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Article
Publication date: 1 August 2006

Peter M. Senge, Michelle Dow and Gavin Neath

The purpose of this research is to provide an overview of the learning that has emerged from two initiatives in which a multinational company, Unilever, and an

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this research is to provide an overview of the learning that has emerged from two initiatives in which a multinational company, Unilever, and an international non‐governmental organization, Oxfam have worked together: the Sustainable Food Laboratory Initiative, a project focusing on the global food production system, and “Exploring the Links”, a joint research project exploring the links between wealth creation and poverty reduction in one country, Indonesia.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper presents an overview of learning as expressed by participants in the Sustainable Food Laboratory and a summary of the final report published by the joint research project, giving an overview of the process and highlighting the key lessons learned by both organizations.

Findings

The paper finds that the common success of both projects is a contribution to a better understanding of current global systems and local impacts, as well as an indication of the opportunities for systemic change that emerge when different organizations are willing to learn with and from each other. Oxfam and Unilever participants came to realize that, despite their very different missions and goals, they share a commitment to poverty reduction, healthy resource systems, and truly sustainable development. Although common ground may be found, such projects do not attempt to cover over differences. On the contrary, understanding differences can lead to more balanced and integrative pictures of complex problems, reveal limitations of what individual organizations can do, and identify areas where partnerships can have the greatest benefits for real and lasting change.

Research limitations/implications

The paper draws on personal learning from a limited number of participants in the three year pilot of the Sustainable Food Laboratory and solely on the research and findings published in the Indonesia project's final report.

Practical implications

This paper highlights the valuable learning that can emerge when different kinds of organization work together to explore and address common challenges. Understanding their differences in outlook and experience can lead to more balanced and integrative pictures of complex problems, reveal limitations of what individual organizations can do, and identify areas where partnerships can have the greatest benefits for real and lasting change.

Originality/value

This paper gives real examples of the kind of learning that can emerge from cross‐sector initiatives, and highlights lessons about how such learning can be achieved and why it is valuable.

Details

Corporate Governance: The international journal of business in society, vol. 6 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1472-0701

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Article
Publication date: 6 April 2012

Howard Thomas and Eric Cornuel

The purpose of this editorial is to introduce the set of papers which comprise this issue of the journal, and to provide an interpretation of the current strategic debates…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this editorial is to introduce the set of papers which comprise this issue of the journal, and to provide an interpretation of the current strategic debates about the future evolution of business school paradigms and, hence, identify possible strategic options.

Design/methodology/approach

The papers can be categorized into three broad themes: first, the impacts and environmental influences on management education including issues of globalization, global sustainability and advances in digital and social media. Second, challenges and criticisms of management education covering issues of legitimacy, business model sustainability and the need for change in business models. Third, the re‐invention of business schools and the creation of alternative models of management education and approaches for effective implementation and delivery of those models.

Findings

Globalization is an important environmental influence. Arnoud de Meyer, the President of SMU, offers his reflections. The paper by Peter Lacy and his colleagues at Accenture builds on the theme of globalization by examining the new era of global sustainability in the management arena. In discussing the second theme of challenges and criticisms, David Wilson and Howard Thomas examine the continued legitimacy of the business school with respect to both academic legitimacy in the university and business relevance and thought leadership legitimacy in the management community. Kai Peters and Howard Thomas address the issue of the sustainability of the current business school financial model and question whether it is too luxurious. Santiago Iñiguez and Salvador Carmona reinforce this urgent need to review the sustainability and viability of the existing business school models. Building on the importance of technology impacts, James Fleck illustrates how the Open University Business School (OUBS), the leader and pioneer in blended and distance learning in management education, has focused on further developing models of blended learning which will challenge the current weak adoption of such models in well‐known business schools. Rich Lyons, on the other hand, presents a thoughtful analysis of the careful implementation of a completely new MBA curriculum at the well‐regarded Haas Business School at Berkeley. Peter Lorange's “network‐based” model, on the other hand, is the most radical change model. Granit Almog‐Bareket's leadership paper offers one perspective on the importance of business school leadership in creating the conditions for innovative and insightful management of business school futures.

