Konica Minolta Business Solutions (HK) Ltd.: Pioneering Corporate Social Entrepreneurship
(7 pages of text)
Konica Minolta Business Solutions (HK) Ltd. was likely the first multinational corporation in Hong Kong to put the ideas of corporate social enterprising into practice. Its new service business that was launched in 2014 (the i-Transform Station) employed so-called “hidden youths”—disadvantaged individuals who refrained from joining mainstream society—empowering them to reconnect with society. While the initiative drew the attention of the company's headquarters in Japan, the company experienced difficulties attracting enough hidden youths for its growing i-Transform Station, despite actively seeking the help of social workers in identifying potential employees. The managing director who initiated the program wanted to increase the engagement of hidden youth and, more importantly, to inject the ideas of social enterprise and the creation of shared value into Hong Kong society. In 2018, having received some suggestions from social workers and others, the managing director reflected on alternative options for the program's future.
This case can be used in an undergraduate- or graduate-level course on corporate social enterprising, shared-value initiatives, or international business. For the first two courses, this case illustrates how a multinational corporation can implement a shared-value project and scale it up. For an international business class, the case demonstrates how a subsidiary can interact with company headquarters to establish an innovative social business. After working through the case and assignment questions, students will be able to do the following:
- Analyze social innovation and corporate-value creation using the shared-value framework, and identify the elements that lead to successful implementation of a shared-value initiative.
- Describe various aspects of corporate social enterprising, such as leadership and organizational structure; mobilization of social, human, and financial resources; generation of profits; measurement of social impact; and relationships with designated communities.
- Illustrate the challenges facing corporate social enterprises in the context of a Hong Kong subsidiary of a Japan-based, publicly listed, multinational corporation.
- Explain how to manage the subsidiary–headquarters relationship with regard to social innovation and issues related to globalization-versus-localization and standardization-versus-flexibility.
- Differentiate between corporate social responsibility and creating shared value.
Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services
Hong Kong, Large, 2018
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