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Socio-business responsibility in the Gulf Arab states: the case of the Pearl Initiative

Linzi J. Kemp (American University of Sharjah, Sharjah, UAE)
Imelda Dunlop (Executive Director based at the Pearl Initiative, Sharjah, UAE)

Publication date: 26 November 2014


Subject area

Leadership, international business, financial reporting, entrepreneurship

Study level/applicability

The case study is aimed at undergraduate students at a 300 level.

Case overview

Mr Badr Jafar, co-founder of the Pearl Initiative (PI), is the chief protagonist in this case study set in the Gulf Arab states. He launched this company at the United Nations in September 2010, and the launch was timely, as business leaders were looking to rebuild the global economy following the economic downturn. The Initiative was originally the idea of a number of leading company owners in the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). The company vision is to improve business practices for the benefit of business and society in the future, but the context is one of a highly competitive and secretive business environment. The mission of the PI is to improve private sector corporate culture to one of transparency and accountability. The PI approaches that mission through building a network of business leaders in the GCC, particularly those from the family-owned companies in the private sector. A biography of the founder and the background to the founding of the PI is given, followed by a rationale of the company structure. The potential influence of the network of companies and leaders on the socio-business climate is considered. The specific activities are outlined within the strategy of the PI to address four key business areas: anti-bribery and corruption; corporate governance; corporate reporting; and women in leadership The PI focuses on raising awareness about the potential benefits of social entrepreneurship for business and society. To what extent this relatively new model of business can be successful in the context of the GCC is a case dilemma. Key issues: There are two main issues raised in the case study: the rationale for the relatively new business model of social entrepreneurship and the extent to which PI can modify the past and current GCC business environment by addressing the four business areas.

Expected learning outcomes

Students will be able to: analyze the business case for social entrepreneurship and explain the contribution of PI activities for changing the business environment.

Supplementary materials

Teaching Notes are available for educators only. Please contact your library to gain login details or email to request teaching notes.



Kemp, L.J. and Dunlop, I. (2014), "Socio-business responsibility in the Gulf Arab states: the case of the Pearl Initiative", , Vol. 4 No. 8.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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