Ethics & Social Responsibility

Managing Corporate CrisesShort Report

Why do some companies emerge from a crisis with a minimum of harm to their reputations and long-term profitability while others suffer severe damage to their names and finances? Damage-control experts say the outcome of a corporate crisis hinges largely on the type of situation and the public’s perception…

The BoycottShort Report

As consummate consumers, Americans have embraced the boycott as a distinctively American way to influence powerful people and institutions. The internet and social media act as accelerants for activists launching boycotts, and the country’s deepening political polarization in the Trump era has further encouraged people on both sides of…

The Fiduciary RuleShort Report

Should financial industry professionals be required by law to put their clients’interests ahead of the size of their fees and commissions? That’s the thrust of a U.S. Labor Department regulation, known as the fiduciary rule, that was scheduled to take effect in April. The Trump administration called…

The Pet IndustryShort Report

With spending on pets in the United States rising annually and projected to reach almost $100 billion by the end of the decade, the pet industry is considered virtually recession-resistant by experts who study it. They cite factors such as the multigenerational appeal of pets, studies showing a correlation between…

Direct Drug MarketingShort Report

Pharmaceutical makers spend hundreds of millions of dollars each year on marketing activities that include catchy direct-to-consumer (DTC) television ads for prescription drugs, physician-targeted promotions and other strategies. Critics contend that this aggressive marketing is a threat to public health because companies overemphasize a drug’s benefits and downplay potentially…

Ethics and the Supply Chain

Under pressure from a growing movement of activists determined to make supply chains more ethical, businesses that once disclaimed responsibility for their overseas suppliers' behavior are re-examining that stance. Companies are scrutinizing the supply chain on questions ranging from environmental standards and product safety to the treatment of workers. Some…

Technology and Business Ethics

Rapidly advancing technologies such as big data analytics offer potentially great benefits to companies and consumers, but experts warn that modern technology also has a downside: It can give companies seeking a competitive edge the tools to engage in illegal or unethical practices. Because digital devices—from the sensors and…

The Business of Philanthropy

To support their philanthropic missions, U.S. nonprofit groups raise and spend trillions of dollars each year, and employ about 11 million people. They have access to unmatched wealth, dazzling technology and increasingly sophisticated and data-hungry donors. But challenges abound. They include an intense rivalry for dollars, whether fundraising is…

Business and Universities

Policymakers increasingly see universities as engines of economic growth and as “incubators of innovation.” They argue that academic capitalism—an umbrella term for a variety of market-driven university ventures—is an innovative way to fund teaching, research and campus expansion in an era of tight budgets and rising…

Business and Climate Change

Climate change is more than an environmental issue; it also is a business issue. Conservatives have long argued that trying to slow the effects of a warming planet would badly damage the economy by raising taxes, increasing regulations and lowering employment. For business leaders, the debate is not academic. If…

Ethics and Financial Services

Seven years after subprime mortgage lending and Wall Street investment maneuvering precipitated a global financial crisis, managers, lawmakers, regulators and law enforcement officials continue to debate the reasons for the 2008 debacle and the lessons still to be learned. Observers disagree about who was to blame, with bankers, regulators and…

Minimum Wage

In the United States and around the world, public concern has grown that the lowest-paid workers are falling behind as national economies recover from the global recession. Most Americans support raising the minimum wage to assist low-paid workers, and lawmakers in some U.S. states and cities have done so…

Sustainability

Many companies, mostly large multinationals, are adopting sustainability programs and delivering annual reports on their progress toward creating a new kind of business. Within this burgeoning movement, sustainable companies give the environment and human rights the same priority as profits. Their goals include protecting the Earth to reduce the effects…

Robots and Automation

Fueled by advances in computer and sensor technology, robots are growing in sophistication and versatility to become an important—and controversial—sector of the world economy. Once largely limited to manufacturing plants, robots now are found in households, offices and hospitals, and on farms and highways. Some believe robots are…

Big Data

Big data—information that can be measured in millions of billions of bytes—increasingly allows businesses to understand their customers and gain advantage over their competitors. These data sets are huge and sometimes messy but, with ever-improving statistical tools, they can yield information that allows managers to act quickly and…