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E. Aracil, F.J. Forcadell

Universidad Rey Juan Carlos (SPAIN)
Higher education institutions and professional schools share the same difficult challenge: how to best translate academic knowledge into valuable students' skills to shine in the world of practice. We posit that the case method is the most suitable tool to teach these skills.
This paper presents a case method and a teaching note that allows translating academic research into practical educational content. In addition, the case contributes to the education for sustainability field as it is based on how multinational banks can contribute to the sustainable development of emerging economies.

The case is oriented mainly to Strategic Management and Ethics courses. Particularly, it covers topics such as ethics, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), stakeholder management and international management. It aims to develop students skills related to the critical analysis and discussion of ethical dilemmas in the design and assessment of CSR activities performed by multinationals (in this case multinational banks) operating in developing countries. Also, the case offers materials that allow students to position themselves in the place of different stakeholders to gain insights into the decision-making process from an internal and external to the firm perspective. Finally, the case focuses on the problems and necessities that developing societies are facing, which should be emphasized in the classroom to reach valuable students’ inputs concerning CSR strategies by multinationals in their host countries.

This case is built around three pillars: CSR, banks and emerging countries, and provides an ethical approach to the internationalization process. The main goal is to identify, analyze and discuss the contribution of CSR strategies to the development of emerging countries, whilst simultaneously benefiting the company, thus providing win-win situations and mutual prosperity.

Additional goals include an examination of CSR from different perspectives:
• Internal motivations for CSR: instrumental and/or ethical.
• External drivers of CSR: institutional setting of destination countries.
• Materiality analysis of stakeholders: stakeholders benefitted by the CSR initiative.
• Strategies of CSR: convergence vs divergence between the CSR performed by the parent company and its subsidiaries.
• Specific CSR actions: philanthropic vs core business orientated.
• Outcomes of CSR: firm-specific value creation and/or social-value creation.

The case builds on the following question: Whether the banking sector ethical approach, and in particular CSR, is crucial for companies´ performance and the development of communities, providing a win-win situation.

We organize the teaching plan around seven stages that include discussions about: the CSR concept and its authenticity, materiality analysis focused on stakeholders, motivations for CSR, an analysis of the emerging markets specific context, financial inclusion as a key banks’ CSR outcome and additional CSR external results linked to the SDG. For each of the proposed sections, we provide questions, assignments, material for discussion and activities designed to implement in the classroom.