Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is the initiative to embrace responsibility for a company’s actions and encourage a positive impact on society through activities involving consumers, employees, communities, stakeholders, and the environment. CSR goes beyond what is required by regulators and promotes the betterment of business practices for sustained positive change for consumers, employees, communities, and stakeholders.
This year, Business Week’s 2020 Corporate Social Responsibility Day was sponsored by COUNTRY Financial. The 2020 Business Week Case Competition was a unique opportunity for students to apply research, analytical, and presentation skills. Teams of two to five students developed a solution to a real-life business problem within a three-hour time frame and then present to a panel of judges. Following the first round, the competition narrows to three teams that present once again to a larger panel of judges in competition for a prize of $2,000 split between the top teams.
by Evan Linden
Before the fall semester came to an end, Illinois State business students received the opportunity to sharpen their presentation and teamwork skills at the Corporate Social Responsibility Case Competition.
The Corporate Social Responsibility Case Competition, hosted by the College of Business, took place in November as a precursor to Business Week. The competition was held inside the State Farm Hall of Business’ Caterpillar Auditorium and was sponsored by COUNTRY Financial.
Although Business Week officially begins February 24, the Corporate Social Responsibility Case Competition gave students an early chance to network and collaborate in a professional environment.
"The competition teaches students how to comprise their insightful ideas and knowledge acquired through their studies and experiences into a pitch to solve a current problem that a real corporation is facing," said Shannon Donaldson, a junior marketing and communication studies major from Crystal Lake. "The event is a wonderful way to improve public speaking, teamwork, and critical thinking skills."
Donaldson worked alongside fellow business majors Adrian Kuzbik and Estevan Mora to lead and organize the event. As a coordinator, Donaldson reached out to potential sponsors and facilitated the communication between the multiple parties involved in the competition. Kuzbik took control of the event's logistics, keeping track of the contestants and judges in attendance as well as reorganizing the teams in the case of absences.
12 teams of two to five student contestants competed at the event. The students had to present ways to increase Apple's social responsibility after the company faced criticism for failing to uphold ethical and moral standards over the years.