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Market-Based Solutions to Vital Economic Issues

corporate social responsibility

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More than ever, businesses are tasked with pleasing both shareholders and stakeholders, including employees, customers and even communities. But can it be done? In this week's Kenan Insight, our experts explore the most successful strategies employed by a class of businesses that have been navigating this debate for generations: family firms.

The Biden administration's $2.3 trillion American Jobs Plan comes with a hefty price tag, which the president hopes to pay in part by introducing a 15% minimum tax on corporate book income. Predictably, policymakers from both sides of the aisle are sounding off, but the argument is more complicated and nuanced than partisan rhetoric. In this Kenan Insight, we outline the intricacies and implications of taxing book income.

Much has been written about the disproportionate number of women who have suffered pandemic-related job losses during COVID-19, but a related consequence has not been as well explored: the serious disruption of women’s careers, particularly in fields in which “path dependence” matters for success. In this Kenan Insight, we examine this more subtle asymmetry in the pandemic’s impact as indicative of far broader issues for women’s advancement in the workplace.

As long-standing leaders in sustainability, the Center for Sustainable Enterprise and the Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise are proud to host the University of North Carolina Sustainability Awards. These awards recognize the leadership of North Carolina Business in protecting and promoting the state’s natural resources.

On Thursday, April 8, Hershey Company Chairman of the Board, President and CEO Michele Buck joined UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School Dean Doug Shackelford for an exclusive virtual discussion. Buck discussed the challenges and opportunities of leading one of America's most-loved brands along with the effects of the COVID19​ pandemic on the food industry and barriers to leadership facing women today.

Many Americans expect newly inaugurated President Joe Biden to achieve progress in improving the quality of the environment. In this Kenan Insight, we explain why we support these expectations, examining what Biden has already done in his brief tenure, the feasibility of the plans he’s outlined thus far, and whether (and how) he can propel the U.S. to a leadership role in sustainability.

Historically, most businesses have attempted to stay on the sidelines of controversial issues to avoid alienating customers and limit internal discord. But the COVID-19 pandemic (which has disproportionately affected people of color) and rising racial tensions have increased awareness of systemic racism in the U.S. In this Kenan Insight, we explore how business leaders are increasingly taking a stance on diversity and inclusion issues through both internally and externally focused actions and policies.

One of the long-standing damages of institutional racism in the United States has been a bleak economic outlook for African Americans. In this Kenan Insight, we ask whether today’s activism might prove to be a defining moment in turning the tide for Black economic futures, and if so, who will play the key roles in creating lasting change.

This study contributes to the growing strategic corporate social responsibility (CSR) literature by examining the intersection of acquisition studies and international expansion research and highlighting the unexplored impact of media coverage of CSR and corporate social irresponsibility (CSI) inshaping completion and duration outcomes of cross-border acquisitions.

The Kenan Scholars program congratulates two graduating students for their receipt of the Kenan Institute’s two highest honors.  Kenan Scholar Chris Dean Karras received the John Kasarda Research Excellence Award and Sarah Muneton, Kenan Scholars program assistant, was awarded the Kenan Institute Impact Award.

Greg Brown and Olga Hawn discuss the rise of B Corporations and entrepreneurs who are using sustainability as a key selling point in this New York Times article.

Does practicing corporate social responsibility (CSR) bestow any benefits on how a firm is perceived by the public?