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Center for Social Innovation

Corporate Social Responsibility

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Stanford Social Innovation Review: Summer 2011

Executives from 10 major corporations gathered in New York City to discuss the innovative ways that they are putting societal issues at the core of their companies’ strategy and operations.

Resource: Stanford Social Innovation Review Article

As Japan shifts from disaster relief to rebuilding, GSB alumni see opportunities for change and renewal.

Resource: News Article
Stanford Social Innovation Review: Summer 2011

The Grameen Foundation’s Bankers Without Borders initiative applies skills-based volunteering to poverty alleviation.

Resource: Stanford Social Innovation Review Article
Stanford Social Innovation Review: Spring 2011

Venture into a Panera Cares café and you’ll see the same menu and racks of freshly baked breads that are staples at the 1,400 Panera Bread restaurants across the United States. The only thing missing is the cash register. Instead, there’s a donation box where customers pay on the honor system.

Resource: Stanford Social Innovation Review Article
Stanford Social Innovation Review: Spring 2011

Unless clean tech follows well-established rules of innovation and commercialization, the industry’s promise to provide sustainable sources of energy will fail.

Resource: Stanford Social Innovation Review Article

Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women program is helping women in 22 countries in the developing world start and grow businesses, Dina Habib Powell, who oversees the effort told a business school audience.

Resource: News Article

When oil began gushing into the Gulf of Mexico last year, scientists, engineers, and operations workers all had different ideas about what to do. The biggest lesson may have been getting these different groups to work together, Marcia McNutt of the USGS told a Stanford Graduate School of Business audience.

Resource: News Article

For the movers and shakers of this world who could use some practical, cost-effective solutions for encouraging donations, volunteerism, social activism, and other responsible, caring, and pro-social behaviors, Frank Flynn reviews the latest findings. To receive Flynn's highlights, sign up for the quarterly prosocial highlight.

Resource: News Article

A national debate over the behavior of ousted Hewlett-Packard chief executive Mark Hurd had just made headlines. Advance publicity for Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, a movie about greed writ large, was picking up volume. And political pundits were arguing daily over what it meant for candidates to be perceived as either pro- or antibusiness as midterm elections approached. Stanford GSB students reflect on Wall Street's bruised reputation.

Resource: News Article

Since taking over as CEO of Zappos, Tony Hsieh has vowed to do whatever it takes to keep his employees, customers, and vendors happy. He told a business school audience his strategy leads to profits in the end.

Resource: News Article
Stanford Social Innovation Review: Spring 2011

Politically radical social workers didn’t expect to be working in a bank any more than white-collar bankers expected to be holding meetings in a crowded public market.

Resource: Stanford Social Innovation Review Article
Stanford Social Innovation Review: Spring 2011

Richard Jefferson believes that biotechnology can be used to benefit the poor and disenfranchised, but only if the R&D process is democratized so that everyone has access to critical scientific tools and technologies.

Resource: Stanford Social Innovation Review Article
Stanford Social Innovation Review: Spring 2011

Sustainable Harvest grows a new supply chain.

Resource: Stanford Social Innovation Review Article
Stanford Social Innovation Review: Spring 2011

Habitat International has grown its bottom line using a largely disabled workforce.

Resource: Stanford Social Innovation Review Article
Stanford Social Innovation Review: Winter 2011

Companies that invest in their lowest-level employees are more productive and more profitable.

Resource: Stanford Social Innovation Review Article

Pivotal pieces that have influenced the “base of the pyramid” theory as a way for business to alleviate global problems.

Resource: Blog Post

Major world leaders pledge big money to improve the lives of millions.

Resource: Blog Post

Highlights from the Clinton Global Initiative.

Resource: Blog Post

Clinton’s Global Initiative kicks off.

Resource: Blog Post

The social capital market aims to have a positive impact on the planet.

