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Reference no. SKS128
Harvard Business Publishing (2005)
1 February 2007
This is a Spanish version. At the close of 2004, CANTV was Venezuela's largest privately owned company. It operated in the telecom market, the only economic sector other than oil that enjoyed sustained growth in the 1990s. At the start of 2000, it faced growing competition, regulated tariffs, and deteriorating consumer purchasing power. The company focused efforts on cost containment and the introduction of new services. Although in 2004 the telecom sector rebounded, political instability, currency devaluation, and tariff regulation affected investment plans. Poses the challenge of designing a social responsibility strategy for a large, publicly traded Latin American company operating in a context of political instability, financial volatility, and growing poverty. President Gustavo Roosen felt CANTV should project a 'grand and friendly' image to its stakeholders (customers, government, and suppliers, among others). The aim was to align the social portfolio with the image of a company that generated social (friendly) and economic value (grand). The company's social responsibility was implemented through a variety of programs. CANTV had placed emphasis on philanthropy by means of the Social Fund and other sponsorships, run from the Institutional Relations Department. In 2004 CANTV launched Super@ulas, a program aligned with the telecom business and managed from the executive vice president's office. Some of the company's top managers expressed concern in 2004 over the results generated by social contributions, and looked for synergistic opportunities - among them improved relations with the regulating agency and alignment with business objectives. The idea was to continue providing support to social agencies, many of which were at risk as a result of the shrinking number of grant sources and a government policy that sought total control over social programs.