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Responsibility

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published: 21 Apr 2017

  • Topic: Responsibility
  • Industry: Social enterprise (water)
  • Region: Africa

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Abstract:
Having had a successful career in advertising, Trevor Field wanted to give back to society by establishing a social enterprise addressing the problem of access to clean drinking water among poor communities in South Africa. His solution involved an invention called the “PlayPump”, a merry-go-round that pumped water from deep under the ground every time that children spun the carrousel. Trevor came up with a business model that combined donor funding for the upfront expense of buying and installing a PlayPump with a revenue model based on billboard advertising to pay for the upkeep. Having achieved significant success initially, Trevor and his funders are considering whether they should scale up across Africa in a big way. Should they?

Pedagogical Objectives:
This mini-case offers an excellent platform for discussing the concepts of “social entrepreneurship” and “social impact” in the classroom. A well-guided discussion of Trevor Field’s PlayPump-based solution should help the students see both the potential and the limitations of the model, and ultimately come to appreciate that just good intentions do not automatically translate into the best possible outcomes and impact. It is important for anybody seeking to make a difference to have the humility and diligence necessary for first understanding a community’s real needs, to continuously measure progress and seek feedback on how their model works out on the ground, and to maintain an openness towards changing the initial model as needed based on initial experimentation. In addition, it is critical to compare not just the benefits but also costs of any new solution with those for alternative solutions. The case also helps debate how fast one should scale up a social innovation, and how much energy should one spend on some form of impact evaluation before doing so.

Keywords:
Social Impact, Careers, Non-Profit Ventures, Philanthropy, Social Entrepreneurship, Social Innovation, Sustainable Development, Impact Evaluation, Entrepreneurship, South Africa, Water, Economic Development, Innovation, Advertising

published: 26 Aug 2016

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Abstract:
When a Greenpeace campaign to boycott PVC products seemed to spell disaster for Hydro Polymers, it embraced the challenge and embarked on a drive for sustainability using The Natural Step framework. The strategy was maintained after Hydro was acquired by INEOS, and ultimately led to significant changes throughout Europe's PVC industry. The case shows how positioning sustainability as a business opportunity rather than a threat can yield substantial commercial success while addressing environmental impacts.

Pedagogical Objectives:
1) Highlight the business value of adopting a scientific, structured, whole-systems approach to sustainability as applied by The Natural Step. 2) Illustrate an innovative, integrated and strategic response to the challenges of sustainability at organizational and industry level. 3) Understand the value of embedding sustainability in business practice and the implications for corporate strategy and marketing.

Keywords:
Sustainability, Corporate Social Responsibility, Pvc, The Natural Step, Greenpeace, Carbon Neutrality, Recycling, Systemic Change, Corporate Governance, Value Creation, Strategy and Implementation

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published: 26 Aug 2016

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Abstract:
When a Greenpeace campaign to boycott PVC products seemed to spell disaster for Hydro Polymers, it embraced the challenge and embarked on a drive for sustainability using The Natural Step framework. The strategy was maintained after Hydro was acquired by INEOS, and ultimately led to significant changes throughout Europe's PVC industry. The case shows how positioning sustainability as a business opportunity rather than a threat can yield substantial commercial success while addressing environmental impacts.

Pedagogical Objectives:
1) Highlight the business value of adopting a scientific, structured, whole-systems approach to sustainability as applied by The Natural Step. 2) Illustrate an innovative, integrated and strategic response to the challenges of sustainability at organizational and industry level. 3) Understand the value of embedding sustainability in business practice and the implications for corporate strategy and marketing.

