International View of Corporate Social Responsibility

IE Focus Newsletter November 2008November 2008 | By Joaquin Garralda, Professor at IE Business School

Corporate Social Responsibility now forms an integral part of the corporate DNA, but like humans, CSR comprises different ethnic groups. Around the year 2000, large multinational firms began to understand that if there was political instability, corruption and social malaise in less developed countries and they did not have minimum levels of health and education, poverty would become structural and the effects of the situation would not be limited to the said countries, but would also affect developed markets in various ways.

In addition, supranational political bodies began to recognise the need to support the business community in order to reach the “Millennium Development Goals”, a United Nations initiative created to eradicate world poverty. One example of this recognition is the United Nations Global Compact initiative, presented to large international enterprises by Kofi Annan in a meeting at the Davos World Economic Summit (Switzerland) in 1999. For the enterprise, signing this initiative means trying to include the 10 principles (respect for human rights, labour rights, the environment and anti-corruption processes) in all their transactions, regardless of the country in which they operate. The ultimate goal is for businesses to set voluntary limits to their procedures in environments where institutional fragility or the lack of control over resources could lead to behaviour not in keeping with a more human and sustainable world.

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One step further towards technological innovation

1630.jpgNovember 2008 | By Yanire Braña, Professor at IE Business School

Itâ??s true that science and technology are the future, but some still face too many obstacles when it comes to accessing todayâ??s knowledge. The development of technological innovation is one of the main factors for guaranteeing long-term economic growth and minimising associated risks and entry barriers.

The responsible use of science and technology requires first of all solving or at least minimising the associated risks and problems. By the same token, the promotion of technological innovation also requires that the current tension among the players involved in the production of science and technology be solved, and that common ground for understanding among social, scientific and political interests be found. However, with a view to approaching innovation from other standpoints, it is our responsibility to reconcile science with society. In this particular case, the Minister of Innovation, Cristina Garmendia, has recently highlighted the need to combat the new forms of social and economic exclusion generated by unequal access to the knowledge society in which we live.

Indeed, unequal access to knowledge, which is largely due to the lack of technological know-how or resources, should be the first barrier to be overcome. The current gender gap regarding the use and adoption of technologies in Spain reveals an urgent need for measures and initiatives aimed at supporting women´s progress in the world of science and technology.

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IE holds the No. 2 position worldwide in the Business Week ranking of non-US MBA programs! IE商学院最新被《商业周刊》排名为全球MBA第二&#20301

Madrid, 14 November 2008. IE Business School holds the No. 2 position worldwide in the BusinessWeek ranking of non-US MBA programs. The authors of the ranking, published every two years, pointed to the student body of IE’s International MBA Program as one of the key factors for success. Students on the program come from 57…

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Financial Turmoil: What more can we do? Will it be enough?

IE Focus Newsletter November 2008November 2008 | By Jose Maria O’Kean, Professor at IE Business School

The financial crisis has led to a raft of measures by governments across the world. Most are correct but insufficient.

These are the two questions to be asked after the battery of measures we have taken to mitigate the financial crisis over the last few days. The purchase of toxic assets, the reduction of intervention interest rates to create money, the increase in the amount of deposits guaranteed by the Guarantee Fund, the direct intervention of the state in banks, assuming their commitments, the injection of liquidity by purchasing healthy assets, the injection of equity in banks with state holdings in their capital, the award of guarantees to banks so that they can fulfil their function of giving credits to families and enterprises to protect the real economy from asphyxiation, the ECBâ??s increase of the number of banks that can access direct finance due to the fact that the interbank market is not working…

The spectacle being written by economic history and which we are witnessing first-hand has astounded the global economic environment and created panic in a good number of individuals who have watched their real and financial wealth diminish, together with expectations for future income from their pensions.
What more can we do? In my classes I tell my students that we live in a world similar to a baroque altar. It is laden with decoration and components, but we can´t see what holds everything up. We are incapable of differentiating the structure from the surface; we only perceive the visual impact, the grandiosity of it all. I think that if we look for the essence, we encounter two problems: the value of financial assets has fallen because they were overvalued and the financial system is no longer financing the real sector of the economy due to the danger of recession it involves. In the first case, as a result of the wealth effect, families will stop consuming and start saving and, in a recession, that is the worst thing that could happen. Consumption is 60% of the aggregate demand.

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