About the course

This course will offer an introduction to theory and concepts in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), exploring cases that demonstrate the great potential that CSR projects may have to improve the world but also provoke skepticism.

Students will learn:

  • how to leverage corporate structures and nonprofits’ experience to undertake CSR activities that have real public benefit;
  • the relationship between philanthropy and corporate self-interest;
  • how ventures can assess whether they are doing good CSR, exploring topics including measurement, attribution, and cost benefit analysis.

Through this four-week course, students from either the business or the philanthropic sector will develop a greater understanding of both sides of the partnerships that underlie Corporate Social Responsibility projects. They will learn how they might improve their interactions with their cross-sector partners, develop better partnerships, improve their use of pooled resources, and deepen their impact.

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Finally, they will learn from many examples of Corporate Social Responsibility across the world. This course will teach students interested in developing a CSR project to conduct a wider search than they may have previously undertaken to identify lessons and solutions that they may adapt to their own setting.

What you'll learn

  • The relationship between philanthropy and corporate self-interest;
  • Corporate social responsibility (CSR) from a multi-stakeholder perspective;
  • CSR’s contributions to a company’s bottom line;
  • The influence of corporate cultures on competent CSR;
  • How to create, implement, and use a corporate code of conduct;
  • Principles and examples of CSR in the US, Netherlands, and India;
  • Criteria for successful corporate- community partnerships.

About the instructors

Peter Frumkin is Professor of Social Policy & Practice and holds the Mindy and Andrew Heyer Chair in Social Policy at the University of Pennsylvania. He is also Faculty Director of the Center for Social Impact Strategy and Director of the Nonprofit Leadership programme at UPenn, and the Research Director of the Satell Institute.

Femida Handy is Professor of Social Policy at the School of Social Policy and Practice at the University of Pennsylvania and the Director of its PhD programme. Her research and teaching focus on the economics of the nonprofit sector, volunteering, philanthropy, nonprofit management, entrepreneurship, and microfinance.

Lonneke Roza is a post-doctoral fellow at the Rotterdam School of Management at Erasmus University Rotterdam. She specialises in employee engagement in Corporate Social Responsibility with a special interest in community involvement strategies (i.e. corporate citizenship; corporate community involvement; corporate philanthropy).

Robert Bird is Professor of Business Law and Eversource Energy Chair in Business Ethics at the University of Connecticut. He conducts research in compliance, employment law, legal strategy, intellectual property, law and marketing, business and human rights, and related fields. Robert has authored over seventy academic publications, including articles in the Journal of Law and Economics, American Business Law Journal, Law and Society Review, Connecticut Law Review, Boston College Law Review, and the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy.

Duration: 4weeks, 2-5 hours per week

Language: English

Instructors: Peter Frumkin, Femida Handy, Lonneke Roza, Robert Bird

Institution: University of Pennsylvania