CSR – Our thoughts published @brandeinswissen

Posted on: December 18, 2008

Two years ago,  Blagoja, Guillermo, Philipp and myself went to Pheonix Arizona to participate in the Thunderbird Sustainable Innovation Summit. Since we won this case study event open to leading business schools around the globe, we get interview requests from time to time. Mostly related to our stance on Corporate Social Responsibility. Lately, Brandeins Wirtschaftsmagazin (a German Business Publication) contacted us for a book related to CSR and business. A couple of other MBA students were asked how the study of CSR has influenced their opinion on the topic. Here is an abstract from the book, that is available here.

Tobias Schirmer speaks for the team that also includes: Philipp Pausder (Germany), Blagoja Hamamdziev (Macedonia) and Guillermo Ortega Rancé (Mexico):

When it comes to CR, the IE is regarded as the best school in Europe. What is special here is that the subject is not taught in terms of fixed concepts; instead each individual has to form his or her own understanding of it. This philosophy pervades all courses and programmes. CR is naturally an area of focus in fields such as sustainability, social impact management and social entrepreneurship, but even students studying here for an MBA in marketing or finance are unable to avoid developing their own answers to the pressing problems of social justice and sustainability. Before we met in Madrid, we were working in investment banking, advertising, financial analysis and development aid. For us, the central question was always whether CR activities which aim to maximise profit are really socially responsible. We have seen a lot of companies where CR is only practised in order to get good publicity and distract attention from the negative consequences of their business activity for society and the environment. It goes without saying that a company has to increase its profits. However, a company that hopes to retain its customers’ loyalty in the future will also need to curb the negative effects of its business operations. The Internet makes it virtually impossible to hide wrong-doing from the general public. This realisation was the incentive for us to participate at the Sustainable Innovation Summit in Phoenix. We had to develop a business model for Merck & Co which would make it possible to sell medicines profitably in India without passing on the expensive development costs to the end consumer. We were able to demonstrate that it could be done in a way that was both socially responsible and profitable. And for this we won the Thunderbird Sustainable Innovation Challenge. In the future we will all go our separate ways, but we will incorporate a socially responsible perspective into our business and professional decisions. Nothing more than this is needed: individuals must accept responsibility in their everyday decisions, and take personal responsibility for what they do within the company. In order to do so, they need to have an idea of the long-term social and economic consequences of their actions. Responsibility is a basic attitude that can have an impact everywhere.”

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1 Response to "CSR – Our thoughts published @brandeinswissen"

Hey Tobi!
It’s great that you published the article on your blog.
I also published the full version of my humble contribution:

Keep in touch.

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