Originality/value

Clearly, debates and criticisms of business schools will continue to be addressed. It is a sign of a healthy academic and management community that such debates – particularly through the auspices of EMFD – can be presented in an open and constructive manner, as in this special issue of the Journal of Management Development.

Details

Journal of Management Development, vol. 31 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0262-1711

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 2005

Louise Gardiner and Peter Lacy

A number of recent trends are influencing business schools towards better teaching and accounting for the role of “business in society” (BiS). The following article looks…

Abstract

A number of recent trends are influencing business schools towards better teaching and accounting for the role of “business in society” (BiS). The following article looks at selected results from the most comprehensive survey ever of BiS teaching and research in European academic institutions – undertaken in 2003 by the European Academy of Business in Society and Nottingham University Business School’s International Centre for Corporate Social Responsibility (ICCSR), with the support of the European Foundation for Management Development (efmd). The survey found, among other things, that there is a clear demand from business and students for research, education and training on BiS issues; that teaching on the role of BiS is still far from being “mainstream” to the business curriculum; and that the diversity of European approaches and terms signal both a strength and a challenge for the BiS debate. The article looks at how a wide range of initiatives are being undertaken by both business schools and business, and often in unique partnerships, to address these challenges and move the BiS research and education agenda forward. Finally, the thorny issue of accreditation is tackled. Improving accreditation processes will play an important part in bringing the business education community up to speed with the new roles and responsibilities they are being asked to fulfill by a wide range of stakeholders (students, society, business and government). As both educators and mediators in the debate, business schools have a valuable contribution to make. In turn, they too are increasingly being made accountable for their own social and environmental impact. The article argues that business schools can choose whether they want to lead, respond, or partner with business to meet these challenges. However, it seems they can no longer afford to ignore it as a passing fad.

Details

Corporate Governance: The international journal of business in society, vol. 5 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1472-0701

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 9 August 2008

Jeffrey L. Sturchio

There is growing awareness that global public health problems are so complex, and require such major resources, that neither states nor other stakeholders can tackle them

Abstract

Purpose

There is growing awareness that global public health problems are so complex, and require such major resources, that neither states nor other stakeholders can tackle them and achieve the millennium development goals (MDGs) on their own. This paper aims to examine the relevance of the MDGs to the pharmaceutical sector and summarizes the industry's contributions to helping achieve the MDGs in the context of its business goals.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper reviews the MDGs for which industry has made significant contributions, particularly goal 4: reduce child mortality; goal 5: improve maternal health; goal 6: combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases; and goal 8: develop a global partnership for development. The paper focuses on two public‐private partnerships (PPPs) in particular – the Merck MECTIZAN® Donation Program, for the elimination of river blindness as a public health problem, and the African Comprehensive HIV/AIDS Partnerships to address the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Botswana – and outlines some lessons learned. The paper also offers some considerations for PPPs to contribute further to public health and the MDGS in the future.

Findings

The pharmaceutical industry has made some major contributions to addressing public health challenges. Along the way, companies such as Merck & Co., Inc. (Whitehouse Station, New Jersey; Merck operates in most countries outside the USA as Merck Sharp & Dohme) have learned useful lessons that can be shared to inform the approach and practices of other PPPs in global health.

Originality/value

Relatively few overviews document the industry's contributions to public health, especially in relation to the MDGs. This paper provides a first step to fill that gap at a time when interest in PPPs is increasing.