Resource: Blog Post
Video/Audio : All | Audio | Video
[photo - Aron Cramer]
Businesses are in the business of business. But they are beginning to be in the business of doing social good as well. As companies shift to incorporate environmental, social, and welfare-based themes into business plans and products, Aron Cramer points out a trend of decreasing poverty and improving the environment as corporations look to increase both profit and human development.
Resource: Audio

Can business be a power for good? Jean Oelwang, CEO of Virgin Unite, would argue yes. Virgin Unite is the nonprofit foundation of Richard Branson's Virgin Group, a conglomerate of more than 400 world-wide companies. In this audio lecture, Oelwang discusses the need to address root causes of social and environmental issues, the unsustainable nature of the growing disparity between rich and poor, and the potential to make a difference by adapting existing product and service innovations.

Resource: Audio
What does it mean for a company to fully engage in corporate social responsibility and become a global citizen? In this audio lecture at Stanford, former Hewlett-Packard VP Debra Dunn talks about the opportunities and challenges of implementing a robust Corporate Social Responsibility strategy and aligning with the demands of numerous stakeholders. Dunn draws on her own experience working for the technology giant.
Resource: Audio

When a company like Wal-Mart decides to work with suppliers to reduce their emissions, a positive ripple is created throughout the global economy. However, is there room for smaller innovators when it comes to greening the supply chain? In this audio interview, part of the Future of Green series from Stanford's Center for Social Innovation, Professor Gary Gereffi and EDF's Andrew Hutson talk about opportunities for sustainable supply chains in the age of globalization.

Resource: Audio

Bringing along the consumer, Method and Zipcar have provided greener alternatives to our everyday lifestyles. By creating this catalyst for change, they moved their products and services ahead of industry leaders and scaled this impact with market success. In this Future of Green open call series from Stanford's Center for Social Innovation, founders Robin Chase of Zipcar and Adam Lowry of Method speak on building a company around a radical and sustainable business model.

Resource: Audio
[Video-Stanford's Guatemala Service Learning Trip, 2008-4]

The experience brought back to the GSB: It was a proud moment when a classmate raised his hand and said, "In Guatemala we saw this as an example of what you just said."

Resource: Video
[Video-Stanford's Guatemala Service Learning Trip, 2008-3]

Getting Passionate About the Supply Chain: On a 3-hour bus ride, students debated the coffee supply chain and what could be done. For John Joseph, it "was fun to see how passionate they were about it."

Resource: Video
[Video-Stanford's Guatemala Service Learning Trip, 2008-2]

From Bean to Cup-of-Coffee Complex: Students first thought the coffee supply chain was boring. The more they experienced Guatemala, the more they realized the story was far more complex.

Resource: Video
[Video-Stanford's Guatemala Service Learning Trip, 2008-1]

On a service learning trip to Guatemala, John Joseph, MBA '08, and classmates visited small producers right up to the Starbucks' organization, as well as NGOs like As Green As It Gets.

Resource: Video
[Video-Stanford's Guatemala Service Learning Trip, 2008-6]

Environment and the Supply Chain: MBA student Tom Mercer, Class of '07, got a chance to see different views on the supply chain from varied perspectives: the corporate perspective (Starbucks), as well as those of individual coffee farmers.

Resource: Video
[photo - Aron Cramer]
Businesses are in the business of business. But they are beginning to be in the business of doing social good as well. As companies shift to incorporate environmental, social, and welfare-based themes into business plans and products, Aron Cramer points out a trend of decreasing poverty and improving the environment as corporations look to increase both profit and human development.
Resource: Audio

Can business be a power for good? Jean Oelwang, CEO of Virgin Unite, would argue yes. Virgin Unite is the nonprofit foundation of Richard Branson's Virgin Group, a conglomerate of more than 400 world-wide companies. In this audio lecture, Oelwang discusses the need to address root causes of social and environmental issues, the unsustainable nature of the growing disparity between rich and poor, and the potential to make a difference by adapting existing product and service innovations.

Resource: Audio
What does it mean for a company to fully engage in corporate social responsibility and become a global citizen? In this audio lecture at Stanford, former Hewlett-Packard VP Debra Dunn talks about the opportunities and challenges of implementing a robust Corporate Social Responsibility strategy and aligning with the demands of numerous stakeholders. Dunn draws on her own experience working for the technology giant.
Resource: Audio

When a company like Wal-Mart decides to work with suppliers to reduce their emissions, a positive ripple is created throughout the global economy. However, is there room for smaller innovators when it comes to greening the supply chain? In this audio interview, part of the Future of Green series from Stanford's Center for Social Innovation, Professor Gary Gereffi and EDF's Andrew Hutson talk about opportunities for sustainable supply chains in the age of globalization.