Keywords:
Sustainability, Corporate Social Responsibility, Pvc, The Natural Step, Greenpeace, Carbon Neutrality, Recycling, Systemic Change, Corporate Governance, Value Creation, Strategy and Implementation

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published: 22 Jul 2016

  • Topic: Responsibility
  • Industry: Recycling/Impact Investing
  • Region: Asia

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Abstract:
The case tells the story of SGFE Cambodia and its CEO, Carlo Figa Talamanca, in the period 2011-14. Talamanca has the opportunity to take over the struggling SGFE. Created by the NGO GERES to reduce deforestation in Cambodia, SGFE produces and sells char briquettes. They compete with traditional charcoal, which is mainly derived from illegal forest exploitation. Although superior, the briquettes are also more expensive, and are not well known by consumers. The question is how to penetrate the market at low cost, and how to position the products. Another question is whether SGFE can realistically achieve the social and environmental objectives of the company. Case B describes SGFE’s subsequent commercial success. Getting the public to know the products was the major hurdle, but now that this step has been achieved, demand exceeds supply. Interestingly, it is the low-income vendors, at the bottom of the pyramid, who are the biggest consumers of this more expensive product. However, the social impact of SGFE is minimal and the deforestation of Cambodia continues.

Pedagogical Objectives:
After reading and analyzing the case, students will be able to: • Understand how convenience can trump price and allow to sell a more expensive product to the bottom of the pyramid • Prepare different low cost marketing strategies to enter a BOP market • Discuss the limits of CSR goals for a for-profit company

Keywords:
Bottom of the Pyramid, Cambodia, Charcoal, Ngo, Social Impact, Sustainable, Recycling, Upcycling, Briquettes, Energy, Coconut, Forest, Biomass, Deforestation

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published: 22 Jul 2016

  • Topic: Responsibility
  • Industry: Recycling/Impact Investing
  • Region: Asia

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Abstract:
The case tells the story of SGFE Cambodia and its CEO, Carlo Figa Talamanca, in the period 2011-14. Talamanca has the opportunity to take over the struggling SGFE. Created by the NGO GERES to reduce deforestation in Cambodia, SGFE produces and sells char briquettes. They compete with traditional charcoal, which is mainly derived from illegal forest exploitation. Although superior, the briquettes are also more expensive, and are not well known by consumers. The question is how to penetrate the market at low cost, and how to position the products. Another question is whether SGFE can realistically achieve the social and environmental objectives of the company. Case B describes SGFE’s subsequent commercial success. Getting the public to know the products was the major hurdle, but now that this step has been achieved, demand exceeds supply. Interestingly, it is the low-income vendors, at the bottom of the pyramid, who are the biggest consumers of this more expensive product. However, the social impact of SGFE is minimal and the deforestation of Cambodia continues.

Pedagogical Objectives:
After reading and analyzing the case, students will be able to: • Understand how convenience can trump price and allow to sell a more expensive product to the bottom of the pyramid • Prepare different low cost marketing strategies to enter a BOP market • Discuss the limits of CSR goals for a for-profit company

Keywords:
Bottom of the Pyramid, Cambodia, Charcoal, Ngo, Social Impact, Sustainable, Recycling, Upcycling, Briquettes, Energy, Coconut, Forest, Biomass, Deforestation

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published: 16 Dec 2015

  • Topic: Responsibility
  • Region: Global

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Abstract:
A multi-issue one-on-one negotiation between a young entrepreneur (John Ambitchious) and a close-to-retirement CEO of a large corporation (George Gried). John and George are considering becoming partners on a venture John is setting up. Besides negotiating the partnership details, George currently works for a potential competitor, thus raising ethical tensions that should be negotiated before committing to a final deal.

Pedagogical Objectives:
. Recognizing and negotiating ethical tensions under a win-win strategy . Managing value creation and claiming in an equity split negotiation or any long-term relationship . Procedural contracts . Managing partisan perceptions . Negotiating interests, not positions

Keywords:
Negotiating Equity Split, Start-Up and Entrepreneurship, Ethics, Ethical Tensions and Sustainability, Negotiating Ethics, Managing Power Differences, Conflict of Interest and Manipulation, Difficult Conversations, Procedural Contract

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published: 16 Dec 2015

  • Topic: Responsibility
  • Region: Global

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Abstract:
A multi-issue one-on-one negotiation between a young entrepreneur (John Ambitchious) and a close-to-retirement CEO of a large corporation (George Gried). John and George are considering becoming partners on a venture John is setting up. Besides negotiating the partnership details, George currently works for a potential competitor, thus raising ethical tensions that should be negotiated before committing to a final deal.

