Chapter 9

Offense: Choosing a Social Problem to Alleviate

It is true that economic and social objectives have long been seen as distinct and often competing. But this is a false dichotomy; it represents an increasingly obsolete perspective in a world of open, knowledge-based competition. Companies do not function in isolation from the society around them. In fact, their ability to compete depends heavily on the circumstances of the locations where they operate.

—Michael E. Porter and Mark R. Kramer1

This book has been written to support managers to choose, develop, implement, and evaluate marketing and corporate social initiatives such that they will do the most good for the company and the cause. Its purpose is to help guide decision-making in the area of corporate social responsibility, resulting in efforts that do the most social, environmental, and economic good. It is, in the end, intended to help maximize the return on discretionary corporate investments in improving the quality of life, with the hope that future participation in these efforts is increasingly satisfying. We discussed early on that it is no longer just acceptable that the corporation does well by doing good. It is expected.

So, what can we conclude is good?

For the cause that is supported by corporate social initiatives, good is the increased realization of several potential benefits. The six marketing and corporate initiatives featured in this book have been seen to provide multiple benefits for a cause and ...

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