Uber and the Ethics of Sharing: Exploring the Societal Promises and Responsibilities of the Sharing Economy
Abstract This case explores the changes wrought by the “sharing economy”, examining the innovations and controversies surrounding the online ride-hailing service Uber. It provides a unique overview of the challenges posed by new business models like Uber’s, which use the internet to link individual providers of goods and services to customers. Raising significant economic, social and environmental sustainability issues, it asks: what are the responsibilities of “sharing economy” companies? More specifically, are they merely “technological platforms” facilitating transactions for private individuals or do they have the same responsibilities as real-world companies such as transportation businesses, hotels and employment agencies?... »
Abstract In 2016, one of the largest renewable energy companies in the world, US-based SunEdison Inc., filed for bankruptcy when it couldn’t service the debt it had raised to achieve aggressive growth. SunEdison had had an illustrious past; it had grown to become the largest solar installation company in the US and a global renewable energy giant. By 2016, solar power had attained grid parity in some parts of the world and solar was reaching its peak growth in the developed world. Governments from the developed world, which were boosting solar power through tax rebates and subsidies were rolling back their incentivization schemes and resorting to stricter guidelines for green project funding.. On the other hand, there was... »
Abstract This case, developed primarily from secondary sources, describes the founding of Chipotle Mexican Grill (Chipotle, hereafter) in 1993 by Steve Ells and its rapid ascent to popularity as a fast-casual restaurant based on its unique socially responsible Food with Integrity strategy. Under the leadership of founder-CEO Steve Ells and co-CEO Montgomery Moran, Chipotle outperformed the S&P 500 as well as its rivals since its IPO in 2006. However, in 2015, the multiple food contamination outbreaks reversed its course, plunging its stock price to an all-time low. In spite of the prompt actions taken by Chipotle’s leadership, the company’s stock price did not regain its pre-scandal highs in the stock market. However, on September 6, 2016, news of... »
Abstract This case looks at some key challenges before Jeremy Schwartz (Schwartz), CEO of The Body Shop International Plc. (Body Shop), and its International Director of Corporate Responsibility and Campaigns, Christopher Davis (Davis), as they try to re-establish the company as a leader in ethical retail and maintain its distinct image amid tough competition and boost sales. Body Shop was regarded as a pioneer in modern CSR practices and was strongly associated with the social activism of its founder, Dame Anita Roddick (Roddick). The case discusses how since its inception, Body Shop had endorsed and championed various social issues such as opposition to animal testing, development of community trade, building of self-esteem, campaigning for human rights, and protection... »
Ten Thousand Villages in Crisis: Can the Fair Trade Pioneer Survive and Flourish in an Economic Downturn?
Abstract This two-part case examines a major reorganization process which took place at Ten Thousand Villages Canada in 2013, as a response to severe challenges from the aftermath of the 2007-08 global financial crisis. Ten Thousand Villages is one of the oldest fair trade organizations in North America, whose history can be traced back to craft sales in 1946. The case was developed in close collaboration with managers and volunteers of Ten Thousand Villages Canada, as well as their producer partners in Kenya. The Part A case provides an overview of Ten Thousand Villages (e.g., history, producer partnerships, operation in Canada) and the financial challenges faced by the organization in 2013. Part A facilitates the discussion of how... »