The New Millennium and the Next Bottom Line asks 'Can business meet new social, environmental, and financial expectations and still win?' This supplement appeared in the May 3, 1999 issue of Business Week but is hosted in full text on the World Resources Institute Web site. There are essays, case studies and strategies which look at how various businesses are responding to technological, economic, social and environmental challenges. This collection discusses ways that organization can seize opportunities to protect the natural environment and meet social needs.
Type of Material:
Special Advertising Section from Business Week provided as a downloadable Postscript file (.pdf).
Discussion starter on contemporary issues in social responsibility. Could be used as the starter for a student research project to examine "espoused" versus "enacted" values for social responsibility. Each company is presenting a public relations oriented position paper on their company's social responsibility. Students could then compare that position to documented issues encountered by those same companies in each area.
Browser, Adobe Acrobat Reader.
Identify Major Learning Goals:
The major goal of this site is to educate students about the role of the corporation in protecting the environment, meeting social needs, and generally becoming good corporate citizens and how all of these things can be in the best interest of the organization.
Target Student Population:
Junior, senior and graduate students in Management and Ethics.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
Understanding of concepts of corporate social responsibility.
This material comes from an advertising supplement provided to Business Week Magazine in 1999 by the World Resources Institute, which is an environmental think tank that creates practical ways to protect the Earth and improve people's lives. Their mission is to move human society to live in ways that protect Earth's environment for current and future generations. There are case studies describing how many different corporations have created projects with this mission in mind as well as essays by the CEOs of many large corporations (BP Amoco, AT&T, GM, Intel, Dupont etc.) discussing their views on the importance of this topic. It is an informative look at the leadership role many corporations are taking to be respectful of the environment, acknowledge their role in fulfilling social needs, while still performing for their stakeholders.
The information is very text-heavy and, because it was written as an advertising supplement by the WRI, its goal is not solely to report the facts, but also to promote the Institute and its member companies.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
This is one of the few places where students can see such a comprehensive collection of corporate views on the environment and role of companies in promoting societal well being.
Instructors need to ensure that students are aware that this is from a promotional piece and is not reporting in the traditional sense. The piece is long and would probably be best used in sections with assignments and questions that follow.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
The module is easy to read and interjects a lot of color and visual stimuli amongst the text.
It is predigested material that may be too easy to use and believe without critical examination.
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