Tuesday, 4 November 2014

UWA MBA students have taken out first prize in an international competition focusing on corporate social responsibility in the mining sector.

The UWA Business School students beat 16 other teams from around the world in the finals of the Schulich International Case Competition , held in Toronto last month.

Presenting to 32 senior decision makers from the resources and related industries, the team - comprising Peter Dyett (Captain), Catharine Payze, Neil Andrews and Sam Nevill - shared their analysis of corporate social responsibility in the potash industry.

The students identified the five most important corporate social responsibility issues at the Canadian resource company, PotashCorp, analysed the effectiveness and relevance of the company's reporting, and developed a framework for corporate social responsibility reporting for the broader resources sector.

"What we see too often, not only in the resource sector, but businesses all over the world, is that companies do not enact what they espouse. In addition, often companies have good corporate social responsibility intentions that fail in implementation, particularly when faced with issues around remote mine sites," the students said.

"The important learning from this is that all companies can improve their corporate social responsibility performance, and the increasing focus on this area of business is for the greater good."

The winning students believed the opportunity to compete against international MBA students on a mining-specific issue was particularly valuable.

"This opportunity not only allowed us to highlight the skills we have developed during the UWA MBA program, but allowed us to pass on what we have learned from our resources boom, and to understand how other resource-rich countries approach corporate social responsibility," the team said.

"In North America and Europe many of the students start their MBAs directly after their undergraduate studies.

"Our experience in industry gave us a distinct advantage over most teams, and we hope that employers realise that the conditions of entry to the UWA MBA [at least three years' professional work experience] are ensuring a better quality of graduate than other universities around the world."

Before leaving for Canada, the team practised delivering their presentation to UWA Business School faculty and alumni, and received guidance from members of last year's UWA Schulich team.

Resource Capital Funds , a corporate partner of the UWA Business School, provided mentoring and financial support for the team to travel to Canada.

Media references

Verity Chia (UWA Business School)                                                (+61 8) 6488 1346
Karen Della Torre (UWA Business School)                                     (+61 8) 6488 8538


Awards and Prizes — Students