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Center for
Social Innovation

Center for Social Innovation

Corporate Social Responsibility

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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
Stanford Social Innovation Review: Winter 2010

Is there a monopoly of bribery?

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

Corporate social responsibility and transparency encourage companies to do good.

Resource: Stanford Social Innovation Review 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
[photo - good business karma]

Patagonia Inc. founder and owner Yvon Chouinard offered his Stanford audience a slew of counterintuitive business practices that have helped make his apparel company a success.

Resource: News Article
[photo - Victoria Hale]

In order to control rising costs of drug developments, pharmeceutical companies may have to begin looking overseas, where a strong emphasis on life science research is held. In addition, drug companies must begin to look to devote more of their R&D budgets to treating more common diseases. Victoria Hale, founder, CEO, and chairwoman of OneWorld Health, has created a nonprofit pharmaceutical company to address the needs of 90 percent of the world's people, many who do not receive treatment for preventable diseases because of the high costs of medicine.

Resource: News Article
[photo - Jil Zilligen]

It is not easy for an organization to merge the business acumen of the corporate sector with the conscience of nonprofits. Panelists discuss learning how to balance their double bottom lines of profits and social goals.

Resource: News Article
Stanford Social Innovation Review: Winter 2009

In their efforts to be socially responsible, most companies fail to wield their most powerful tool: lobbying. Yet corporations such as Mary Kay, Royal Dutch Shell, and General Motors are increasingly leveraging their deep pockets, government contacts, and persuasive powers for the cause of good. Not all kinds of socially responsible lobbying are created equal, however. The authors discuss which forms are best for companies and society. —By Kyle Peterson & Marc Pfitzer 

Resource: Stanford Social Innovation Review Article
Stanford Social Innovation Review: Fall 2008

Why the Soccer Ball Project—one of the world’s first multistakeholder efforts to stop abuses of labor rights—is failing to protect workers in Pakistan. —By Anthony Ewing

Resource: Stanford Social Innovation Review Article
Stanford Social Innovation Review: Fall 2008

Consumers say they want to buy ecologically friendly products and reduce their impact on the environment. But when they get to the cash register, their Earth-minded sentiments die on the vine. Although individual quirks underlie some of this hypocrisy, businesses can do a lot more to help would-be green consumers turn their talk into walk. —By Sheila Bonini & Jeremy Oppenheim

Resource: Stanford Social Innovation Review Article
Stanford Social Innovation Review: Fall 2008

CSR as competitive advantage.

Resource: Stanford Social Innovation Review Article
Stanford Social Innovation Review: Fall 2008

Rewarding the socially responsible with customers.

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 - John Mackey]

Social entrepreneurship requires conscious leadership, says Whole Foods CEO John Mackey in this University podcast. Delivering a talk sponsored by the Stanford Center for Social Innovation, Mackey issues a clarion call for nothing less than "conscious capitalism," arguing that business can indeed serve more than the almighty dollar. He discusses his own company's challenges in the social enterprise arena.

Resource: Audio
[photo - Photo: Neal Denton]
Nonprofit management faces one of its biggest challenges in the arena of disaster relief. In this audio interview, Neal Denton, senior VP of government relations and strategic partnerships at the American Red Cross discusses the value of his organization's relationship to the Partnership for Disaster Response. He discusses plans for strengthening this relationship and the role of the private sector in disaster response.
Resource: Audio
[photo - Hau Lee]

Companies can indeed make money while operating in socially responsible and environmentally friendly ways. It just takes what supply chain expert Hau Lee calls the Triple-A approach--having agility, adaptability, and alignment. Closing the Stanford 2008 Responsible Supply Chains Conference, Lee describes how small to mid-sized companies in China, India, and Israel boosted profits while shrinking waste and pollution and providing a fair workplace for employees.

Resource: Audio
[photo - Dan Henkle]

The Gap monitors 2,000 garment factories in 50 countries and conducts about 4,000 inspections annually to make sure its suppliers are operating under ethical guidelines. Dan Henkle, the executive who oversees this inspection process, as well as the company's community investment and environmental affairs efforts, outlines The Gap's corporate responsibility programs in this audio lecture recorded at the 2008 Responsible Supply Chains Conference.

