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Social Innovation

Center for Social Innovation

Corporate Social Responsibility

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[photo - social responsibility is now a business imperative]

Social responsibility is now a business imperative, says Carter Roberts, CEO of the World Wildlife Fund. "Companies still thinking about the environment as a social responsibility rather than a business imperative are living in the dark ages,” he told an audience at the Business School’s annual von Gugelberg Memorial Environmental Lecture.

Resource: News Article
Stanford Social Innovation Review: Fall 2007

SSIR Academic Editor Jim Phills spoke with Nike’s Hannah Jones about the sportswear giant’s extensive corporate social responsibility programs.

Resource: Stanford Social Innovation Review Article
Stanford Social Innovation Review: Fall 2007

Many businesses serving lower income communities languish because they can’t raise enough money to fund their growth. To meet their needs, a new breed of private equity investment—development investment capital—has emerged. Although this style of investing is still in its infancy, it’s already showing promise. By Beth Sirull

Resource: Stanford Social Innovation Review Article
Stanford Social Innovation Review: Fall 2007

To enrich Africa, oil companies and NGOs must cooperate. By Florence C. Fee

Resource: Stanford Social Innovation Review Article
Stanford Social Innovation Review: Fall 2007

Business trumps government in creating social change, writes Bruce Piasecki.

Resource: Stanford Social Innovation Review Article
[photo - Beth Gerstein]

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

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

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

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
[photo - Patagonia]

Seen as a leader in sustainable business practices, Patagonia tracks every step in the manufacture of its products to be sure there are "no unintended consequences of our actions," says founder Yvon Chouinard.

Resource: News Article

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

Resource: News Article
Stanford Social Innovation Review: Spring 2006

Leading corporations switch from defense to offense in solving global problems. By Mark Kramer & John Kania

Resource: Stanford Social Innovation Review Article
Stanford Social Innovation Review: Spring 2006

Indigenous people are being displaced to create wilderness areas, to the detriment of all. By Mark Dowie

Resource: Stanford Social Innovation Review Article
Stanford Social Innovation Review: Spring 2006

Exploiting core competencies is only half the story. By Alessandra Bianchi

Resource: Stanford Social Innovation Review Article
Stanford Social Innovation Review: Winter 2005

How an African-American banker is rebuilding her community.

Resource: Stanford Social Innovation Review Article
Stanford Social Innovation Review: Winter 2005

How a community foundation uses proxy voting to advance its mission. By Alessandra Bianchi

Resource: Stanford Social Innovation Review Article

The more a business focuses on it’s social mission, the more revenue it will generate. 

Resource: Blog Post

Nonprofits need to think seriously about helping their employees’ with post-work survival. 

Resource: Blog Post

The author warns that selling a company or organization should not mean selling out as social missions will prove to contribute to long term success. 

Resource: Blog Post

Good Capital invests in socially responsible Adina.

Resource: Blog Post

BB&T decides to help with the bailout of the financial market.

Resource: Blog Post
Video/Audio : All | Audio | Video
[photo - Ayn Lavagnino]

Why should professionals care about the environment? In this panel discussion, executives from environmentally conscious companies talk about their strategies to market clean products and share their personal motivation for working on environmental issues.

Resource: Audio
[photo - John Rickard]

Jon Olson has put Intel's supply chain expertise at John Rickard's disposal to bring his organization, International Rescue Committee, to the next level. Speaking together at the Stanford Effective Disruption Management Seminar, they explain in this audio lecture how the supply chain knowledge and frameworks developed in a corporate environment can go a long way when applied to the logistic issues faced by humanitarian disaster relief agencies.

Resource: Audio
[photo - Adele Martz]

Adele Martz explains in this audio lecture how risk management puts GM at a competitive advantage to an audience of disaster relief operation actors gathered for the Stanford Effective Disruption Management Seminar.

Resource: Audio
[photo - Darrell Hammond]

Play affects children's quality of life. Yet, in many communities, schools, and families, this element has been pushed to the back burner. In an audio interview with Globeshakers host Tim Zak, Darrell Hammond envisions a great place to play within walking distance of every child in America. Since 1995, KaBOOM! has used its innovative community-build model to bring together business and community interests to construct more than 850 new playgrounds and skateparks, and renovate 1,300 others nationwide.

Resource: Audio
[photo - Abhijit Upadhye]

McDonald's has migrated to India, and with it, a commitment to corporate social responsibility. In this university podcast, executive Abhijit Upadhye discusses how the introduction of the "golden arches" into the subcontinent over the past six years has resulted in the creation of local opportunities in the areas of agriculture and food production, storage, and transportation.

