Corporate Social Impact Management

Duke University: MANAGEMT 491.401
Author: Bloom, Paul
Source: Duke University, Fuqua School of Business
Year: 2006

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This syllabus is available for download below to all users. Corporations are increasingly being challenged to act in ways that serve the best interests of society. Many companies are aggressively seeking strategies that can allow them to “do well by doing good,” leaving a positive “footprint” on the world and avoiding actions that could harm consumers, employees, investors, competitors, suppliers, and the general public. In this course, we will examine how corporations can become more effective at managing their social impact, improving the relationships they have with all of their stakeholders in the process. Among the corporate social impact challenges that will be addressed in the course will be: How to achieve transparency without revealing proprietary information? How to look good on Wall Street when pursuing social initiatives? How to differentiate a company/brand in the marketplace using social involvement (e.g., cause marketing)? How to persuade consumers to engage in socially-beneficial (e.g., healthier, environmentally-friendly) behaviors? How to avoid misinforming consumers about product benefits and shortcomings? How to serve less-advantaged populations at the “bottom of the pyramid” profitably? How to improve operational efficiency through careful environmental management? How to protect the welfare and rights of workers? How to manage and promote employee volunteering? How to avoid antitrust charges of collusion, monopolization, or exclusionary behavior? Recent debates about issues such as obesity, tobacco and alcohol marketing, the withdrawal of Vioxx, immigration, and gasoline prices will receive special attention. Students should obtain (1) improved knowledge about the issues and debates covered in the course and (2) improved ability to apply relevant theories and frameworks for choosing among strategies for creating more desirable social impact.

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