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Center for Social Innovation

Corporate Social Responsibility

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Research Resources


Stanford Social Innovation Review: Winter 2003

Charles O. Holliday Jr., Stephan Schmidheiny, and Philip Watts assert that corporate social responsibility can pay big dividends.  Review by David Gal

Resource: Stanford Social Innovation Review Article
Stanford Social Innovation Review: Summer 2003

Managing the collaboration portfolio.

Resource: Stanford Social Innovation Review Article
Stanford Social Innovation Review: Summer 2003

Aligning business and social interests.

Resource: Stanford Social Innovation Review Article
Stanford Social Innovation Review: Spring 2003

How one company deals with the fallout over giving something back.

Resource: Stanford Social Innovation Review Article
Stanford Social Innovation Review: Spring 2003

When companies and activists square off, sometimes no one wins.

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: Fall 2011

An EU Fisheries Commission Project pays fisherman to remove plastic debris from the Mediterranean Sea.

Resource: Stanford Social Innovation Review Article
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
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

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
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

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 - Daniel Spitzer]

Operating a successful social enterprise requires providing meaningful economic value to people. In this audio lecture, Daniel Spitzer, founder of Mountain Hazelnuts, describes his experience creating supply chain value to develop a hazelnut farming social enterprise in Bhutan. Spitzer details how he enhances supply chains through corporate citizenship, and leverages data captured from Android phones. Spitzer describes why there is nothing is more important than people in operating a profitable business through corporate social responsibility.

Resource: Audio
[photo - Dara O'Rourke]

Social innovations in the supply chain have the potential for making an impact on a large scale. In this panel discussion, experts describe innovations that are benefiting society and delivering economic value, including responsible e-waste recycling efforts that generate revenue, innovative methods to end child labor in the carpet industry, and more.

Resource: Audio
[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 - 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 - 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 - Daniel Spitzer]

Operating a successful social enterprise requires providing meaningful economic value to people. In this audio lecture, Daniel Spitzer, founder of Mountain Hazelnuts, describes his experience creating supply chain value to develop a hazelnut farming social enterprise in Bhutan. Spitzer details how he enhances supply chains through corporate citizenship, and leverages data captured from Android phones. Spitzer describes why there is nothing is more important than people in operating a profitable business through corporate social responsibility.

Resource: Audio
[photo - Dara O'Rourke]

Social innovations in the supply chain have the potential for making an impact on a large scale. In this panel discussion, experts describe innovations that are benefiting society and delivering economic value, including responsible e-waste recycling efforts that generate revenue, innovative methods to end child labor in the carpet industry, and more.

Resource: Audio
[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 - 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
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—and importing fries was undesirable for both cost and availability reasons. This case describes McDonald’s India and McCain India’s efforts to optimize the MacFry supply chain by increasing local supply in a fast-growing emerging market using agronomy, farmer relationship development and value chain innovation.

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—and importing fries was undesirable for both cost and availability reasons. This case describes McDonald’s India and McCain India’s efforts to optimize the MacFry supply chain by increasing local supply in a fast-growing emerging market using agronomy, farmer relationship development and value chain innovation.

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
[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
[photo - pondering the ethics of global business]

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 Professor David Brady.

Resource: News Article
[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
[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
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