Going “Beyond Corporate Purpose”

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The (formerly EPI-USE) case focuses on CEO Jonathan Tager as he grapples with implementing and sustaining his company’s recently launched Beyond Corporate Purpose: Elephants, Rhinos & People (‘ERP’) program. In what is more than just a Corporate Social Responsibility (‘CSR’) program but rather a hybrid business model, Tager is contemplating how to measure and convey the program’s expected impact on elephant and rhino poaching, as well as on poverty alleviation in South Africa. The case study highlights the difficulty of planning in embarking on programs of this nature as well as CSR programs in general. It also addresses topics such as hybrid (blended) business models, the ‘theory of change’ underlying CSR strategy, and the challenges involved in defining and measuring impact. The case explores organizational challenges and tensions related to adopting a business model that is no longer solely for-profit, including whether companies have a responsibility to actively engage in advocacy and devote significant resources to social and environmental (conservation) objectives or whether such efforts violate the fiduciary responsibility that CEOs have to shareholders.

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