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Romanticizing the Poor

Date posted: 15 Sep 2009 - Category: comment

Author: Aneel Karnani

Organisation: Standford Graduate School of Business

Description: Market solutions to poverty are very much in vogue. These solutions, which include services and products targeting consumers at the "bottom of the pyramid," portray poor people as creative entrepreneurs and discerning consumers. Yet this rosy view of poverty-stricken people is not only wrong, but also harmful. It allows corporations, governments, and nonprofi ts to deny this vulnerable population the protections it needs. Romanticizing the poor also hobbles realistic interventions for alleviating poverty.

Document type:  pdf

Our ranking
Insightfive stars
Originalityfive stars
Credibilityfive stars
Overallfive stars

Our comments:  Karnani is one of the most thoughtful and challenging writers on the role of business in alleviating poverty. He has been quick to challenge what he sees as wishful thinking in a lot of the bottom-of-the-pyramid texts of the day, and whether you agree with his viewpoint or not these are well-argued, well-referenced points that need to be considered carefully. He is one of the few original, critical voices engaging the debate that are really helping to test and shape thinking, and if you are interested in this area you should read this, and his other (referenced in this document) writings on the subject.

Tags: Marketplace, Responsible marketing, Sweatshops

Link to resource:  Romanticizing the Poor

Mapping the Landscape - CSR issues for the media sector 2008

Media CSR Forum issues map

Date posted: 6 Apr 2009 - Category: report

Organisation: Media CSR Forum

Description: The Media CSR Forum is a group of media organisations developing CSR and sustainability practices and understanding for the UK media sector. In 2003 the forum commissioned a stakeholder engagement exercise in order to validate the focus areas for the group. Some of these areas have unique implications to the sector. These include: diversity of output, accessibility, security, privacy, freedom of expression, creative independence, transparency of process, impartiality and balance, and media literacy. This report is the result of a new stakeholder survey, which looked to identify the main CSR issues the media industry face.

Document type:  pdf

Our ranking
Insightfour stars
Originalityfour stars
Credibilitythree stars
Overallfour stars

Our comments:  The CSR issues around the media sector are amongst the trickiest, because they can be so specific to the culture of the country, and so much based on societal expectations. This recent report is interesting because it adds several new issues to the map created in 2003 - including responsible advertising and climate change. It may seem surprising that climate change didn't make the list in 2003. Back then, the media companies saw themselves as having minimal environmental impact, focusing instead on the responsibilities of media content. Of course, everyone now understands that they have an important part to play in this area in 2009. The slightly lower rating on credibility comes because the survey had such small participation from industry participants, making it largely an outside view of the issues for the sector. Coming from the Media CSR Forum, you would have expected that this would be a legitimate place for the real media sector voice to be heard.

Tags: General CSR, Climate change, Responsible marketing

Link to resource:  Mapping the Landscape - CSR issues for the media sector 2008

Marketplace Responsibility Principles

Marketplace Responsibility Principles

Date posted: 10 May 2008 - Category: report

Organisation: Business in the Community

Description: The Marketplace Responsibility Principles are a guide for implementing responsible business in medium-sized to large companies, and have been developed by the Marketplace Taskforce, a group of 10 global and UK companies chaired by Mike Clasper, former CEO of BAA plc.

Document type:  pdf

Our ranking
Insightfour stars
Originalityfour stars
Credibilityfour stars
Overallfour stars

Our comments:  The Marketplace Responsibility Principles present the thoughts of some of the UK's top business leaders on how social responsibility applies to the process of how you make your money.

Tags: Customer issues, Marketplace, Responsible marketing, Controversial products, Supply chain, Corporate lobbying

Link to resource:  Marketplace Responsibility Principles

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