Featured cases:
Internal Dimensions of Corporate Responsibility

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The cases

CSRThese cases about companies based in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) highlight best practice in corporate social responsibility (CSR) and are part of a project coordinated by Kozminski University, Warsaw, Poland.

The project, Internal Dimensions of Corporate Responsibility, is being run in liaison with CEU Business School, Budapest, Hungary; the Graduate School of Management, St. Petersburg, Russian Federation; and CSR Ukraine Community, Lviv, Ukraine.

The Academy of Business in Society (ABIS) is supporting the project.

CSR

ABIS is a global network of over 130 companies and academic institutions whose expertise, commitment and resources are used to achieve a more sustainable future for business in society. ABIS enables informed decision-making through collaborative research, education, thought leadership, policy insights and business acumen

About the cases

Streamlining CSR: An Answer in Economic Difficulties (Telenor Hungary)

Streamlining CSRIn 2009-10 the Hungarian ICT sector was experiencing great difficulty because of the global economic crisis, new regulations and an extra 'crisis' tax introduced by the Hungarian government. But what happens to CSR in such circumstances? How can spending on CSR be justified when people are being fired and operations are downsized?
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By Peter Hardi and Gergely Radacsi, Central European University

GlaxoSmithKline: The Limits of Health Education

GlaxoSmithKlineGlaxoSmithKline’s spearheaded the first social campaign about rotavirus diarrhoea infection to be carried out in Central and Eastern Europe. However, the pharmaceutical advertising authorities said the campaign broke Polish law banning the promotion of prescription drugs. Where does the boundary lie between government and corporate intervention in health education? Find out more

By Boleslaw Rok and Iwona Kuraszko, Kozminski University

Provident: How to Tackle Financial Exclusion in Poland?

ProvidentProvident Poland introduced new responsible lending standards in 2010 to both alleviate financial exclusion and increase the number of loans that were repaid. But how can financial education be distinguished from commercial advice? Is there an inherent conflict of interest between making cash loans to low-income people and the basic principles of responsible lending? Find out more

By Boleslaw Rok and Iwona Kuraszko, Kozminski University

E.ON Hungary: CSR – Social Obligation or Financial Burden?

E.ON HungaryFollowing deaths during the severe winter of 2009/2010, leading energy supplier, E.ON Hungary, said it would not disconnect disadvantaged non-payers until temperatures rose again. The Hungarian government then banned all winter disconnections, no matter what the temperature, putting energy suppliers at a disadvantage. This case explores the challenges that arise when dealing with social responsibilities.
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By Peter Hardi, Central European University, and Katalin Romics, Hungarian Gas Storage - MVM Group

Azovstal Seeking the Competitive Edge: Meeting the Human Resources Challenge in Traditional Ukrainian Industries

Azovstal Iron and Steel WorksAzovstal Iron and Steel Works, Ukraine, faced a long-term challenge in hiring and retaining new management personnel. This case explores how Azovstal attracted employees by actively helping to improve the Ukrainian educational system. The case illustrates how CSR can have positive outcomes for both companies and society as a whole.
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By Volodymyr Vorobey, CSR Ukraine Community, and Sophia Opatska, Ukrainian Catholic University

MTS Expanding Internet Access in Ukraine: Corporate Responsibility or Business Opportunity?

MTSThis case highlights the challenges faced by MTS Ukraine when it proposed a one-year pilot project offering free web access to schools. The dual aim was to modernise the Ukrainian education system and promote MTS as an innovative company. Find out more

By Volodymyr Vorobey and Svitlana  Batsyukova, CSR Ukraine Community

The authors
Authors

Peter Hardi, Member, Society for Business Ethics, and Boleslaw Rok, Professor of Corporate Responsibility Management, Kozminski University, two of the case authors closely involved with the Internal Dimensions of Corporate Responsibility project, discuss corporate social responsibility (CSR) and the need for CSR to be integrated into mainstream management and executive education in Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries.

Marked increase

Alt textThe concept of corporate social responsibility has existed for decades, but it’s only in recent years that the number of organisations actively engaged in CSR has increased markedly. It is now widely understood as integral to the efficient, effective and sustainable functioning of markets and businesses.

Currently, education in this field in CEE countries is completely dominated by best practice and cases from developed markets. This is why we wanted to develop local cases about companies in Central and Eastern Europe. We also believe our cases will be of equal use to educators in developed countries too.

Similarities and differences

All the cases were written in cooperation with the companies concerned, which in itself was an education for them as well as for us.

The aim is to provide global corporate players with the skills and knowledge they need to integrate CSR and sustainability into their cultures. It’s important for global companies operating in CEE countries to understand the best ways to improve their CSR performance locally.

In addition, we hope to offer a better understanding of the similarities and differences between ‘New Europe’ and ‘Old Europe’.

Transition economies

Perceptions of CSR in CEE countries are strongly influenced by the inheritance from communism. An expectation that the state should provide job security, social services, and free health and education still survives. This expectation puts pressure on companies to continue these services within a CSR framework.

Governments, in turn, rely on corporate resources to fulfil their social responsibilities and CSR is considered complementary to public policy. What role should the state and government have in CSR? This important and hotly debated topic is explored in these cases.

Emerging model

The emerging model of CSR is much more focused on operating the core business in an innovative, socially responsible way, complemented by investment in communities for solid business reasons. Social and environmental issues, once assumed to be the domains of government and non-governmental organisations, now continue to move up the corporate leadership agenda.

 
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Download the cases and teaching notes

Educators can login to view free inspection copies of these cases and their teaching notes.

Streamlining CSR: An Answer in Economic Difficulties (Telenor Hungary) 
Ref 714-047-1
Teaching note
Ref 714-047-8

GlaxoSmithKline: The Limits of Health Education
Ref 714-048-1
Teaching note
Ref 714-048-8

Provident: How to Tackle Financial Exclusion in Poland?
Ref 714-049-1
Teaching note
Ref 714-049-8

E.ON Hungary: CSR – Social Obligation or Financial Burden?
Ref 714-050-1
Teaching note
Ref 714-050-8

Azovstal Seeking the Competitive Edge: Meeting the Human Resources Challenge in Traditional Ukrainian Industries
Ref 714-084-1
Teaching note
Ref 714-084-8

MTS Expanding Internet Access in Ukraine: Corporate Responsibility or Business Opportunity?
Ref 714-085-1
Teaching note
Ref 714-085-8

 

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