Resource: Audio

Bringing along the consumer, Method and Zipcar have provided greener alternatives to our everyday lifestyles. By creating this catalyst for change, they moved their products and services ahead of industry leaders and scaled this impact with market success. In this Future of Green open call series from Stanford's Center for Social Innovation, founders Robin Chase of Zipcar and Adam Lowry of Method speak on building a company around a radical and sustainable business model.

Resource: Audio
Case Studies : All | Academic Cases
No Results Found
[photo - David P. Baron]

With Google's rapid international growth, came a number of nonmarket challenges including privacy issues in both the United States and European Union, the spectrum auction, intellectual property, corporate social responsibility, and business practices in China.

Resource: Academic Case
[photo - David F. Larcker]

This case explores the various corporate governance systems that have been adopted in the United States and abroad. It examines issues of control, director and auditor independence, board structure, and more.

Resource: Academic Case
[photo - David P. Baron]

Gilead Sciences designs a strategy for delivering an AIDS drug to developing nations in Africa. This first part of the case describes the organization's initial considerations.

Resource: Academic Case
[photo - David P. Baron]

Gilead Sciences designs a strategy for delivering an AIDS drug to developing nations in Africa. This second part of the case explores the company’s experience with a distribution program.

Resource: Academic Case
[photo - R. Bruce McKern]

A shipment of industrial products gets waylaid by customs in Thailand, with a charge of smuggling. When the project manager refuses to pay an extortionary fee and is reported to officials, the company manager must figure out how to defuse the situation.

Resource: Academic Case
[photo - Hau L. Lee]

Starbucks created a new program to support coffee farmers through a partnership with Conservation International. If Starbucks could overcome issues it faced with implementation of the program, the initiative could go a long way toward improving the sustainability of its coffee supply chain.

Resource: Academic Case
[photo - Erica L. Plambeck]

Senior executives at Wal-Mart launched the company’s new sustainability strategy in 2005. The case describes their efforts to keep environmental improvement tightly coupled with business values and profitability.

Resource: Academic Case
[photo - John Roberts]

Procter & Gamble’s high-end skincare brand in China had the potential to be a star. However, after two major public relations debacles, P&G had to rebuild the brand image and regain consumers’ trust.

Resource: Academic Case
[photo - David F. Larcker]

Two executives came under fire for selling a significant amount of Midway stock just weeks before a precipitous decline in the company’s share price. Regulators had to decide whether they had carried out a sophisticated form of illegal insider trading.

Resource: Academic Case

Esquel Group, one of the world’s leading producers of premium cotton shirts, offered innovative products and services and was devoted to protecting the environment in areas in which it operated. The case describes the company’s culture and strategy.

Resource: Academic Case

The CEO of Gardenburger, a seller of veggie burger products and other food alternatives to meat, considers the company’s advertising strategy. He aims to take the company from the small health-food niche to the consumer mainstream.

Resource: Academic Case
[photo - Stefanos Zenios]

This case details the 2006 decision by the United Kingdom to deny coverage for a new form of inhaled insulin. In doing so, it highlights the challenges to innovators in managing conflicts over the costs, benefits, and risks of new technology.

Resource: Academic Case
[photo - Alan D. Jagolinzer]

The case discusses U.S. and international accounting guidance regarding the disclosure of contingent and environmental liabilities.

Resource: Academic Case
[photo - James A. Phills]

Worldstock, Overstock.com’s socially responsible initiative, which marketed handicrafts produced by developing nation artisans to the United States, was suffering losses. Some stakeholders wondered if Worldstock would be shut down or spun off if the situation did not improve.

Resource: Academic Case
[photo - George Foster]

The San Diego Padres’ ballpark was the first integrated sports facility/development project ever attempted. While it proved to be a huge success for the Padres, San Diego, and taxpayers, there were many obstacles that had to be overcome.

