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Center for Social Innovation

Corporate Social Responsibility

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Stanford Social Innovation Review: Fall 2009

Maria Yee established her eco-friendly, high-end furniture company long before going green was the done thing. Two decades later, her company’s environmentally sound practices not only reflect a planet-friendly ethos, but also drive a market-friendly creative edge. Here’s how and why Yee stays green in a brown industry.

Resource: Stanford Social Innovation Review 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: 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
[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 2008

Social entrepreneurship and social enterprise have become popular rallying points for those trying to improve the world. These two notions are positive ones, but neither is adequate when it comes to understanding and creating social change in all of its manifestations. The authors make the case that social innovation is a better vehicle for doing this. They also explain why most of today’s innovative social solutions cut across the traditional boundaries separating nonprofits, government, and for-profit businesses.    —By James A. Phills Jr., Kriss Deiglmeier, & Dale T. Miller

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

British American Tobacco Malaysia has won the favor of the Malaysian government and people by making donations to cultural institutions, funding scholarships, and developing youth smoking prevention programs. But can a tobacco company ever be socially responsible? 

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

Commercial microfinance institutions (MFIs) must calculate two bottom lines: alleviating poverty for clients and also generating profits for investors. To achieve the latter goal, some MFIs charge their impoverished clients exorbitant interest rates. The recent Banco Compartamos IPO in Mexico raises a red flag, demonstrating how easily well-intentioned MFIs and their investors can shift from microlending to microloan-sharking. —By Jonathan C. Lewis

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

How to get more racial minorities into corner offices. —By John Rice

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

Dancing Deer Bakery helps most when it keeps its eye on the bottom line. —By Abby Fung


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 - Gene Sykes]
What does Wall Street make of the trends in cleantech, corporate environmental strategy, corporate social responsibility, and emerging carbon markets? In this audio lecture, sponsored by the Stanford Center for Social 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: Audio
[photo - Fair Trade]

Coffee price fluctuations over past decades have created extreme financial crises and long-term poverty for thousands of small-scale Latin American farmers. In this Stanford Center for Social Innovation sponsored audio lecture, David Funkhouser of TransFair USA, details how the Fair Trade movement arose as a market-based approach to poverty alleviation and international development. He discusses Fair Trade's function to offer suppliers fair, above-market prices, and TransFair's role in supporting that movement.

Resource: Audio
[photo - Rick Duke]

Now that global warming is recognized as a real and serious problem, discussion is turning to practical challenges of reducing emissions in the long term. Host of the Center for Social Innovation, Rick Duke, discusses a new report by McKinsey & Company that considers how to address the problem affordably. In this audio lecture, Duke outlines some of the emerging technologies and public policy changes that will be needed to support such a process.

Resource: Audio
[photo - Tony Prophet]

With energy costs on the rise and the U.S. government expected to push for reduced carbon emissions, environmental sustainability has become a market imperative for Hewlett-Packard. Speaking at Stanford for the 2007 Responsible Supply Chains Conference, HP's senior VP of personal systems, Tony Prophet, shares how his company is working to reduce its environmental footprint throughout the product life cycle.

Resource: Audio
[photo - Maria Eitel]

Nike has taken pains to clean up its act since the media brought public attention to human rights violations in its supplier factories in the 1990s. Through the Nike Foundation, the sports and fitness giant is taking a proactive approach to some of the world's most challenging social problems. In this audio lecture, Nike Foundation president Maria Eitel talks to a Stanford MBA audience about how the organization is focusing on creating economic opportunities for adolescent girls around the world as a means of alleviating poverty.

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 - Photo: Mohammed Abbad Andaloussi]
Can change the world by engaging in corporate citizenship one hour a week? Al Jisr, and its founder Mohammed Abbad Andaloussi, are convinced that we can. In this audio interview, host Sheela Sethuraman interviews Analoussi about his efforts to improve education in Moroccan schools by involving businesses. So far, more than 100 corporations have "adopted" some 200 schools, providing volunteers, support, and a real world perspective to students.
Resource: Audio
[photo - Gene Sykes]
What does Wall Street make of the trends in cleantech, corporate environmental strategy, corporate social responsibility, and emerging carbon markets? In this audio lecture, sponsored by the Stanford Center for Social 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: Audio
[photo - Fair Trade]

Coffee price fluctuations over past decades have created extreme financial crises and long-term poverty for thousands of small-scale Latin American farmers. In this Stanford Center for Social Innovation sponsored audio lecture, David Funkhouser of TransFair USA, details how the Fair Trade movement arose as a market-based approach to poverty alleviation and international development. He discusses Fair Trade's function to offer suppliers fair, above-market prices, and TransFair's role in supporting that movement.

Resource: Audio
[photo - Rick Duke]

Now that global warming is recognized as a real and serious problem, discussion is turning to practical challenges of reducing emissions in the long term. Host of the Center for Social Innovation, Rick Duke, discusses a new report by McKinsey & Company that considers how to address the problem affordably. In this audio lecture, Duke outlines some of the emerging technologies and public policy changes that will be needed to support such a process.

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
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 - Jeffrey Pfeffer]

In 1991, Frances Conley, the first female, tenured full professor of neurosurgery in the United States, resigned from her position at Stanford Medical School over the appointment of a new department chair who was known for sexual harassment. As she becomes thrust into the media limelight, she wonders what she should do next.

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

In 2000, the Rainforest Action Network launched a campaign to get Citigroup to stop financing destructive activities in endangered ecosystems. This third case describes how activists try to gain access to Citigroup's top management.

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

This case describes several nonmarket issues that could significantly impact McDonald’s business. Issues include rising obesity rates, legislation, media attention, and others.

Resource: Academic Case
[photo - George Foster]

Visa’s executive vice president of international marketing, partnerships, and sponsorship played a key role in convincing Visa’s six regional boards and its international board to allow Visa to extend its Olympics and Paralympics sponsorship. His team planned to discuss the current corporate strategy and use it to refine the existing sponsorship strategy.

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

In 2000, the Rainforest Action Network launched a campaign to get Citigroup to stop financing destructive activities in endangered ecosystems. This second case relates the opportunistic revival of the campaign two years after it started.

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

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

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

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

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
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