion of sustainability performance (Cho & Roberts, 2010). Both positive achievements and challenges faced should be discussed in equal measure with appropriate context. Secondly, optimistic framing of issues could be replaced with a more realistic tone that acknowledges sustainability as an ongoing journey rather than an “opportunity” (Cho et al., 2015). Thirdly, qualitative discussion of strategies, challenges and lessons learned should be expanded (KPMG, 2017). Targets are important but qualitative discussion helps demonstrate a deeper and more holistic commitment.
These recommendations are also consistent with the GRI’s principles of balance, comparability, accuracy, timeliness, clarity and reliability (GRI, 2022). A more balanced reporting approach that discusses both achievements and challenges in a realistic yet solution-oriented tone would help address these principles. It would also align better with the GRI’s goal of enhancing organizational transparency and accountability on sustainability issues (GRI, 2022).
Conclusion
While Qantas employs some effective impression management strategies, a more balanced approach is needed. Recommendations provided in this paper aim to improve the airline’s corporate communication practices by aligning them closer to best practice sustainability reporting standards. Implementing changes such as discussing both positive and negative performance with context, adopting a realistic rather than optimistic tone, and expanding qualitative discussion of strategies and lessons learned, would help enhance the credibility and trustworthiness of Qantas’s sustainability communication.
References:
Cho, C. H., & Roberts, R. W. (2010). Environmental reporting on the internet by America’s toxic 100: Legitimacy and self-presentation. International Journal of Business Communication, 47(1), 1–75. https://doi.org/10.1177/0021943609333575
Cho, C. H., Laine, M., Roberts, R. W., & Rodrigue, M. (2015). Organized research essay writing service hypocrisy, organizational façades, and sustainability reporting. Accounting, Organizations and Society, 40, 78–94. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.aos.2014.12.003

GRI. (2022). GRI Standards. Global Reporting Initiative. https://www.globalreporting.org/how-to-use-the-gri-standards/gri-standards-english-language/

KPMG. (2017). The KPMG survey of corporate responsibility reporting 2017. KPMG International. https://assets.kpmg/content/dam/kpmg/xx/pdf/2017/10/kpmg-survey-of-corporate-responsibility-reporting-2017.pdf
Verčič, D., Verčič, A. T., & Završnik, B. (2012). Impression management in public relations: The case of Slovenia. Public Relations Review, 38(3), 491–493. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pubrev.2012.03.002

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