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  • 1.  From good to bad

    Posted 09-16-2020 11:49
    Howdy SIMians. Could you please share with me any examples you're aware of in which good companies have gone bad? Now, I'm not talking about technology misfits like Polaroid & Blackberry; rather, I'm looking for examples of companies that have been known for their social responsibility that then suffer lapses. To further clarify, I'm also NOT looking for examples of firms being shown to not really be as socially responsible as they were claiming, like the Body Shop, etc. Instead, I'd appreciate any specific examples (and associated written support where available) of companies that genuinely were socially responsible, maybe even were rewarded/awarded for their CSR, that started being less socially responsible or even irresponsible thereafter. 


    Michael Barnett
    Rutgers University
    Newark NJ
    (973) 353-3697

  • 2.  RE: From good to bad

    Posted 09-17-2020 07:38
    Hi Michael, I'm not sure this is the kind of case you are looking for, but the Swedish oat-milk-producer Oatly has been largely critizised for taking in Blackstone as an investor. Oatly has become famous and successful thanks the its mission to "save the planet". Here are some links, and you can fin many more it this is the kind of case you look for:

    Henrika Franck
    Aalto University School of Business
    +358-(0)50-5856 529

  • 3.  RE: From good to bad

    Posted 09-17-2020 07:50

    Hi Michael,

    You have probably heard this story... but I thought I would share it anyway.  We have a company in our own backyard... Johnson and Johnson; You can find their story about Risperdal at https://highline.huffingtonpost.com/miracleindustry/americas-most-admired-lawbreaker/.  In addition, their involvement in the Opioid epidemic is well known; we also have the stories about talc and asbestos etc.

    There is also the DuPont story featured in the movie Dark Waters... but were they a "good" company to begin with?  That story is featured in quite a few places including the Huffington Post Highline.

    BTW, the "good" company label is reputational... could it be that they were never really good?  just very good at managing reputation?

    Hope you find this useful




    Sent from Mail for Windows 10


  • 4.  RE: From good to bad

    Posted 09-18-2020 12:48
    I use O'Toole's 2019 book The Enlightened Capitalists for examples of this in my teaching.  His historic approach has stimulated many discussions about the sustainability of "good companies."


    Hurst Senior Professorial Lecturer
    Director of the Social Enterprise Program
    American University School of International Service

    +1 202.885.1618
    SIS Building, Room 222

    Robert Tomasko
    American University
    Washington DC
    (202) 885-1618