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Responsibility

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published: 26 Mar 2015

  • Topic: Responsibility
  • Region: Asia

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Abstract:
BASIX, headquartered in Hyderabad, was the brand name of a group of entities with 6,000 outlets offering financial and livelihood promotion services throughout rural India. Despite its impressive progress in poverty alleviation, raising funds to continue such work was increasingly challenging, as BASIX found when it sought to raise Rs 2.5 billion in capital from private equity investors in late 2010. Not only did the diffuse nature of its work make valuation complex (the standard method would have been to take the sum of its parts and add a premium for the synergies between the entities using the discounted cash flow method ), but investors preferred simpler business models where the service/goods sold broadly met the same set of needs. One that met such diverse needs and spread across so many sectors was harder to figure out, as well as harder to scale up, making investment less attractive. Without scale it was hard to get capital; without capital it was hard to scale up. The question that BASIX is grappling with is how best to position itself going forward.

Pedagogical Objectives:
The case highlights the challenges of building a social enterprise in the context of microfinance. It makes the point that without a complete solution that deals with all the aspects of poverty, the impact of microfinance is limited. Conversely, providing a complete solution creates organizational complexity, making it hard to assess exposure to risk and potential profitability - and thus more difficult to raise capital.

Keywords:
Microfinance, Social Innovation, Social Enterprise, Competitive Positioning, India, Emerging Markets, Differentiation, Social Responsibility

published: 26 Mar 2015

  • Topic: Responsibility
  • Region: Global

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Abstract:
This exercise helps students learn about and develop first-hand insights into the pros and cons of commonly employed approaches for causal inference and impact assessment. It involves analyzing data on effects of a hypothetical training programme using five approaches: cross-sectional comparison, pre-post comparison, difference-in-differences, matched sample analysis and randomized evaluation.

Pedagogical Objectives:
This exercise can be used for different audiences/purposes. The first is to teach students and practioners to think rigorously about evaluating the societal impact of their interventions. The second is to teach PhD students and researchers how to come up with appropriate empirical research designs for causal inference.

Keywords:
Social Impact Assessment, Program Evaluation, Causal Inference, Randomized Control Trials, Economic Development, Social Entrepreneurship, Impact Investing, Corporate Social Responsibility

published: 25 Aug 2014

  • Topic: Responsibility
  • Industry: Palm oil, healthcare
  • Region: Global

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Abstract:
This case explores the events leading to the creating of a multi-stakeholder platform, the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO). The promotion of palm oil as an alternative to fossil fuels has increased demand, hence the “palm oil dilemma”: to produce oil more sustainably or save the forests? The ability to respond to NGOs and the additional cost of certified palm oil are some of the future challenges facing the RSPO.

Pedagogical Objectives:
The case is designed to explore: • The life-cycle impacts of the production of palm oil • The social and environmental trade-offs involved • The development dilemmas faced by emerging economies • The logic behind the creation of ‘green clubs’ • How reputational value is created or destroyed - in individual organizations and in coalitions such as the RSPO • The rationale for certification and eco-label schemes.

Keywords:
Palm Oil Production, Production and Operations Management, Value Chain, Sustainability, Green Clubs, Eco-Activism, Voluntary Environmental Initiatives, Greenpeace

published: 23 Jun 2014

  • Topic: Responsibility
  • Industry: Gold mining
  • Region: South America

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Abstract:
This case is about a gold mining company that seeks to practice “responsible mining” by addressing environmental and stakeholder concerns, but which nevertheless attracts protests. Barrick Gold Corporation has invested $4.8 billion developing the Pascua Lama gold mine in a glacial region of South America, but opposition has blocked the project.

Pedagogical Objectives:
The case allows students to examine a situation where CSR and sustainability may seem in conflict with the core business operations of the company, and challenges them to develop creative solutions. It introduces the concept of having a 'social license to operate' and explores how much societal acceptance is needed.

Keywords:
Gold Mining, License to Operate, Sustainability, Stakeholder Engagement, Enviromentalism, Indigenous Peoples, Corporate Social Responsibility, Responsible Mining

Prizes won:
- Runner Up at 2014 Oikos Case Writing Competition, Corporate Sustainability Category

published: 28 Apr 2014

  • Topic: Responsibility
  • Industry: Media
  • Region: Europe

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Abstract:
Over fifty years, Rupert Murdoch built one of the most successful media conglomerates in the world. Though there had been criticism of his conduct in the past, it was only in the new millennium that allegations of phone hacking and bribery brought the threat of massive legal action against both Murdoch and his companies.

Pedagogical Objectives:
1. To explore the leadership characteristics of Rupert Murdoch as the head of one of the world’s most successful media conglomerates and in the context of charges of unethical and illegal conduct. 2. To examine the causes of the misconduct and the extent to which it can be attributed to “bad apples” (individuals) versus “bad barrels” (organizational factors) and Murdoch’s leadership of News Corp. 3. To examine responsible leadership in business – what is required of the responsible business leader?

