Ben and Jerrys

Topics: Strategic management, Sociology, Meagre set Pages: 2 (563 words) Published: August 25, 2010
Ben and Jerry’s is known for having strong corporate social responsibility. The Ben & Jerry’s Foundation, a separate entity from the Company, was established in 1985 through a donation of stock in Ben & Jerry’s Homemade, Inc. Its mission is to make the world a better place by empowering Ben & Jerry’s employees to use available resources to support and encourage organizations that are working towards eliminating the underlying causes of environmental and social problems. (Ben and Jerry’s) However, Ben and Jerry’s has a business leadership challenge of prioritizing the social issues that the foundation supports. As Michael Porter and Mark Kramer wrote in Strategy and Society, No business can solve all of society’s problems or bear the cost of doing so. Instead, each company must select issues that interest with its particular business. Social issues affecting a company fall into three categories, which distinguish between the many worth causes and the narrower set of social issues that are both import and strategic for the business. The three categories are generic social issues, value chain social impacts and social dimensions of competitive context. (Porter) How has Ben and Jerry’s Foundation been managing this challenge? Have the grants they gave in the first quarter of 2007 fallen into these three categories? The first category, generic social issues, involve social issues that are not significantly affected by a company’s operations nor materially affect its long-term competitiveness. (Porter) An example of Ben and Jerry’s Foundation generic social issues is a grant given to House the Homeless, Inc. which provides education and advocacy surrounding issues of homelessness and homelessness prevention. (Ben and Jerry’s) Generic social issues are part of Ben and Jerry’s responsive corporate social responsibility and promote good citizen ship. The second category of social issues, value chain social impacts, are social issues that are significantly...
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