• The Institute for Business in Society designs innovative materials for students and business leaders, develops case studies and reports based on new research, and produces other publications to advance knowledge on issues related to business and society.

    Reports and White Papers

    The Institute for Business in Society's academic directors, affiliated faculty and staff produce a variety of reports and white papers which promote thought leadership on topics and trends related to business and society. Examples of recent reports include:

    Ideas to Action Special Edition Reports

    Views From the C-Suite

    The Strategic CFO Roundtable gathers leading chief financial officers in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area to discuss, debate and share best practices for enhancing the strategic role of the CFO. Led by Darden Professor Kenneth M. Eades, this quarterly gathering produces a report, Views from the C-Suite, based on survey data and the meeting discussion of contemporary issues.

    Case Studies and Teaching Materials

    The Institute for Business in Society creates case studies and collaborates with Darden faculty on teaching materials that highlight the issues, impact and opportunities of business in society. Examples of these case studies include:

    Chiquita and the U.S. Department of Justice

    In April 2003, Chiquita Brand International's Audit Committee Chair Roderick Hills met with the U.S. Department of Justice to disclose the company's participation in making payments to the Autodefensas Unidas de Colombia, a right-wing paramilitary group in Colombia, in exchange for the safety of its Colombian subsidiary employees. U.S. Department of Justice Attorney Michael Chertoff's response to Chiquita was ambiguous, and when Chiquita decided to sell its Colombian operations, the company’s management there insisted that a failure to make one last payment before the sale was consummated would create a severe risk to employee safety.

    Eastman Tritan

    By 2005, Eastman Chemical Company, based in Tennessee, had created a new specialty plastic, Tritan, which demonstrated heat resistance and durability properties that might allow Eastman to compete in the lucrative polycarbonate plastics market. Development of this product was a major breakthrough for both Eastman and the broader chemical industry; however, the Eastman specialty plastics team had to contend with numerous challenges and face several dilemmas, including: Who should the initial launch partners be, given Eastman's limited manufacturing capacity, and how aggressively should Eastman price Tritan, given that price would drive demand in the launch markets and in new markets?

    Genzyme and Relational Investors: Science and Business Collide?

    The chair and CEO of the Genzyme Corporation, one of the country's top five biotechnology firms, has received a phone call requesting a meeting with the co-founder and principal of a large activist investment fund that now has a 2.6% stake in his company. Before meeting with him, the CEO is aware that he needs a strategy for dealing with this "activist" investor with a track record of forcing out CEOs.

    NaanDanJain: Every Drop of Water Counts

    In 2012, Jain Irrigation Systems, a multinational company founded in India, became sole owner of the Israel-based NaanDan Joint Venture, a privately held, well-respected irrigation technology firm. When considering demographic and economic variables for each country, the merger illustrated the challenges of providing irrigation to small farmers, and situates the formation/establishment of NaanDanJain within the divergent water policies and water practices of both Israel and India.

    World Wildlife Fund and the Coca-Cola Company: A Global Partnership for Freshwater Conservation

    Suzanne Apple, senior vice president of private sector engagement at World Wildlife Fund-United States (WWF), was preparing for an important meeting with her counterpart at the Coca-Cola Company (TCCC). The two companies had formed a tremendously successful partnership several years earlier that focused on freshwater conservation and other environmental issues. With the original agreement set to expire, Apple needed to draft recommendations for a new agreement, ensuring that WWF's priorities aligned with TCCC's, and vice versa. But what should the scope and goals of the new partnership be?

    All of the IBiS Darden School case studies are available at Darden Business Publishing.

    Other Publications

    Institute for Business in Society faculty and staff author books and other publications which address critical issues related to business and society. Some recent publications include:

    Bridging the Values Gap: How Authentic Organizations Bring Values to Life
    R. Edward Freeman and Ellen Auster
    Berrett-Koehler Publishers, August 2015

    Business has a values problem. It’s not just spectacular public scandals like Enron (which, incidentally, had a great corporate values statement). Many companies fail to live up to the standards they set for themselves, alienating the public and leaving employees cynical and disengaged—resulting in lower productivity, less innovation, and sometimes outright corruption.

    The reason, argue top scholars and consultants Edward Freeman and Ellen Auster, is that most companies’ values are just handed down from on high, with no employee input or discussion and little connection of any kind to the organization—they’re just well-intentioned words that sound nice together. This practically invites disconnects between intention and reality.

    To bridge this values gap, Freeman and Auster provide a process through which organizations can collectively surface deeply-held values that truly resonate with everyone, from top to bottom. By developing values through discussions—casual or formal, one-on-one or in groups— businesses can ensure that values are dynamic and evolving, not static words on a wall or a website. In Bridging the Values Gap, Freeman and Auster offer advice, real-world examples, and sample questions to help business leaders create values that are authentic and embraced because they are rooted in the lived experience of the organization.

    Public Trust in Business
    Jared D. Harris
    , Brian T. Moriarty and Andrew C. Wicks
    Cambridge University Press, July 2014

    Public trust in business is one of the most important but least understood issues for business leaders, public officials, employees and other key stakeholders. The book Public Trust in Business seeks to close the knowledge gap in our understanding of how public trust in business works, by drawing on the expertise of an international array of experts from academic disciplines including business, sociology, political science and philosophy. Each chapter begins with an executive summary that identifies key lessons for managers seeking to build and maintain public trust in their companies.

    Stakeholder Theory: The State of the Art
    R. Edward Freeman, Jeffrey S. Harrison, Andrew C. Wicks, Bidhan ("Bobby") Parmar and Simone de Colle
    Cambridge University Press, 2010

    "The book is a great tool for those who want to have a deep understanding of different perspectives of stakeholder theory. It draws together research of over 30 years as it has been applied in a number of business contexts, in a way that allows readers to understand the evolution of theory, how it has been applied and what future avenues need exploration." — Michael Jay Polonsky, Deakin University, Melbourne

    "Ed Freeman and his colleagues have produced an erudite, subtle, vigorously argued account of stakeholder theory. Their provocative book will not be the last word on the subject, but it is the best contribution so far to an extraordinarily important conversation." — Edwin Hartman, New York University