An important debate within the CSR community surrounds the teaching of CSR and business ethics in the classroom. The debate consists of two main points—first, whether or not topics like ethics can be taught effectively to adults with fully-formed value sets, and second, how best to do that.
The textbook Bill and I wrote, Strategic CSR, is an attempt to tackle the second of these issues. One problem with a textbook, however, is that once printed, it is a relatively static tool. In order to help combat this, I developed this Newsletter (to provide regular updates on the issues and cases in the book) and also committed to reasonably regular new editions of the book (the third edition manuscript is currently being prepared for publication in August/September by Sage).
In an attempt to broaden the classroom tools available to instructors further, I have long wanted to develop an online simulation and the launch of the third edition presented an ideal incentive to do so. With this in mind, I approached a colleague (Michael Hendron, BYU) who is the only person I know with the development skills and simulation expertise to do this and, together, we have developed the Strategic CSR simulation. The simulation is intended to complement the third edition, but is also being designed as a stand-alone teaching tool that draws on issues related to CSR, business ethics, and stakeholder theory, broadly defined.
In the simulation, students (in groups or individually) act as the Corporate Responsibility and Ethics Officer (CREO) for a fictional cellphone company, K-Tai, Inc. As the firm’s new CREO, the students work within a budget to set-up their office, employ personnel, and respond to various scenarios that are presented to them over multiple years of operations. The scenarios emerge from the firm's wide range of stakeholders and the CREO’s responses have consequences at the individual, firm, and industry level.
We have been developing the simulation over the last year and many of you have been instrumental in that process. We have also been testing the simulation in the classroom and it has been adopted by instructors from Europe, Asia, and North America. The feedback from different cultural perspectives has been valuable in bringing the simulation to the point where we are ready to launch it as a complete product.
If any of you are interested in seeing the simulation in more detail, please let us know and Mike and I would be happy to introduce it to you. Equally, if you would like to register and explore the simulation on your own, please feel free to sign-up here.
Instructor Teaching Site: http://www.sagepub.com/strategiccsr/
The library of CSR Newsletters are archived at: http://strategiccsr-sage.blogspot.com/