“Connecting the World Through Games”: Creating Shared Value in the Case of Zynga’s Corporate Social Strategy


When using cases to teach corporate strategy and ethical decision-making, the aim is to demonstrate to students that leadership decision-making is at its most effective when all affected stakeholders are considered, from shareholders and employees, to the local, national, and global societies in which the company operates. This paper challenges the obstructive perception of many Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) advocates that the interests of private organizations in the alleviation of social problems should not be vested, but instead should originate from charitable purposes. We evaluate an alternative approach to the role of business in contributing to social progress -Creating Shared Value (CSV), and present a case study that illuminates key features of CSV. We share pedagogical strategies for a classroom discussion of the Zynga.org case that encourage students to investigate the merits and hurdles of CSV as a pathway to harmonize the twin goals of economic value creation and social change.

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