INSEAD the business school for the world

Responsibility

by Publication Date
published: 24 Sep 2018

  • Topic: Responsibility
  • Industry: financial services
  • Region: Global

Show details ...

Abstract:
Kiva is an online platform that sources crowdfunding for low-income borrowers. By 2018 it has facilitated $1.1 billion in loans to 2.5 million borrowers worldwide. However, as questions are raised about the adverse effects of microcredit worldwide, Kiva must adapt its strategy to demonstrate maximum impact on improving the lives of the poor, while continuing to grow the user base and ensure financial sustainability.

Pedagogical Objectives:
This case is well-suited for modules related to social enterprise strategy, microfinance, financial inclusion, crowdfunding, technology for good, scaling up, venture philanthropy, impact investing and impact evaluation. It demonstrates how “good intentions” are not the same as “maximizing impact”, and how an enterprise can contribute to, as well as learn from, cumulative knowledge on how impact is best achieved in a given sector.

Keywords:
Microfinance, Financial Inclusion, Venture Philanthropy, Base of the Pyramid (bop), Impact Investing, Business Model Innovation, Social Enterprise, Crowdfunding, Sustainability, Social Impact, Impact Evaluation, Access to Finance, Entrepreneurship, Economic Development

published: 24 Sep 2018

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

Show details ...

Abstract:
CEMEX is a leading global player in the cement industry. Seeing an opportunity to increase its social impact while growing its emerging market business by addressing the latent demand for housing solutions among the low-income population, it launched a unique business initiative. A few years on, with data on the financial performance and growth of that unit, the time has come to decide whether or not to scale up in a big way.

Pedagogical Objectives:
This case provides an opportunity to discuss the commercial and impact potential as well as the unique challenges of trying to build a for-profit business initiative at the base of the pyramid, and how business model innovation can enable success. The case also provides rich financial data to carry out a full financial analysis of the initiative.

Keywords:
Creating Shared Value, Emerging Market Strategy, Corporate Social Responsibility, Base of the Pyramid (bop), Sustainability, Business Model Innovation, Marketing, Sales & Distribution, Intrapreneurship, Microfinance, Financial Inclusion, Social Impact, Housing, Economic Development

published: 30 Jul 2018

  • Topic: Responsibility
  • Industry: Technology
  • Region: North America

Show details ...

Abstract:
In April 2018, after it became known that Google was collaborating with the US Department of Defense on Project Maven, over 3,000 employees signed an internal memo asking CEO Sundar Pichai to (a) cancel the project immediately, and (b) enforce a policy stating that the company would never build warfare technology. Project Maven had been launched in early 2017 as part of the DoD’s efforts to integrate AI and machine learning into its defense strategies. Drones, robots and AI were increasingly deployed in intelligence gathering and combat operations in what was considered a 21st century “arms race.” While Google described its role as “non-offensive,” the memo argued that involvement in Project Maven might hurt its reputation and ability to attract talent at a time when public trust in technology was waning. The case puts students in the shoes of a recent hire faced with the choice of signing the memo. It also invites them to consider how they would respond, as CEO, to such a petition against one of the company’s contracts.

Pedagogical Objectives:
The purpose of the case is not necessarily to debate the merits of collaboration between private and public sector. Rather, it asks students to reflect on their opportunities and obligations as citizens and leaders of companies and society when pursuing innovation. As companies increasingly attract talent with the promise of work that has personal meaning and allow individuals to make a positive difference in the world, nothing is “just business.” This trend brings to the surface ethical and practical dilemmas at the social, organizational, and personal level. The case offers an opportunity to explore all three levels, touching on the relationship between business and government, the responsibility of a global organization and its leaders, and the expression, encouragement, and management of debate and dissent.

Keywords:
Responsible Leadership, Ethics, Artificial Intelligence, Digital Disruption, Google, Project Maven, Drones, Public Private Partnership, Corporate Social Responsibility, Ethical Dilemma, Sundar Pichai, Us Department of Defense, Don’t Be Evil, Larry Page

Related:

published: 25 Jun 2018

  • Topic: Responsibility
  • Region: Global

Show details ...

