new balance developing an integrated csr strategy


The case focuses on New Balance – a privately held company and the fourth largest athletic footwear manufacturer in the world. Founded over 100 years ago, New Balance has a strong social responsibility culture and mission established by its owners. As a global player, the present challenge for the company has become to move corporate social responsibility (CSR) to the next level – from “doing what’s right” to fully integrating CSR into the business strategy.


You are a consultant brought in by New Balance to help analyze and provide recommendations to create a new CSR business strategy.Please use the provided information from the comprehensive company assessment in the case to identify a few key areas where New Balance can focus on and demonstrate industry leadership while also supporting the bottom line. To do this, please address the following questions and then provide a topline closing summary and recommendations to the owners.

  • •What is the right structure for adopting a unified, company-wide approach to CSR? To what extent should that structure be formalized? Should New Balance create a CSR department or continue to rely on the RL Steering Committee to drive CSR?
  • •What are the right areas of focus for the CSR strategy? Please identify three areas and provide specific analysis why these areas and how they help promote business growth and social impact at the same time.
  • •What ways can New Balance have the greatest impact to drive these new CSR strategies forward in terms of both the social and business results?Should it concentrate on two or three areas where it is particularly strong or address two or three areas identified as posing the highest risk?Please provide analysis on which ways New Balance can best support their CSR strategy.
  • •What types of partnerships (i.e., NGOs, government, business) should New Balance look to try to build as part of these efforts?Please provide examples.
  • •What is the role of the owners – James and Anne Davis – in the process?Senior management?How active should they be and why?

Your report should be no more than 1,500 words. Please use footnotes or place your references in parentheses after quotes when applicable.Please only use the case study provided. Do not use and/or reference current information available on New Balance.