Resource: Audio
[photo - Gary Hirshberg]
Scientists predict that we have less than 10 years to sufficiently reduce carbon emissions to avert a total environmental disaster. Gary Hirshberg, Stonyfield Farm "CE-Yo", tells of his company's efforts over the past 25 years to reduce its environmental footprint while increasing profits. Hirshberg shares lessons from his book Stirring It Up: How to Make Money and Save the World, in this Stanford Center for Social Innovation audio lecture.
Resource: Audio
[Video-Corporate Social Responsibility Panel]

A key to assessing and expanding a company's corporate social responsibility agenda is developing appropriate reporting mechanisms both inside and outside the firm. Panelists from The Coca-Cola Co., United Technologies Corp., McDonald's Corporation, and KPMG share best practices.

Resource: Video
[Video-Value Creation]

The nonprofit sector delivers social value and the for-profit sector delivers economic value, right? Wrong! Jed Emerson argues that value is nondivisible, whole, and blended. He invites us to think beyond philanthropy, corporate social responsibility, social enterprise, and other limiting mindsets.

Resource: Video
[Video-Living Your Values]

Changing the status quo in major organizations may seem overwhelming. Debra Meyerson offers strategies to effect change from within through tempered radicalism, drawing on research findings and bottom-up approaches.

Resource: Video
[Video-Social Entrepreneurs Invent the Future]

Can businesses deliver strong returns to shareholders while also promoting the health of people and the planet? Gary Hirshberg, the phenomenally successful pioneer of the organic foods industry, utters a resounding yes.

Resource: Video
[photo - Picture: Becker]
In their nonprofit management strategy, the American Red Cross recognizes businesses as key players in emergency preparedness and disaster relief efforts. In this audio interview, host Karl Matzke speaks with Joe Becker, the senior vice president of disaster services at the American Red Cross, who discusses how the national organization leverages the support of the business community to provide assistance beyond in-kind and financial resources, which is an approach applied by many in nonprofit management.
Resource: Audio
[photo - John Mackey]

Social entrepreneurship requires conscious leadership, says Whole Foods CEO John Mackey in this University podcast. Delivering a talk sponsored by the Stanford Center for Social Innovation, Mackey issues a clarion call for nothing less than "conscious capitalism," arguing that business can indeed serve more than the almighty dollar. He discusses his own company's challenges in the social enterprise arena.

Resource: Audio
[photo - Photo: Neal Denton]
Nonprofit management faces one of its biggest challenges in the arena of disaster relief. In this audio interview, Neal Denton, senior VP of government relations and strategic partnerships at the American Red Cross discusses the value of his organization's relationship to the Partnership for Disaster Response. He discusses plans for strengthening this relationship and the role of the private sector in disaster response.
Resource: Audio
[photo - Hau Lee]

Companies can indeed make money while operating in socially responsible and environmentally friendly ways. It just takes what supply chain expert Hau Lee calls the Triple-A approach--having agility, adaptability, and alignment. Closing the Stanford 2008 Responsible Supply Chains Conference, Lee describes how small to mid-sized companies in China, India, and Israel boosted profits while shrinking waste and pollution and providing a fair workplace for employees.

Resource: Audio
[photo - Dan Henkle]

The Gap monitors 2,000 garment factories in 50 countries and conducts about 4,000 inspections annually to make sure its suppliers are operating under ethical guidelines. Dan Henkle, the executive who oversees this inspection process, as well as the company's community investment and environmental affairs efforts, outlines The Gap's corporate responsibility programs in this audio lecture recorded at the 2008 Responsible Supply Chains Conference.

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

In the late 1990s, Nike had to deal with allegations that its subcontractors were running sweatshops that were marked by poor working conditions, worker abuse, and below-subsistence wages. Nike responds to the public scrutiny, and takes actions that have an impact on the company and the brand.

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
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

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
Corner