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

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Strategic CSR - Extinction

The article in the url below quantifies the effect humanity has had on the other animals sharing our planet:
"Humankind is revealed as simultaneously insignificant and utterly dominant in the grand scheme of life on Earth by a groundbreaking new assessment of all life on the planet."
"The world's 7.6 billion people represent just 0.01% of all living things, according to the study. Yet since the dawn of civilisation, humanity has caused the loss of 83% of all wild mammals and half of plants, while livestock kept by humans abounds."
As noted in earlier Newsletters, the impact of humanity is leading to the declaration of a new era, the Anthropocene (see Strategic CSR – Anthropocene), but this article suggests a new indicator of this impact:
"One suggested marker for this change are the bones of the domestic chicken, now ubiquitous across the globe. The new work reveals that farmed poultry today makes up 70% of all birds on the planet, with just 30% being wild. The picture is even more stark for mammals – 60% of all mammals on Earth are livestock, mostly cattle and pigs, 36% are human and just 4% are wild animals."
This era is characterized not only by the indicators of human life (such as plastic and nuclear fallout), which will remain for millennia, but also by the devastation that humanity as caused:
"The destruction of wild habitat for farming, logging and development has resulted in the start of what many scientists consider the sixth mass extinction of life to occur in the Earth's four billion year history. About half the Earth's animals are thought to have been lost in the last 50 years. ... Just one-sixth of wild mammals, from mice to elephants, remain, surprising even the scientists. In the oceans, three centuries of whaling has left just a fifth of marine mammals in the oceans."
The graphics accompanying the article demonstrate this effect particularly well, for example:
Take care
Instructor Teaching and Student Study Site:
Strategic CSR Simulation:
The library of CSR Newsletters are archived at:
Humans just 0.01% of all life but have destroyed 83% of wild mammals
By Damian Carrington
May 21, 2018
The Guardian

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Strategic CSR - Patriotism

The article in the url below tackles the issue of active stakeholder engagement. In particular, it discusses the politicization of sports here in the U.S. in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks:
"I think back to that Tuesday morning nearly 17 years ago. I was living with my fiancĂ©e on 49th Street and 10th Avenue in New York, Hell's Kitchen, covering the Yankees for The Bergen Record, when the World Trade Center fell. It changed many things. For any American born after, say, 1985, it became the most defining day of their life — their Pearl Harbor, their Cold War, their Vietnam and Watergate. But it also changed how sports were sold, packaged, perceived and marketed."
The author, who has just published a book on this subject (The Heritage: Black Athletes, a Divided America, and the Politics of Patriotism), argues that, what was originally intended to be a unifying force for a wounded country has been corrupted into paid advertisements designed to encourage military recruitment. More importantly, it has had a damaging effect on public discourse, where any attempt to divert from the accepted norm becomes an act of disloyalty:

"It all felt right, until temporary grieving turned into a permanent, commercial bonanza — and a chilling referendum on who gets to be American. But then it didn't feel right, like when in 2008, a New York police officer ejected a fan at a Red Sox-Yankees game after he left his seat during a seventh-inning-stretch recording of 'God Bless America.' Recently a high-ranking Red Sox official told me — nearly 17 years after the towers fell — that he really doesn't know why the team still plays 'God Bless America,' but he knows this: The team would 'get killed' publicly if it was the first team to stop doing it."

A good example of the 'corruption' of the patriotic displays at sports events is the extent to which they are manufactured, rather than being organic and spontaneous:
"There was another major pivot when the Department of Defense surreptitiously began paying sports teams to embed the military in the game — paying to have servicemen strategically seated at games, surprise homecomings as in-game entertainment, American flags the size of the football field — as recruiting tools. The public wasn't told that the displays weren't organic support of the troops but a business transaction between military and team. The commercials followed."
The author argues, persuasively I think, that this has had ramifications for those athletes who seek to use their platforms to promote social change; in particular, it has served to further smother the voice of African-American athletes. The conclusion is that this has been allowed to happen by everyone else. At some level we know, but we either no longer care or are too nervous to speak up:
"On it goes, the perfectly scripted games, with Law Enforcement Appreciation Night in Dallas and anti-police protests outside a Kings game in Sacramento. Sports have been remade since Sept. 11, and nobody seems to care. People even acknowledge paid patriotism to be a deception, but have decided incongruously that it's a 'harmless deception.' Ultimately, I reached another conclusion: I no longer ask 'How did we get here?' but 'How do we get out of here?' and do we even care enough to try?"

The tie-in to Strategic CSR is the idea of stakeholder engagement – that, much of what our society has become (the freedoms and rights that we have) has been won at great cost. In other words, what we take for granted is not the natural state of being, but something that has to be constantly fought for and renewed. To the extent that we give up that fight, then society can quickly revert to what was before. If we are doing that consciously (if it is change we are choosing), it is OK. If we are doing it negligently, however, then we are sacrificing much of what many others before us struggled to achieve, and we will be worse off as a result.
Take care
Instructor Teaching and Student Study Site:
Strategic CSR Simulation:
The library of CSR Newsletters are archived at:
How Did Our Sports Get So Divisive?
By Howard Bryant
May 12, 2018
The New York Times
Late Edition – Final

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Strategic CSR - Welcome back!

Welcome back to the Strategic CSR Newsletter!
The first newsletter of the Fall semester is below.
I am on sabbatical this semester and travelling, so Newsletters may be
more intermittent than usual.
As always, your comments and ideas are welcome.
The radio segment in the url below contains a fascinating statistic that reflects the pace of change in the nature of work:
"… 6 in 10 children starting elementary school today will end up in jobs that don't yet exist."
This statistic, which comes from the World Economic Forum, inevitably leads to the question:
"How do you get a student ready for a future that you can't really describe?"
Naturally, this has implications for the education system, in general, but also in terms of specific issues/subjects, such as CSR:
"It means that you have to be training them on how to adapt to many tough situations, how to think critically and how to immerse them in today's real world problems. Today it's very different than maybe two decades ago, where you learned just a specific skill, and you had that skill and stayed in that career for the rest of your life. The economy is changing so rapidly, not just with tech but with globalization ... You use textbooks, but you also have to create real world situations to which they react."
I wonder how business schools are responding to these evolving needs? They need to be part of the solution, but are inhabited by the same inertial forces that characterize any organization.
Take care
Instructor Teaching and Student Study Site:
Strategic CSR Simulation:
The library of CSR Newsletters are archived at:
Retiring Colorado Education Titans on How to Keep Schools Relevant in a Changing World
By Joella Baumann
July 25, 2018
Colorado Public Radio