Details

Corporate Governance: The international journal of business in society, vol. 8 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1472-0701

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 14 August 2007

Lorraine Sweeney

The corporate social responsibility (CSR) movement has gathered great momentum over the past number of years and is now regarded as being at its most prevalent. However

Abstract

Purpose

The corporate social responsibility (CSR) movement has gathered great momentum over the past number of years and is now regarded as being at its most prevalent. However, there has been a lack of attention to, and discussion of, CSR in Ireland and in relation to small and medium‐sized enterprises (SMEs). The purpose of this paper is to overcome both of these research gaps and provide deep understanding of the nature of CSR in Ireland. Specifically this research aims to uncover the difference between large firms and SMEs operating in Ireland with regard to their understanding of CSR, the type of CSR activities undertaken and the management of CSR. In addition, this research analyses the barriers and opportunities experienced by SMEs when undertaking CSR.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper reviews the relevant literature of CSR. Then, through semi‐structured in‐depth interviews with 13 firms, this study analyses CSR from both a large firm and an SME perspective in an Irish context.

Findings

This paper highlights the way in which firms operating in Ireland define CSR. It differentiates between the management and activities of CSR among SMEs and large firms and uncovers barriers and opportunities experienced by SMEs when undertaking CSR.

Originality/value

It is hoped that this paper provides initial insights into the nature of CSR in Ireland.

Details

Corporate Governance: The international journal of business in society, vol. 7 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1472-0701

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 8 August 2009

Peter Lacy, James Arnott and Eric Lowitt

This paper aims to address the importance of a framework for developing employees' sustainability knowledge, skills, and behaviors.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to address the importance of a framework for developing employees' sustainability knowledge, skills, and behaviors.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper draws on in‐depth interviews with executives from five Fortune 1000 companies that are viewed as market leaders in addressing sustainability.

Findings

This paper provides a series of initiatives to equip their employees' talent – from top executives to employees throughout the organization – with the much needed, but often sorely lacking knowledge, skills and attitudes to spearhead efforts to attend to sustainability both today and tomorrow.

Practical implications

The usefulness of demonstrating a company's suite of ongoing initiatives to address sustainability to potential employees during the recruiting process is highlighted by each company.

Originality/value

The framework covered by this paper can help companies enhance their talent management skills.

Details

Corporate Governance: The international journal of business in society, vol. 9 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1472-0701

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 9 August 2008

Jorge Berezo Díez, Cristina de la Cruz Ayuso and Pedro M. Sasia Santos

Bizkaia, an area of just over one million inhabitants, is the setting, through the xertatu project, of an experience for fostering corporate social responsibility (CSR)

Abstract

Purpose

Bizkaia, an area of just over one million inhabitants, is the setting, through the xertatu project, of an experience for fostering corporate social responsibility (CSR). This document seeks to analyze the xertatu project as a local response to a new form of governance, identifying the lessons learned in its development.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper focuses its analysis on a clear understanding of the need to combine not only the activities of the various organizations operating in this field in Bizkaia, but also the intentions of the agents involved, in order to shed light on the shared responsibility business has with society at large in this region.

Findings

The aggregation of agents, interests and capabilities, together with a methodology of research – collective action, is suitable for fostering social responsibility in companies.

Originality/value

The analysis of CSR as a new understanding of the role of business in collaborative governance, that is, as an active agent of an enabling governing style that furthermore assumes its joint responsibility with all the other agents for social cohesion and development, usually tends to lack a local and regional perspective and, therefore, the schemes that favor its implementation, whereby it could become a testing ground and benchmark for other regions.

Details

Corporate Governance: The international journal of business in society, vol. 8 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1472-0701

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 9 August 2011

Peter Lacy and Rob Hayward

As a multi‐speed recovery from the downturn accelerates progress towards a multi‐polar world in which economic power is more widely dispersed, the emerging markets will

Abstract

Purpose

As a multi‐speed recovery from the downturn accelerates progress towards a multi‐polar world in which economic power is more widely dispersed, the emerging markets will play a critical role in the future success of multinational companies. The imperatives faced by companies seeking to secure their future competitiveness can be better appreciated through an understanding of the sustainability landscape, and this paper seeks to examine perspectives on environmental, social and governance issues from CEOs in the emerging markets.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is based on extensive conversations with business leaders, both through the authors' work with leading multinational companies and their survey of over 800 global CEOs conducted in partnership with the United Nations Global Compact – the largest CEO study on sustainability to date. In the spirit of contributing to the debate on corporate sustainability, the paper presents the findings not as an academic submission, but rather as a reflective practitioner paper based on the authors' applied research. Their intention throughout is to faithfully report the views of the CEOs interviewed and surveyed, offering in places the beginnings of their own explanation of their results, and highlighting areas for future research and engagement by academics and educators.

