Ivey Publishing

Product Details

Cisco's Vision: A Smart+Connected World
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16 pages (9 pages of text)
Product Type:
Case (Field)
Case Western/Ivey
Having been called upon by global leaders to use its technology to address the global crises of climate change and poverty, Cisco opts to pursue sustainability for corporate social responsibility and as a driver of differentiation and competitive advantage. The case discussion explores how the company answered this call to action and how the resulting strategies have proven effective in protecting its competitive advantage in an increasingly hostile business environment. The case traces the company’s historical rise to power through the Internet bubble of 2000 and up to the present day, as the firm adjusts to competition in the 21st century. With the introduction of its new and ground-breaking technology, Cisco seeks to drive sustainability and future profits. The question becomes: will it work?

The CEO ponders how he could use his company’s core business of information technology (IT) to drive global environmental and economic sustainability. Can he fulfill his dual responsibility of doing the right thing for his shareholders while, at the same time, doing the right thing for the world at large?
Learning Objective:
This teaching case is meant to introduce students to several concepts related to the role of sustainability in business.

  • How solving global problems can create advantages for companies and become a source of innovation.
  • To gain an appreciation for the concept of sustainable value creation and begin to recognize sustainability issues as an opportunity for differentiation.
  • To recognize the difference between philanthropy and using core business operations to drive sustainability.
  • To gain an understanding of the challenges of innovating and implementing new technologies on a grand scale.
  • Issues:
    General Management/Strategy,  Marketing
    Information, Media & Telecommunications
    United States, Large, 2005-2012
    Intended Audience:
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    Associated Materials
    Translations: Simplified Chinese (16 pages)
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