The case explores the challenges and opportunities of practicing venture philanthropy in an emerging market. Jaff Shen, a serial social entrepreneur and Founder/General Secretary of Leping Social Entrepreneur Foundation ("Leping") brought the international venture philanthropy network Social Venture Partners ("SVP") to China in 2012 to help build China’s overall civil society and proclivity for social entrepreneurship. SVP's Beijing branch was launched as a non-profit in 2013 and attracted thirty partners who invested in four education-related social enterprises within the first two years of operation. SVP Shanghai followed in 2016, registering as a for-profit company for greater flexibility in the context of China’s strong non-profit regulations. Given some freedom to develop its own path, SVP Shanghai evolved more slowly than Beijing, enrolling 11 partners within the first year without making any investments. Students are asked to explain the reasons for Shanghai's slow growth, and then critically evaluate a strategy suggested to Shen for accelerating the progress. They must take a stand in Shen's internal debate about whether to push a fast top-down strategy or tolerate a slower-paced bottom-up trajectory. Students also have the opportunity to compare four different SPO investment opportunities shortlisted by SVP Shanghai's partners for their initial investment, and to propose an evaluative framework for screening the potential targets and subsequently monitoring the investment outcomes.
The case tells how Jim Spear, an American architectural designer came to dwell at China’s Mutianyu Great Wall village and later developed a hospitality business dedicated to supporting rural village life. In 2006, Jim refurbished an abandoned village primary school in which he and three partners launched the Schoolhouse Restaurant. They later added another two restaurant brands nearby and opened an eco-retreat with lodging, spa and meeting facilities. The businesses grew steadily in the early years, not least because of the tourist boom that accompanied the 2008 Beijing Olympics. A few years later, however, visitors to this particular Great Wall site had fallen in numbers and the Schoolhouse partners were struggling to attract visitors specifically to their venues. At the time of the case, Jim is contemplating various avenues of growth. In addition to fine-tuning the hospitality business model, he is considering the launch of a retail shop to sell village-made handicrafts and food items. Jim’s decisions about growth are complicated by the inherent tensions of a hybrid business that attempts to grow profits and social impact at the same time. Students are asked to develop an integrated business model and strategy to support overall business growth and development.
The case illustrates the leadership challenges faced by Peter Wong, CEO of Dow Chemical Greater China, when locally implementing Dow's global sustainability strategy. A key question was whether a sustainability strategy could meaningfully contribute to the company's regional competitiveness and financial health when Greater China had only recently begun to tackle its sustainability challenges. Dow's 20-year journey of embedding sustainability in global corporate strategy is reviewed in some detail, illustrating the step-by-step process of aligning resources, transforming culture, and building external partnerships to enhance the possibility that sustainability strategies yield financial gains.
Journal of Environmental Management
In the West, limited government capacity to solve environmental problems has triggered the rise of a variety of “nonstate actors” to supplement government efforts or provide alternative mechanisms for addressing environmental issues. How does this development - along with our efforts to understand it - map onto environmental governance processes in China? China's efforts to address environmental issues reflect institutionalized governance processes that differ from parallel western processes in ways that have major consequences for domestic environmental governance practices and the governance of China “going abroad.” China's governance processes blur the distinction between the state and other actors; the “shadow of the state” is a major factor in all efforts to address environmental issues. The space occupied by nonstate actors in western systems is occupied by shiye danwei (“public service units”), she hui tuanti (“social associations”) and e-platforms, all of which have close links to the state. Meanwhile, international NGOs and multinational corporations are also significant players in China. As a result, the mechanisms of influence that produce effects in China differ in important ways from mechanisms familiar from the western experience. This conclusion has far-reaching implications for those seeking to address global environmental concerns, given the importance of China's growing economy and burgeoning network of trade relationships.
Belt and Road initiative
she hui tuanti (“social group”)
shi ye danwei(“public service unit”)
International Journal of Production Economics
New technology is altering business strategies and innovation capabilities while increasing the possibilities of production and process innovation. Supply chain collaboration undertaken for the sake of sustainability is currently speeding up this process of change; a growing pool of research is exploring the links between sustainability collaboration and company performance on economic, environmental, and social metrics. It is a good time to review the literature to reveal what has been studied and what are the gaps in the current body of knowledge, and also to comment on what the future research agenda should include. For these purposes, the authors conducted a systematic literature review and a quantitative bibliometric analysis. Results indicate that research about supply chain collaboration for the purpose of sustainability is gaining growing attention in the business field; however, environmental and economic considerations still dominate the research, while there is a lack of consideration about social concerns such as child labor and personal development. In addition, the collaboration partners under investigation have mainly been the company and its customers and suppliers, whereas competitors and other horizontal collaboration partners have received little attention.
CEIBS Professor of Marketing Lydia Price, an American, explains what it takes to be a tiger mom in China and what this experience taught her about doing business in the most populous country in the world.