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Corporate Responsibility

Corporate Responsibility

© 2016 | 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

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