Keywords:
Business Ethics, Responsible Leadership, Corporate Social Responsibility, Leadership, Bribery, Media, Phone Hacking, Journalistic Ethics, Corporate Governance, Auditing, Risk Control and Performance, Wicfe, Governance, Parallel Planning, Strategy, Boards

published: 24 Mar 2014

  • Topic: Responsibility
  • Industry: Engineering and Construction
  • Region: Asia

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Abstract:
Case A offers an overview and Case B explores specific aspects of a major Indian construction firm which seeks to use corporate social responsibility as a strategic tool in its quest for rapid growth at home and abroad. Source materials include on-site interviews of the firm’s executives, line managers and workers in Delhi, Mumbai and Lavasa, as well as corporate reports, scholarly articles, and domestic and international press articles.

Pedagogical Objectives:
How can corporate social responsibility contribute to the profitability of a firm? More than 60 years after the concept of CSR first emerged, examples remain sparse and it has been frequently cited as a defensive strategy to protect a firm’s reputation or license to operate (Vogel, 2005). On the positive side, it is claimed that CSR strengthens a firm’s ability to compete for and retain superior talent (McElhaney, 2009). Porter and Kramer (2011) argue that CSR can create “shared value” through reconceiving products and markets and by redefining productivity in the value chain. The HCC case suggests significant nuances and new additions to these known/projected benefits.

Keywords:
Hindustan Construction Company (hcc), India, Engineering and Construction (e&c), Corporate Social Responsibility, Disaster Relief, Infrastructure

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published: 24 Mar 2014

  • Topic: Responsibility
  • Industry: Engineering and Construction
  • Region: Asia

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Abstract:
Case A offers an overview and Case B explores specific aspects of a major Indian construction firm which seeks to use corporate social responsibility as a strategic tool in its quest for rapid growth at home and abroad. Source materials include on-site interviews of the firm’s executives, line managers and workers in Delhi, Mumbai and Lavasa, as well as corporate reports, scholarly articles, and domestic and international press articles.

Pedagogical Objectives:
How can corporate social responsibility contribute to the profitability of a firm? More than 60 years after the concept of CSR first emerged, examples remain sparse and it has been frequently cited as a defensive strategy to protect a firm’s reputation or license to operate (Vogel, 2005). On the positive side, it is claimed that CSR strengthens a firm’s ability to compete for and retain superior talent (McElhaney, 2009). Porter and Kramer (2011) argue that CSR can create “shared value” through reconceiving products and markets and by redefining productivity in the value chain. The HCC case suggests significant nuances and new additions to these known/projected benefits.

Keywords:
Hindustan Construction Company (hcc), India, Engineering and Construction (e&c), Corporate Social Responsibility, Disaster Relief, Infrastructure

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published: 27 May 2013

  • 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

Prizes won:
- Third Place in oikos Case Writing Competition 2013, Social Entrepreneurship Category

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published: 25 Mar 2013

  • Topic: Responsibility
  • Industry: Education
  • Region: South America

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Abstract:
This case analyzes the challenges faced by a Brazilian non-profit organization, Pro-Cerrado, which provides vocational training for disadvantaged young people. The case looks at how Pro-Cerrado tries to scale operations in order to have a real impact in society without compromising on quality. As the NGO grows, the study considers how ambition, egos and ethics can get in the way in the non-profit world.

Pedagogical Objectives:
The case provides a unique perspective on the following issues: 1) Challenges of scaling up a non-profit organization. 2) How to balance scalability, sustainability and relevance in a non-profit organization. 3) The apprenticeship training market in Brazil. 4) How to achieve financial stability withouth compromising ethics. 5) Challenges regarding corruption and leadership.

Keywords:
Ethics, Corporate Social Responsibility, Non Governmental Organization, Apprenticeship Training, Education, Youth Unemployment, Corruption

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published: 25 Mar 2013

  • Topic: Responsibility
  • Industry: Education
  • Region: South America

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Abstract:
This case analyzes the challenges faced by a Brazilian non-profit organization, Pro-Cerrado, which provides vocational training for disadvantaged young people. The case looks at how Pro-Cerrado tries to scale operations in order to have a real impact in society without compromising on quality. As the NGO grows, the study considers how ambition, egos and ethics can get in the way in the non-profit world.

Pedagogical Objectives:
The case provides a unique perspective on the following issues: 1) Challenges of scaling up a non-profit organization. 2) How to balance scalability, sustainability and relevance in a non-profit organization. 3) The apprenticeship training market in Brazil. 4) How to achieve financial stability withouth compromising ethics. 5) Challenges regarding corruption and leadership.

Keywords:
Ethics, Corporate Social Responsibility, Non Governmental Organization, Apprenticeship Training, Education, Youth Unemployment, Corruption

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