Assessing Corporate Impact: Danby's Response to Syrian Immigration
(8 pages of text)
In April 2018, more than one year after the chief executive officer (CEO) of Danby Appliances Inc. launched a private sponsorship program to support Syrian refugees in their integration into Canada, the CEO and others were starting to raise some questions. Although the program seemed to have had an overall positive impact on Syrian refugees, Danby's board of directors wondered about the impact of the program on the appliance business. The settlement program continued to take up a considerable amount of the CEO's time and may have even been a drain on other Danby resources, such as staff time. With competition intensifying in the appliance manufacturing industry, the board asked the CEO to assess the impact of the settlement program on Danby, the refugees, and the community, and to recommend whether the program should continue. The CEO knew it would be difficult to collect precise numbers and wondered how he should start to quantify the true impact of the settlement program.
This case is intended for undergraduate- and graduate-level courses on impact assessment, business ethics, reimagined capitalism, sustainability, social entrepreneurship, corporate strategy, or the politics of grand challenges (e.g., the refugee crisis or migration due to climate change). The case can be used either for teaching what impact assessment is or for discussing the commitment of business organizations to grand challenges (such as the refugee crisis), or both. The case can also be used to help students understand the different types of situations in which a business may need to assess the impact of its non-core business operations. Following the discussion of the case, students will be able to
- arrive at a conclusion regarding the responsibility of businesses to contribute to primarily social efforts, such as the refugee crisis;
- understand both the combination of data and tools that can be used to assess the impact (i.e., both quantitatively and qualitatively) of a given activity, and which combinations are best suited for specific scenarios; and
- determine the most effective means of analyzing the collected information to arrive at key insights and make decisions pertaining to initiative, business, or program operations.
This case may be assigned as a companion case to Guidelines for Doing an Impact Assessment, product no. 9B20B010.
Syria, Canada, Small, 2018
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