Abstract:
A manager finds out that a new member of his team has a mental disability: she cannot function well under tight deadlines. HR knew of the disability, but did not inform the manager. Should HR disclose critical performance-related background information when it relates to a disability? How should one manage teams in which some members have disabilities that affect others?

Pedagogical Objectives:
Illustrate ethical challenges that arise in the modern workplace, notably those related to mental disabilities.

Keywords:
Ethics, Disability, Hr, Human Resources, Mental Health

published: 25 Jun 2018

  • Topic: Responsibility
  • Region: Global

Show details ...

Abstract:
A manager rejects a consultant’s request for a location transfer because he voted for Donald Trump. She does not want to bring a Trump supporter into her office. Is this discrimination ethical?

Pedagogical Objectives:
Provide the basis for a discussion of discriminiation. Are there legitimate reasons for discrimination? Is it ethical to discriminate based on voting behavior?

Keywords:
Ethics, Discrimination, Politics, Donald Trump

published: 25 Jun 2018

  • Topic: Responsibility
  • Industry: Venture
  • Region: Global

Show details ...

Abstract:
A start-up founder raises money from unsophisticated angel investors, and offers them the right to invest in future funding rounds (pro rata rights). Later, under pressure from a venture capitalist to minimize dilution, the founder deliberately does not remind the original angels of their opportunity to invest in the new funding round. She is not breaking any laws. However, she may have violated the angels’ trust.

Pedagogical Objectives:
Illustrate an ethical dilemma in start-up financing. What non-contractual obligations do founders have to their investors?

Keywords:
Start-Up, Angel Investing, Founder, Ethics, Venture Capital

published: 25 Jun 2018

  • Topic: Responsibility
  • Region: Global

Show details ...

Abstract:
A single mother working in investment banking puts in fewer hours than her colleagues. When she is up for promotion, her boss says she is putting in the hours. He believes she will be fired unless he lies.

Pedagogical Objectives:
Illustrate a management dilemma: Is dishonesty warranted in the workplace? Is it ever “ethical” to be “unethical”? Would a good leader lie on behalf of an employee?

Keywords:
Lie, Work-Life Balance, Dishonest, Investment Banking, Ethics, Deontology, Single Mother

published: 25 Jun 2018

  • Topic: Responsibility
  • Region: Africa

Show details ...

Abstract:
An employee of an American company with a zero-tolerance bribery policy bribes a border official in Nigeria. He does so because he fears for his own safety. Later, he tells his boss about the incident, and the boss instructs him to report the incident to the company. The employee fears that if he does so, his job will be terminated.

Pedagogical Objectives:
Illustrate an ethical dilemma that can arise in management. Is it unethical not to report ethical violations? Is reporting any ethical violation good leadership?

Keywords:
Ethics, Leadership, Bribery, Management, Africa

published: 28 May 2018

  • Topic: Responsibility
  • Region: North America

Show details ...

Abstract:
A male employee is accused of making and inappropriate remark to a female colleague. She withdraws her complaint when she learns it was based on a misunderstanding. The company nonetheless takes action against the male employee.

Pedagogical Objectives:
Illustrate the impact of misundertandings in the workplace. Provide a basis for discussing the ethics of accusation.

Keywords:
Ethics, Discrimination, Sexual Discrimination, Gender, Misconduct

published: 28 May 2018

  • Topic: Responsibility
  • Region: North America

Show details ...

Abstract:
A gay employee wants to go on an assignment in a country where his sexuality, it is believed, could be risky for himself and his firm. The employee wants to go. The firm does not send him.

Pedagogical Objectives:
Illustrate ethical challenges involved in reconciling conflicting values.

Keywords:
Ethics, Discrimination, Gay, Misconduct

by Publication Date


Share