The CSR Newsletters are a freely-available resource generated as a dynamic complement to the textbook, Strategic Corporate Social Responsibility: Sustainable Value Creation.

To sign-up to receive the CSR Newsletters regularly during the fall and spring academic semesters, e-mail author David Chandler at

Friday, August 30, 2013

Strategic CSR - Bank of Happiness

The article in the url below introduces us to the Bank of Happiness ( It is a collection of like-minded individuals, originally mostly in Estonia, who get together to give and receive happiness:
“Founded five years ago in this Baltic city, it's a forum in which more than 2,000 civic-minded individuals from Estonia and other countries connect to offer or receive services free of charge. The site carries more than 500 ads in English, German and Estonian from people offering or seeking all kinds of things, including tutoring, tips on baking and business, and even juggling lessons. The website is also translated into French and Spanish.”

How does it work?
“It's simple: You register using your real name and post what you are offering or what your need, as long as it doesn't involve cash or products.”

Abuse of the system is reportedly low and, equally important, the number of people offering help is greater than the number of people posting needs:

“The site has many more offers of help than requests for it. That's as it should be, Kivi says, adding that the bigger reward comes from giving.”
Have a good weekend
David Chandler & Bill Werther
Instructor Teaching and Student Study Site:
Strategic CSR Simulation:
The library of CSR Newsletters are archived at:
At Estonia’s Bank of Happiness, Kindness is the Currency
By Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson
July 18, 2013
National Public Radio

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Strategic CSR - Say-on-Pay

Related to Monday’s opening Newsletter on CEO pay, the article in the url below seeks to assess the state of Say-on-Pay shareholder votes (and, in the bigger picture, the effectiveness of Dodd-Frank) three years into the experiment. The overall assessment is blunt:
“The ‘say on pay’ experiment is a bust.”
Say-on-pay votes, which are non-binding and need only be held every three years, are designed to allow shareholders to evaluate the extent to which the compensation of the firm’s CEO and senior executives reflects their ability to add value, broadly defined. In most cases, however, shareholders appear either to agree with compensation levels or, perhaps more worriedly, not care sufficiently to protest:
“A full 72 percent of companies reporting votes so far have received 90 percent or more shareholder approval for their pay packages. That compares with 69 percent in both 2012 and 2011, … . And shareholders are feeling relatively magnanimous about the rotten apples, too. Only 41 companies out of nearly 1,800 failed so far this year on say-on-pay votes, compared with 49 companies at this point last year.”
The article makes a good point in that large companies are escaping scrutiny even more than small and medium-sized companies, even though it can be argued that it is the leaders of larger firms who should face the greatest demands for accountability:
“That’s partly because the livelihoods of so many people depend on people running big firms, but also because those executives are largely caretakers of already established institutions. Typically, they have displayed neither vision nor entrepreneurialism but an ability to rise through a bureaucracy without offending anyone. When they arrive on the throne, they typically do a little bit better or a little bit worse than their predecessor, without distinguishing themselves in the least. Yet, they get paid as if they were the second coming of Henry Ford.”
Overall, the article’s assessment is a complete failure on the part of the regulation to achieve its primary goals – to introduce a measure of control over executive compensation:
“The final strike against say-on-pay is that it has had no impact on the level of compensation. Quite the opposite. Pay for chief executives was at its highest level ever last year, up 6.5 percent from a year earlier, … . After a brief dip at the height of the recession, pay for corporate chieftains rose 6 percent in 2011 and soared 24 percent in 2010. For those keeping score at home, that sharply outpaces inflation, which was a piddling 1.7 percent last year. Median worker pay didn’t keep up with rising prices in those years.”
Take care

In Shareholder Say-on-Pay Votes, Whispers, Not Shouts
By Jesse Eisinger
June 27, 2013
The New York Times
Late Edition – Final

Monday, August 26, 2013

Strategic CSR - Welcome back!

Welcome back to the Strategic CSR Newsletter!
The first Newsletter for the Fall semester is below.
As always, your comments and ideas are welcome.
In particular as people transition to the third edition of the book, if anyone has any questions, please feel free to contact me at any point.

The article in the url below puts the concept of a “fair day’s work for a fair day’s pay” into context. It certainly qualifies as containing the most attention grabbing opening paragraph I have read in a while:
“America's highest-paid CEO last year, John Hammergren of McKesson Corp., received compensation of over $131 million. That is the equivalent of about $63,000 per hour, or $10,000 more than the annual median household income in the United States. Meanwhile, some of this country's lowest-paid workers—those on minimum wage—made just $15,080 annually at $7.25 per hour. Mr. Hammergren had surpassed that amount by 9:15 a.m. on his first workday of the year.”
Take care
David Chandler & Bill Werther
Instructor Teaching and Student Study Site:
Strategic CSR Simulation:
The library of CSR Newsletters are archived at:
America’s Miserly Minimum Wage Needs an Upgrade
By Ralph Nader
April 16, 2013
The Wall Street Journal
Late Edition – Final