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Center for Social Innovation

Corporate Social Responsibility

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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
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

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

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

What Do Your Jeans and Your Car Have in Common?
Did you know that making a pair of Levi 501 jeans, from cotton seed to finished garment, uses 54 showers' worth of water and produces the same amount of greenhouse gas as driving your car 78 miles? Neither did Levi Strauss & Co. - until they conducted an environmental impact assessment on their goods speakers told the fourth annual Socially and Environmentally Responsible Supply Chains Conference.

Resource: News Article

Researchers find a stronger tie between money and happiness for people paid by the hour than by salary, because hourly workers are more regularly reminded of the value of their time, according to work co-authored by business school Professor Jeffrey Pfeffer.

Resource: News Article

John Mackey, the CEO of Whole Foods Market chain, has loftier goals than getting Americans to eat healthy foods, one of the missions of his grocery empire. He is out to change American business as well, putting it on the path to higher consciousness.

Resource: News Article

Banking industry executives need to look broadly at changes to reform the American financial system, says Herbert Allison, MBA '71, the head of the government's Troubled Asset Relief Program.

Resource: News Article

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: Spring 2010

The LEED system is the platinum standard for green building certification, and its parent organization, the United States Green Building Council (USGBC), is one of the fastest growing nonprofits in America. Here’s how the USGBC maintains its strict standards while responding to diverse members in an evolving field

Resource: Stanford Social Innovation Review Article
Stanford Social Innovation Review: Spring 2010

Manufacturing growth doesn’t harm the environment—it helps

Resource: Stanford Social Innovation Review Article
Stanford Social Innovation Review: Spring 2010

Volkswagen plays with virtue

Resource: Stanford Social Innovation Review Article
Stanford Social Innovation Review: Spring 2010

SMALL CHANGE: Why Business Won’t Save the World by Michael Edwards

Resource: Stanford Social Innovation Review Article
Stanford Social Innovation Review: Winter 2010

Is there a monopoly of bribery?

Resource: Stanford Social Innovation Review Article

A new index is creating a benchmark for comparing large-scale companies serving the markets for the very poorest.

Resource: Blog Post

Better practices in disaster relief involve market-orientated nonprofit organizations, or social-mission-orientated, for-profit companies, playing a more prominent role.

Resource: Blog Post

Put companies on alert that their refusal to give back to the community is not going unnoticed.

Resource: Blog Post

Corporate altruism has shrunk as corporate avarice has grown. 

Resource: Blog Post

A new survey calls into question the bottom line effects of corporate philanthropy.

Resource: Blog Post
Video/Audio : All | Audio | Video

Market practices are changing. With a focus on sustainability, corporations are moving toward operations that reduce the environmental impact of their products and services and offer an integrated bottom line. In this audio interview, part of The Future of Green series, host Neal Gorenflo speaks with Maurice Bechard of Diversey and Michael Kobori of Levi Strauss & Co. about the motivations for change and how to approach this shift.

Resource: Audio
When does a house painter learn about low VOC paint? Are high-efficiency lightbulbs always better? How can you reduce package waste and still meet client expectations? How can a small business owner keep up with sustainability issues? Now Intuit and eBay have sites where small businesses share their green knowledge. Amy Skoczlas Cole, who runs eBayGreenTeam, and Rupesh Shah of IntuitGreen talk about small business and green.
Resource: Audio
[photo - Paul Auerbach]

When disaster strikes somewhere in the world, what kind of leadership, nonprofit management, and supply chain expertise are needed? In this university podcast, Stanford professor of surgery, Paul Auerbach, shares lessons learned from the Stanford Emergency Medicine rapid response team's deployment in Haiti after the January 2010 earthquake. His experiences provide a glimpse in to how relevant groups may prepare themselves to better assist in future global catastrophes.

Resource: Audio
[photo - Picture: Arjun Thapan]
Countries all across Asia face the prospect of a water crisis that threatens the sustainability of their already stretched water and irrigation systems. In this audio interview, part of a Stanford Center for Social Innovation series on water around the world, the Asian Development Bank's Arjun Thapan talks with Stanford MBA student Ashish Jhina about the potential of public-private partnerships to catalyze the efficiency improvements required to meet increasing water demand in the face of reduced water availability due to climate change.
Resource: Audio

In the arena of social enterprise, a California collaboration is creating a high yield. In this university podcast, executives Diane Del Signore and Maisie Greenwalt share how Community Alliance with Family Farmers and Bon Appétit Management Company have partnered to create a local distribution system to get locally grown products into institutional settings. They also talk about efforts to help farmers become more organic.

Resource: Audio
[Video-Stanford's Guatemala Service Learning Trip, 2008-11]

The trip to Guatemala gave Sarah Garrett, MBA '08, the opportunity to discover where that cup of coffee that she enjoys daily comes from, seeing the whole process from the farmer growing the beans to the final step of getting that cup of coffee from the servers at Starbucks.

Resource: Video
[Video-Stanford's Guatemala Service Learning Trip, 2008-10]

For Sarah Garrett, MBA '08, the service learning trip to Guatemala gave her an opportunity to get to know the first year students better, both socially and also in order to share thoughts about their service learning experiences.

Resource: Video
[Video-Stanford's Guatemala Service Learning Trip, 2008-7]

MBAs Get Their Hands Dirty and Get Perspective: Tom Mercer, Class of '09, says, "We went out and picked one of the toughest plots out there ... and got our hands dirty. It was really laborious. ... We were told we had each earned about a dollar a day as workers."

