Thursday, October 21, 2004

Thinking Strategically About Corporate Social Responsibility

Thinking Strategically About Corporate Social Responsibility: The Merits and Limitations of the Value Creation Approach, is a paper by Bradley C. Smith, Rotman School of Management student, who was awarded an honourable mention for his submission to a contest for MBA students sponsored by Boston College.

His paper was declared, "an innovative work that makes a substantive contribution to the value proposition argument."

Smith's paper examines the theoretical merits and limitations of using a strategic value-creation approach to Corporate Responsibility by exploring how managers create value through CR initiatives and how they integrate those initiatives into their organizations.

His findings were tested in a case analysis of Holcim Ltd, a progressive, global cement producer whose management has committed strongly and publicly to "creating value for all stakeholders". The paper concludes that although Holcim's management has created innovative and laudable Corporate Responsibility initiatives, management's inability to value an investment into developing a low-emission mineral cement alternative will severely challenge the sincerity and sustainability of Holcim's promise to its stakeholders.

The annual contest is open to all graduate students pursuing an MBS for a paper that explores how companies relate to stakeholders through business practices ranging from social engagement to environmental policies to issues of equity within the workplace. The winning paper is published on the web sites of The Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship and Net Impact and posted on the Aspen Institute's

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