Winter 2008

Volume 6, Number 1

Traditionally, corporate social responsibility efforts serve a business’ local community. But today’s multinational corporations—headquarters in one country, manufacturing facilities in another, satellite offices in several more—are international in influence and impact. “The Responsibility Paradox,” the winter 2009 cover story of Stanford Social Innovation Review, predicts that the European Union will set the tone for product and environmental regulations, the United States will lead on governance, and international NGOs will drive human rights and labor laws.


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In Microfinance, Clients Must Come First

By Srikant M. Datar, Marc J. Epstein, & Kristi Yuthas 19

Few microfinance institutions articulate what, exactly, their ultimate goals are and how to achieve them. If the goal of microfinance is to alleviate poverty, the authors say, then MFIs should focus on helping their clients build successful enterprises, rather than on making more and bigger loans.

Human Rights

Getting Human Rights Right

By Jenik Radon, Margo Tatgenhorst Drakos, & Tarek Farouk Maassarani

Corporations that violate human rights not only inflict suffering, but also hurt their bottom line. The authors suggest five principles that corporations can follow to improve their human rights footprint.

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Social Entrepreneurship

Cultivate Your Ecosystem

By Paul N. Bloom & J. Gregory Dees 1

Social entrepreneurs not only must understand the broad environment in which they work, but also must shape those environments to support their goals, when feasible. Borrowing insights from the field of ecology, the authors offer an ecosystems framework to help social entrepreneurs create long-lasting and significant social change.

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Socially Responsible Business

The Responsibility Paradox

By Gerald F. Davis, Marina V.N. Whitman, & Mayer N. Zald 5

Multinational corporations are in a quandary: Stakeholders are imposing higher standards than ever, but businesses are confused about what their global social responsibilities actually are.

Field Report

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Smart Soaps

By Corey Binns

The Population Media Center mixes science with soap operas to protect public health.

Case Study

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Curbing Mission Creep

By Kim Jonker & William F. Meehan III

Despite temptations to broaden its focus, the Rural Development Institute has remained single-mindedly devoted to its mission. As a result, the organization has helped 400 million poor farmers around the world take ownership of some 270 million acres of land – all on a modest budget.




The Stingy Hour

By Alana Conner

Workers paid by the hour are less likely to volunteer than are salaried employees.



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