Business is a popular category for submissions at The Undergraduate Awards, with entries covering a multitude of topics within the subject. Business originally shared a category with economics but due to the wealth of submissions in both disciplines, they each became categories in their own right in 2014. This category has seen some pioneering studies over the years and todays post will focus on some of the winning and highly commended submissions in recent years that used the their papers to shine a light on poignant social problems such as gender inequality, blood donation shortages and pollution.
Last year's Global Winner was a paper entitled, "Solving Social Problems With Social Marketing Using A Process-Driven Approach To Develop A Solution To Australias Blood Shortage" by Robert Sarich from Australian national University. The judges commented on how Robert's essay had raised solutions to tackle a unique social problem;
"By providing an overview of the strategies that were used in Australia, this research contains very salient practical implications for countries like Ireland which experience great difficulties in obtaining blood donations."
Robert is currently working at New South Wales Treasury in the Commissioning and Contestability Unit where he applies his strategic and problem solving skills to improving the delivery of Government services.
In Kamilla's topical study she focusses on the barriers to equality in the workplace and makes a compelling argument for changing the systemic structures of organisational culture in order for the imbalance of power to be rectified.
The study is aided by the use of a series of case studies including one involving a gender discrimination lawsuit against KPMG. "The lawsuit which began in 2011 with one individual, Donna Kassman, a loyal worker of the company for 17 years, has now expanded in numbers exceeding 1000."
As the pharmaceutical company Pfizer has been in the news in recent months due to its reports of an $11 billion gain from the new tax laws in the United States, we here at The Undergraduate Awards thought it would be fitting to highlight a submission that was highly commended in 2017, entitled: "Pfizer Pharmaceutical Company And Their Indian Suppliers: Global Business, Global Problem", by Deirbhile Murtagh of Queen's University Belfast.
The study endeavours to evaluate the supply chain problems that companies, such as Pfizer, are confronted by. It takes the "triple bottom line into consideration, the win-win situation, the embracers and cautious adopters of sustainability and the tragedy of commons to evaluate the supply chain problems which companies, such as Pfizer, are faced with".
Deirbhile looks at the issue of sustainability extensively and concludes that "ultimately it is clear within today's society that the concept of sustainability has increased at a significant rate and that the public are taking more notice when businesses do not comply with the correct procedures".
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