Pedagogical Objectives:
. Recognizing and negotiating ethical tensions under a win-win strategy . Managing value creation and claiming in an equity split negotiation or any long-term relationship . Procedural contracts . Managing partisan perceptions . Negotiating interests, not positions

Keywords:
Negotiating Equity Split, Start-Up and Entrepreneurship, Ethics, Ethical Tensions and Sustainability, Negotiating Ethics, Managing Power Differences, Conflict of Interest and Manipulation, Difficult Conversations, Procedural Contract

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published: 23 Nov 2015

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Abstract:
Unilever Sustainable Living Plan (USLP) is a global initiative integrating Unilever’s commercial and sustainability-related agenda. In this context, Unilever is reviewing the progress so far of its new “Perfect Village” initiative in Vietnam, which seeks to build a financially viable rural business that also makes a positive social impact.

Pedagogical Objectives:
Case studies on social impact and the “base of the pyramid” (BOP) tend to present a “feel good” story of societal engagement. They rarely address the issue of how to make a business case for running a social impact initiative within a large for-profit company, a gap this case fills.

Keywords:
Multinational Company, Emerging Market Strategy, Global Strategy, Corporate Social Responsibility, Base of Pyramid (bop), Economic Development, Sustainability, Creating Shared Value, Corporate Governance, Value Creation, Strategy and Implementation

published: 28 Oct 2015

  • Topic: Responsibility
  • Industry: Healthcare: Emergency Medical Services
  • Region: Asia

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Abstract:
Sweta Mangal, CEO of Ziqitza Health Care Limited, must decide how to respond to a government official who has demanded a bribe to release payment for the ambulance services ZHL provides. Bribery is commonplace in India, but there is also a growing anti-corruption movement. A new employee argues that the bribe is the only way for ZHL to make payroll and maintain its ambulances, which means more lives saved. Mangal insists that ZHL is committed to an anti-bribery stance. What is the right decision? How can it best be implemented?

Pedagogical Objectives:
1. To examine bribery - its distinguishing characteristics, different forms, the ethics involved , and the anti-bribery movement - as well as corporate responses to demands for bribes. 2. To highlight for social enterprises the importance of the means ('how it is done') as well as the ends in creating social as well as economic value.

Keywords:
Bribery, Corruption, Business Ethics, Social Enterprise, Social Entrepreneurship, India, Healthcare, Corporate Social Responsibility.

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published: 27 Jul 2015

  • Topic: Responsibility
  • Region: Asia

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Abstract:
It was out of the interest of Ratan Tata, Tata Group chairman, in the problem of water in India that the Swach (meaning “clean” in Hindi) was born. It was Tata’s bet that the private sector could offer a better, consumer-based solution than the state to the provision of safe drinking water in a country where 75% of the rural population lack access to potable water. In December 2009, the Tata Swach was launched by Tata Chemicals Limited as the lowest-cost storage water purifier available that met US Environmental Protection Agency standards, did not require a supply of running water or electricity, and was affordable to the rural masses.

Pedagogical Objectives:
The case highlights the development of the Tata Swach and its commercialization from 2009 to 2013. It lays out the competitive landscape and the challenges it faced from competitors and shifting consumer preferences. Enough data is provided to develop and support alternative viewpoints on how to go forward, highlighting the need to consider the entire business process from product development through commercialization for the success of a new product initiative. A major focus is the coordinated product development process that brings together the capabilities of independent business units within a conglomerate. Designed for MBA and executive audiences focusing on branding, competitive strategy, CSR, or new product development.

Keywords:
Competitive Strategy, New Product Development, Branding, Competitive Positioning, India, Emerging Markets, Social Innovation, Corporate Social Responsibility

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