290 Corporate Social Responsibility

The goal in 290 is to develop a thought process and approach to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in its various forms, ranging from a public relations tool to a platform for creating market value that students will be able to build upon during their post-school leadership roles as corporate executives, entrepreneurs, or NGO leaders. The class exposes students to a broad set of CSR issues and cross-functional business challenges together with the analysis and critical decisions managers must make to move a business and social agenda forward. Using case studies and guest speakers, the class will assess CSR from diverse business situations and points of view. Students will lead their own field study of a major company to observe, assess and design innovative CSR initiatives for real business. Indicative topics covered in the class include: What is CSR, its history and how important is it to a business? Can and should CSR be aligned with brand, and why? What happens when companies use their CSR agenda as a basis for creating market value? Can CSR move from a cost center to a profit center?