Resource: Academic Case
Research Papers : All
[photo - baron]

Social pressure plays a major role in determining corporate strategy and performance according to an award-winning paper coauthored by Professor David Baron. The researchers find that social pressure and social performance reinforce each other, greater social pressure is associated with lower financial performance, and financial and social performance are largely unrelated.

Resource: Research Paper
[photo - Sarah A. Soule]

At the confluence between social movement theory and organizational studies, Sarah Soule's Contention and Corporate Social Responsibility examines protests against corporate practices and policies before 1990 and offers a framework to better understand anti-corporate social movements and their role in shaping socially responsible practices in the global economic arena.

Resource: Research Paper
[photo - David P. Baron]

The paper investigates the implications of private politics and corporate social responsibility on the strategies of rival firms when one or both is the target of an activist campaign. It also discusses implications for empirical analysis.

Resource: Research Paper
[photo - Jesper B. Sorensen]

The researchers examine the relationship between income inequality and corporate demography in regional labor markets, and demonstrate how the number and diversity of employers affects wage dispersion.

Resource: Research Paper
[photo - Ron Howard]

In "Ethics for the Real World, " Ronald Howard and Clinton Korver explain how to master the art of ethical decision-making by identifying potential compromises in your own life; applying distinctions to clarify your ethical thinking; committing in advance to ethical principles; and generating creative alternatives to resolve dilemmas.

Resource: Research Paper
Courses : All
[photo - Scott McLennan]

This course uses novels and plays as a basis for examining the moral and spiritual aspects of business leadership and of the business environment. The literature covered illuminates the character of business people and the cultural contexts of values and beliefs in which commercial activities take place in a global economy.

Resource: MBA Course
[photo - Jeffrey Pfeffer]

Understanding the processes of power and influence in organizations is critical for leaders. This course aims to teach students how to to diagnose and analyze power and politics in organizational situations, show students how to exercise power effectively, and help students come to terms with the inherent dilemmas and choices involved in developing and exercising influence.

Resource: MBA Course
[photo - Charles O'Reilly]

This course examines the concept of principled leadership and the various ways leaders try to institutionalize values within their organizations. Through assigned readings, interactive lectures with visiting executives, and weekly small group discussions, students learn how leaders implement their principles, and reflect on their own values and career aspirations.

Resource: MBA Course

This course focuses on the bioscience industry (biotechnology, pharmaceutical, medical device, genomics, and vaccine). The emphasis is on the ethical and social challenges of running companies in these areas.

Resource: MBA Course
[photo - Myra Strober]

This course examines the strategies that highly educated women and men use to combine work and family. It also explores how managers can help others achieve balance in these two areas.

Resource: MBA Course
Innovators : All
[photo - Bruce McNamer]

Bruce McNamer empowers entrepreneurs in rural areas around the world to become self-sufficient. He finds helping people to help themselves a noble calling.

Resource: Alumni
[photo - Adam Stern]

Adam Stern's Web site lets people offset their own carbon emissions by supporting renewable energy projects. He's working to stop global warming.

Resource: Alumni
[photo - Al Gore]

Former Vice President Al Gore describes how Corporate Social Responsibility is essential to Environmental Sustainability, as he shares his insights in the View from the Top series at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. In this audio lecture, Gore addresses leadership and climate crisis solutions, providing data on population fertility management and the effects of current technology. Gore details how hyper-inequality is threatening to both Capitalism and Democracy, before suggesting alternatives for Sustainable Capitalism.

Resource: Audio
[photo - C.B. Bhattacharya]

In this talk, visiting Stanford professor and author C.B. Bhattacharya shares his research into the importance of stakeholder-driven corporate social responsibility initiatives with members of the Stanford Center for Social Innovation community.

Resource: Audio
[photo - Companies Emphasize the Environment Over Employees]

A professor of organizational behavior argues that "human sustainability" may pay off too.

Resource: News Article
[photo - Beth Gerstein]

The cofounder of online jewelry retailer Brilliant Earth explains how she built her business. 

Resource: News Article
[photo - Debra Meyerson]

A study of oil rigs shows that a different approach to male-dominated environments can change corporate culture.

Resource: News Article
Corner