Resource: Audio
[Video-Opportunities In Environmental Area]

How do environmental challenges create growth opportunities, new markets, and innovation? Two Goldman Sachs managers discuss how their investment firm is making the financing of corporate deals contingent upon the incorporation of increasingly stringent environmental criteria.

Resource: Video
[Video-Academic vs. Real World Ethics]

Dilemmas such as selling other nations scanners that can tell the sex of an unborn child or kerosene heaters without safety features were debated during a discussion with Stanford's Professor David Brady.

Resource: Video
[Video-Stanford's Guatemala Service Learning Trip, 2008-8]

Global Management Perspective: According to Tom Mercer, the trip "gets you out of the classroom" and into practical situations. It also "... gives perspective of how to deal with global management."

Resource: Video
[Video-Stanford's Guatemala Service Learning Trip, 2008-5]

The trip embodies the goals of the Stanford Graduate School of Business. For Joseph, the global trip "helps me put face and story for my passions."

Resource: Video
[photo - Gary Hirshberg]

Can businesses deliver strong returns to shareholders while also promoting the health of people and the planet? In this audio lecture recorded at Bridging the Gap, the 2005 Stanford Net Impact conference, Gary Hirshberg, the phenomenally successful pioneer of the organic foods industry, utters a resounding yes.

Resource: Audio
[photo - Gerald Richards]

Shifting demographics among donors, fundraisers, and the communities they serve call on nonprofit organizations to think about diversity on many levels. How can you connect with donors who are different from you? How does inclusiveness strengthen your organization? In this audio lecture, gerald Richards and Dee Dee Nguyen explore these questions at the 2007 Nonprofit Boot Camp, reflecting on how to reach across the divides of ethnicity, culture, gender, sexual orientation and other differences to strengthen bonds and create new opportunities.

Resource: Audio
[photo - William McDonough]

When it comes to environmental sustainability, William McDonough is nothing less than a hero for the planet. In this audio lecture, he discusses how he has designed eco-friendly buildings with unique properties, such as the ability to produce oxygen. He urges his audience of Stanford Graduate School of Business students to set goals not toward an efficient bottom line of doing the wrong thing less badly, but rather toward the effective top line of doing the right thing.

Resource: Audio
[photo - Kevin Danaher]

To be effective, nonprofits cannot operate in isolation, but must engage with other organizations across the various sectors. Talking at the 2007 Nonprofit Boot Camp, Kevin Danaher delivers an energizing call for the next generation of leaders to make connections with business, government, nongovernmental organizations--and even the wisdom of nature itself in their quest to transform the world.

Resource: Audio
[photo - Robert Dunn]

Many companies now acknowledge the financial benefits of socially responsible behavior over the long term. Such commitments, however, are managed with levels of involvement spanning from a centralized CSR office to a fully integrated approach calling on all mainstream operating departments in the organization. This panel discussion explores strategies to advance corporate social responsibility in large companies.

Resource: Audio
Case Studies : All | Academic Cases
No Results Found
[photo - Hau Lee]

Before opening its first store in India in 1996, McDonald’s spent six years building its supply chain. During that time, the company worked to successfully source as many ingredients as possible from India. However, French fries (“MacFries”) were a particularly tough product to source locally.

Resource: Academic Case
[photo - Glenn Carroll]

The case discusses Nike’s sustainability and labor practices from 1998 to 2013, focusing on the successful steps Nike took up and down the supply chain and in its headquarters to make its products and processes more environmentally friendly, and the challenges and complexities it was still facing in its efforts to improve labor conditions.

Resource: Academic Case
[photo - Stefan J. Reichelstein]

In 2010, REI considered adding photovaltaic solar panels to the roofs of some of its facilities for both financial and environmental considerations. This case discusses the company's experience with solar power generation as well as providing representative assumptions for parameters in the financial analysis.

Resource: Academic Case
[photo - Stefan J. Reichelstein]

Environmental stewardship was part of REI's culture and corporate purpose since the company was founded. The corporate social responsibility group, which oversaw the environmental sustainabilityprogram, took the approach that social and financial objectives should not be viewed as a tradeoff and instead would lead to creative and innovative solutions.

Resource: Academic Case
[photo - Robert A. Burgelman]

The case details the strategic decisions of Nissan's developement of the LEAF, the first mass-produced all-electric car. The case covers the inception and launch of LEAF; the marketing strategy for the case; and an overview of the electric car industry.

