Case 2 - Case 2: The Body Shop: Pursuing Social and...

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Case 2: The Body Shop: Pursuing Social and Environmental Change 1. How does The Body Shop address the four components of corporate social responsibility? In The Body Shop, what tensions among these components are at work? The Body Shop (TBS) does well with the economic component, as shown by its steady earnings growth. It seems to regard profit as a byproduct of its overall success. One may wonder what effect increased competition will have on this attitude, especially if the rate of earnings growth decreases. The firm’s slow entry into the North American market and its reluctance to employ traditional advertising techniques can be construed as failures to adequately address the economic component. The firm deals with the legal component in a variety of ways. TBS does not employ any sort of animal testing, so it does not need to comply with a majority of the testing regulations. The firm does use lawsuits as a weapon against imitators and counterfeiters; this is one of the few standard industry practices that TBS employs. In terms of the ethical component, TBS has adopted several practices; notably, recycling throughout all stores and child day care at corporate headquarters. TBS probably does better than most businesses in the discretionary area. Roddick’s personal championing of various causes (see below) is important here. The “Trade Not Aid” program, in which products are manufactured in the country where the raw materials are obtained, is another example. TBS’ use of cruelty-free ingredients and the company’s stand against animal testing also fall into this category. The practice of giving employees time off to perform volunteer work can also fall into this category. There are constraints forming because TBS has been unable to open a large number of stores and alternative methods such as telephone and catalog sales have not been effective. Further, there are new competitors in the market who are backed by larger chains and enjoy greater resources for product delivery. Finally, the environmental issue
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Case 2 - Case 2: The Body Shop: Pursuing Social and...

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