Resource: Video
[Video-Stanford's Guatemala Service Learning Trip, 2008-9]

There Must Be a Better Way: "We saw their coffee operation. ... Individuals picked through their coffee beans to get the high premium quality beans. ... It made you think: There MUST be a better way," says Tom Mercer, Class of '09, of his experience in Guatemala.

Resource: Video
[Video-Competitiveness and the Global Labor Force]

Consumers can wield great influence over working conditions under which goods are manufactured, Professor Huggy Rao tells a Stanford audience. "You've got to influence consumers so they're willing to pay more," he says.

Resource: Video

Market practices are changing. With a focus on sustainability, corporations are moving toward operations that reduce the environmental impact of their products and services and offer an integrated bottom line. In this audio interview, part of The Future of Green series, host Neal Gorenflo speaks with Maurice Bechard of Diversey and Michael Kobori of Levi Strauss & Co. about the motivations for change and how to approach this shift.

Resource: Audio
When does a house painter learn about low VOC paint? Are high-efficiency lightbulbs always better? How can you reduce package waste and still meet client expectations? How can a small business owner keep up with sustainability issues? Now Intuit and eBay have sites where small businesses share their green knowledge. Amy Skoczlas Cole, who runs eBayGreenTeam, and Rupesh Shah of IntuitGreen talk about small business and green.
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
[photo - Paul Auerbach]

When disaster strikes somewhere in the world, what kind of leadership, nonprofit management, and supply chain expertise are needed? In this university podcast, Stanford professor of surgery, Paul Auerbach, shares lessons learned from the Stanford Emergency Medicine rapid response team's deployment in Haiti after the January 2010 earthquake. His experiences provide a glimpse in to how relevant groups may prepare themselves to better assist in future global catastrophes.

Resource: Audio
[photo - Picture: Arjun Thapan]
Countries all across Asia face the prospect of a water crisis that threatens the sustainability of their already stretched water and irrigation systems. In this audio interview, part of a Stanford Center for Social Innovation series on water around the world, the Asian Development Bank's Arjun Thapan talks with Stanford MBA student Ashish Jhina about the potential of public-private partnerships to catalyze the efficiency improvements required to meet increasing water demand in the face of reduced water availability due to climate change.
Resource: Audio
Case Studies : All | Academic Cases
No Results Found
[photo - Dick Allen]

Serrot, the plastics linings company, was moving into new markets. The founder faced management challenges associated with this transition, including labor and union issues.

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

In 2002, Wal-Mart came under attack for its inadequate pay and benefits, and its negative impact on local economies. This case examines the steps the company took to improve its image.

Resource: Academic Case
[photo - H. Irving Grousbeck]

David Dodson started the septic company Green River Environmental after mixed results in his previous entrepreneurial ventures. This case tracks three difficult mangerial situations Dodson faced during his tenure as CEO and chairman of the company.

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

In 2002, Wal-Mart came under attack for its inadequate pay and benefits, and its negative impact on local economies. This case examines the issues involved.

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

From specification to production: FedEx and Environmental Defense started a collaboration in 2000 to develop energy efficient delivery trucks. Eaton Corporation and Freightliner soon joined them to prototype the new vehicles.

Resource: Academic Case
[photo - H. Irving Grousbeck]

This case presents two fictional vignettes dealing with issues in labor law. In one, a company president must deal with a threat from her labor force to unionize; in the other, she must handle a situation in which one of her top salespeople is having an affair with a key customer.

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

After successful litigation against tobacco companies, lawyers turned their attention to the fast-food industry and its possible connection to obesity. The case details McDonald’s response to the litigation.

Resource: Academic Case
[photo - Margaret L. Eaton]

Genzyme Tissue Repair had just received favorable phase I clinical trial results. Should the company go ahead with studies that would involve subjects in the placebo group having to undergo surgery but not receive the experimental transplants?

Resource: Academic Case
[photo - Margaret L. Eaton]

In 1999, Geron Corporation was at the center of the debate about human embryo research. The case details the controversy surrounding Geron’s stem cell research and the role the Ethics Advisory Board played in shaping the company's response.

Resource: Academic Case
[photo - Margaret L. Eaton]

Two companies are competing to develop a genetic test for breast and ovarian cancer susceptibility. They must grapple with concerns about the ethics involved.

Resource: Academic Case
[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
Research Papers : All
[photo - Brian Lowery]

Results recently published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology shed new light on why individuals might oppose affirmative action—and offer new insights into how such policies may be more effectively framed.

Resource: Research Paper
[photo - Mary Barth]

This article raises issues concerning financial reporting transparency and supports the notion that transparency is a desirable characteristic of financial reports.

Resource: Research Paper
[photo - David Baron]

This article focuses on nonmarket strategies and social responsibility of businesses.

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

Despite advances in organizational theory, there has been little progress in understanding how organizational processes shape the evolution of inequality. The paper draws greater attention to the consequences of organizational diversity for matching and wage inequality in the labor market.

Resource: Research Paper
[photo - Sarah Soule]

This paper uses social movement theory to examine one way in which secondary stakeholders outside the corporation may influence organizational processes, even if they are excluded from participating in legitimate channels of organizational change.

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
[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
[photo - Mark Kramer]

This audio interview from the Environmental Defense Fund's Future of Green Calls covers complex interactions of the philanthropy sector, socially conscientious nonprofit organizations, and for-profit businesses with FSG Co-Founder Mark Kramer. Kramer outlines how corporate social responsibility (CSR) acts as a lever to minimize environmental harms done by daily business activities. Also covered are how natural resources are consumed by industries and a discussion about sustainability practices.

Resource: Audio
[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 - 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
[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
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