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
[photo - Hau Lee]

Before opening its first store in India in 1996, McDonald’s spent six years building its supply chain. During that time, the company worked to successfully source as many ingredients as possible from India. However, French fries (“MacFries”) were a particularly tough product to source locally.

Resource: Academic Case
[photo - Glenn Carroll]

The case discusses Nike’s sustainability and labor practices from 1998 to 2013, focusing on the successful steps Nike took up and down the supply chain and in its headquarters to make its products and processes more environmentally friendly, and the challenges and complexities it was still facing in its efforts to improve labor conditions.

Resource: Academic Case
[photo - Stefan J. Reichelstein]

In 2010, REI considered adding photovaltaic solar panels to the roofs of some of its facilities for both financial and environmental considerations. This case discusses the company's experience with solar power generation as well as providing representative assumptions for parameters in the financial analysis.

Resource: Academic Case
[photo - Stefan J. Reichelstein]

Environmental stewardship was part of REI's culture and corporate purpose since the company was founded. The corporate social responsibility group, which oversaw the environmental sustainabilityprogram, took the approach that social and financial objectives should not be viewed as a tradeoff and instead would lead to creative and innovative solutions.

Resource: Academic Case
[photo - Robert A. Burgelman]

The case details the strategic decisions of Nissan's developement of the LEAF, the first mass-produced all-electric car. The case covers the inception and launch of LEAF; the marketing strategy for the case; and an overview of the electric car industry.

Resource: Academic Case
Research Papers : All

Although most of the research and public pressure concerning sustainability has been focused on the effects of business and organizational activity on the physical environment, companies and their management practices profoundly affect the human and social environment as well. This article briefly reviews the literature on the direct and indirect effects of organizations and their decisions about people on human health and mortality.

Resource: Research Paper

Organization members overestimate the degree to which others share their views on ethical matters. That is, a high level of "betweenness centrality" increases an individual's estimates of agreement with others on ethical issues beyond what is warranted by any actual increase in agreement.

Resource: Research Paper

Self-regulation is the private provision of public goods and private redistribution. This paper examines the scope of self-regulation motivated by altruistic moral preferences that are reciprocal and stronger the closer are citizens in a socioeconomic distance.

Resource: Research Paper

The article examines environmental issues related to supply chains and supply chain management. Attempts to introduce sustainable practices into supply chains often meet with unexpected financial or environmental costs.

Resource: Research Paper

Establishments in better managed firms are significantly less energy intensive. Better managed firms are also significantly more productive. These results suggest that management practices that are associated with improved productivity are also linked to lower greenhouse gas emissions.

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 - Jeremy Sokulsky MBA '04]

Jeremy Sokulsky is working with government land managers, environmental regulators and private conservation investors to restore Lake Tahoe clarity.

Resource: Alumni

Dave DeForest-Stalls wants to help kids stay out of gangs. He's providing mentorship and hip ways to keep youth on the straight and narrow.

Resource: CSI Affiliates
[photo - Court Gould (EPNL '06)]

Court Gould is pushing for Pittsburgh to grow sustainably. He's working hard to inform decision makers about to accomplish that most effectively.

Resource: CSI Affiliates

Ruth Bolan is giving voice to indigenous peoples of the Pacific Island. She funds documentaries that bring their culture and challenges to millions of viewers.

Resource: CSI Affiliates
[photo - Daniel Grossman]

Daniel Grossman's Wild Planet creates toys that parents love as much as kids. His aim is to inspire learning and inventiveness.

Resource: Alumni

Solutions to supply chain problems from motorcycle parts in Africa to grocery delivery and solar power in the US were shared at the Advancing Socially and Environmentally Responsible Supply Chains Conference presented by the Stanford Global Supply Chain Management Forum and the Center for Social Innovation at the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Resource: News Article
Stanford Social Innovation Review: Summer 2009

The Rockefeller Foundation is staying at the forefront of new and big ideas and funding new innovation processes like crowdsourcing and collaborative competitions.

Resource: Stanford Social Innovation Review Article
Stanford Social Innovation Review: Summer 2009

DEAD AID: Why Aid Is Not Working and How There Is a Better Way for Africa by Dambisa Moyo  Review by Jane Wales

Resource: Stanford Social Innovation Review Article
Stanford Social Innovation Review: Summer 2009

STRATEGY FOR SUSTAINABILITY: A Business Manifesto by Adam Werbach  Review by Amory Lovins

Resource: Stanford Social Innovation Review Article
Stanford Social Innovation Review: Summer 2009

The B Corp seal of approval distinguishes truly responsible businesses from mere poseurs. —By Jenna Lawrence

Resource: Stanford Social Innovation Review Article
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