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Corporate Responsibility

Corporate Responsibility

July 2015 | 408 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

“This is the cutting-edge textbook on a managerial approach to corporate responsibility. Students and executives will benefit a great deal by studying the cases and best practices that are here. It’s a terrific book.”

Ed Freeman, Elis and Signe Olsson Professor of Business Administration,

Darden School of Business, University of Virginia


Corporate Responsibility offers a concise and comprehensive introduction to the functional area of corporate responsibility. Readers will learn how corporate responsibility is good for business and how leaders balance their organization’s needs with responsibilities to key constituencies in society. Author Paul A. Argenti engages students with new and compelling cases by focusing on the social, reputational, or environmental consequences of corporate activities. Students will learn how to make difficult choices, promote responsible behavior within their organizations, and understand the role personal values play in developing effective leadership skills.

Why Corporate Responsibility?

What Is This Book About?

Why Is Corporate Responsibility So Important Today?

About the Author
Part I: What and Why
1. An Introduction to Corporate Responsibility
What Is Corporate Responsibility?

The 21st Century's CR Surge

The Upside of CR

Responsibility Inside and Out: Employee Involvement In CR

Building a Values-Based Culture

The Evolution of CR

How to Think About CR: Frameworks and Implementation



Starbucks Coffee Company

2. The Business Case for CR
What Is the "Business Case" for Corporate Responsibility?

Perceived Barriers to Corporate Responsibility

Models Created to Categorize the Benefits of CR Initiatives

Creating Value Through Corporate Responsibility

The Business Case for Sustainability

Structure of CR Function



Unilever’s Sustainable Living Plan: Revolutionizing Sustainability on a Global Scale

Part II: Three Components of CR: Environmental, Social, and Governance
3. Environmental Responsibility
The Evolution of Corporate Environmental Responsibility

Greenwashing and Sustainability Rankings

Measuring Environmental Friendliness

The Current State/Heading Toward a Triple Win

Growing Investor Interest

Human Capital and Sustainability



Wal-Mart’s Sustainability Strategy

4. The Corporation’s Responsibility to Society: Human Rights and Labor Issues
Introduction to Socially Responsible Business Practices

Socially Responsible Labor Practices

Workplace Discrimination

Labor Issues in the Supply Chain

The Scope of Human Rights Responsibility



Royal Dutch/Shell Group: Brent Spar and Nigeria

5. The Corporation’s Responsibility to Consumers
The Food Industry

The Healthcare and Pharmaceutical Industries



Creating Shared Value at McDonald’s

6. Responsible Corporate Governance
The Board of Directors

Corporate Governance in Crisis

The 2007 Financial Crisis

Government Response to Corporate Scandals

The Evolution of Corporate Governance to Include Corporate Social Responsibility



The New York Stock Exchange and Richard Grasso: Excessive Compensation as a Failure of Corporate Governance

Part III: Corporate Responsibility in Action
7. Corporate Ethics
Definition of Corporate Ethics

The Evolution of Corporate Ethics

Corporate Ethics in the Modern Era

Relationship Between Ethics and Other Areas of CR

How Ethics Informs Business Decision-Making

Role of Ethics in MBA Curricula

Ethics as a Creator of Shared Value



Il Mare’s Oculare

8. Corporate Philanthropy
Motivations Behind and Critiques Against CP

The Strategic Approach to CP

The Business Case and Value Creation

Measuring Progress and Improving Outcomes



Corporate Philanthropy at Goldman Sachs: 10,000 Small Businesses

9. Communicating Corporate Responsibility
The Strategic Importance of Communicating CR

The Current Environment for Promoting Responsible Business Practices

How to Effectively Communicate Your Company's CR Strategy

The Connection Between Communicating CR and Corporate Reputation

CR Reporting

Communicating CR in a Digital World



FIJI Water: Going Green or Greenwashing?

10. Implementing a CR Strategy
Current Approaches to CR Implementation

Our Approach

How CR Strategy Relates to Implementation

Where Do CSR Strategies Usually Come From?

How Do You Select and Refine Your CSR Focus?

How Should a Corporation Evaluate CR Strategies/Opportunities?

Driving Internal Change

Establishing a Change Movement Organization

Gaining Support of the Top Management Team

Establishing Organizational Momentum

Reinforcing Through Incentives

Partnering with External Parties

Measuring and Reacting

Social Sustainability



The Timberland Company: Managing a Socially Responsible Supply Chain



Instructor Resource Site
Calling all instructors!
It’s easy to log on to SAGE’s password-protected Instructor Teaching Site at for complete and protected access to all text-specific Instructor Resources for Corporate Responsibility. Simply provide your institutional information for verification and within 72 hours you’ll be able to use your login information for any SAGE title! 

Password-protected Instructor Resources include the following:

  • A Microsoft® Word® test bank, is available containing multiple choice, true/false, short answer, and essay questions for each chapter. The test bank provides you with a diverse range of pre-written options as well as the opportunity for editing any question and/or inserting your own personalized questions to effectively assess students’ progress and understanding.
  • A Respondus electronic test bank, is available and can be used on PCs. The test bank contains multiple choice, true/false, short answer, and essay questions for each chapter and provides you with a diverse range of pre-written options as well as the opportunity for editing any question and/or inserting your own personalized questions to effectively assess students’ progress and understanding. Respondus is also compatible with many popular learning management systems so you can easily get your test questions into your online course.
  • Editable, chapter-specific Microsoft® PowerPoint® slides offer you complete flexibility in easily creating a multimedia presentation for your course. 
  • The Instructor Teaching Site includes an instructor manual with case notes and answers to case questions.
Key features


  • Comprehensive real-world case studies in each chapter challenge students to think critically and apply the concepts they learned to cases based on realistic business situations.
  • A practical approach fosters critical thinking and encourages students to communicate and implement corporate responsibility strategically and effectively.
  • A focus on the business case for corporate responsibility demonstrates how corporate responsibility is both financially beneficial and necessary in today’s business environment.
  • An emphasis on communicating corporate responsibility illustrates the need for companies to find ways for constituencies to see them as responsible players.
  • An all-in-one resource for students describes the current landscape of corporate responsibility and guides them to what companies can and should do to cultivate responsible behavior.

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 1

Chapter 3

For instructors

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ISBN: 9781483383118

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