Findings

As one looks towards the next decade, and new waves of growth, it is clear that CEOs are beginning to recognize the scale of the challenge they face in aligning sustainability with core business. They also recognize, however, that this transition will depend on the economy's most powerful force, business – and that, with immediate and sustained action, individual companies can play a critical role in building the foundations of a more sustainable economy. From the wide‐ranging set of interviews and survey responses, it seems that nowhere does this seem to be more keenly felt than in the emerging markets, and it is hoped that this is a timely and useful contribution to advancing the debate, with a unique insight into the views of CEOs and global leaders on what it will take to reach a new era of sustainability.

Originality/value

This paper, based on extensive conversations with an unprecedented set of leading global CEOs, presents perspectives of leading CEOs in the emerging markets. By examining the forces shaping businesses' response to societal demands and the challenges of corporate sustainability, the authors set out some of the ways in which business is responding – and some of the capabilities that will be required to secure companies' competitiveness on the journey to a new era of sustainability.

Details

Corporate Governance: The international journal of business in society, vol. 11 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1472-0701

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 9 August 2008

Hans Ulrich Maerki

This paper aims to explore how the model of an enterprise has dramatically changed as a result of globalisation and its subsequent impact on governance.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to explore how the model of an enterprise has dramatically changed as a result of globalisation and its subsequent impact on governance.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper starts off by explaining how enterprises transformed from the international corporation model of the nineteenth century, to the multinational corporation model of the twentieth century, to the globally integrated model of the twenty‐first century. It argues that, although the multinational model helped to build strong relationships with national governments and country‐based NGOs, the model has become redundant and uncompetitive in the globalization era. It shares how moving to the new globally integrated enterprise model is inevitable and raises governance implications at the international, national and local level across many dimensions such as culture, skills and ethics. In fact, the new globally integrated enterprise calls for a redefinition of relationships between an enterprise and its stakeholders and with greater collaboration taking place, the role of trust will become an essential foundation for all issues of governance.

Findings

The need for global governance to operate beyond national boundaries is being driven by the combination of a growing global interdependence driven by economics and the rise of transnational challenges such as climate change and poverty.

Originality/value

The paper is based on IBM's current business model, strategy and corporate citizenship activities and provides an insight into how IBM is evolving its business model in response to globalization.

Details

Corporate Governance: The international journal of business in society, vol. 8 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1472-0701

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 6 April 2012

Peter Lacy, Arnaud Haines and Rob Hayward

The purpose of this paper is to identify leading CEOs’ views on sustainability and how they believe it is impacting the business environment, with a particular focus on…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to identify leading CEOs’ views on sustainability and how they believe it is impacting the business environment, with a particular focus on the importance of education (formal and informal) in developing future business leaders who can effectively manage sustainability issues.

Design/methodology/approach

Results and findings are based on research conducted by Accenture and the United Nations Global Compact, with 100 one‐to‐one interviews and an online survey with a further 766 CEOs.

Findings

CEOs see sustainability as more important than ever. It is growing in strategic importance, driving new business models, and is essential for long‐term success. CEOs see education as the most critical development issue for the future success of their business. They believe that developing new skills, knowledge and mindsets for the next generation of business leaders as key enabling conditions to accelerate a tipping point in the integration of sustainability into core business.

Originality/value

This paper is based on research from the largest CEO study on sustainability of its kind to date. One facet of the research was an online survey of 766 Global Compact member CEOs. Survey respondents were drawn from nearly 100 countries, across more than 25 industry sectors. The other principal research stream was a series of in‐depth, one‐to‐one interviews with 50 CEOs and over 50 board‐level business executives, civil society leaders and academic experts across 27 countries.

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