Leveraging core competencies in corporate philanthropy: Cisco's exemplary strategic philanthropy

by Shannon, Nancy Colleen, Ph.D., CAPELLA UNIVERSITY, 2014, 426 pages; 3615448


Researchers in the area of corporate philanthropy provide evidence that the U.S. public expects business to undertake corporate giving to charities. In recent decades, the terminology for this philanthropy has evolved into corporate social responsibility and/or corporate citizenship, implying that businesses must not only donate to charity but also operate in a responsible and ethical manner. Most corporate leaders practicing corporate philanthropy today believe that their programs must be strategically designed so that their investments will both substantively address social problems and positively impact the financial bottom lines of their respective businesses. Studies of the corporate philanthropy programs of U.S. corporations suggest a large-scale state of confusion in this area, and many philanthropy programs have no strategy at all. . This study examined the exemplary strategic corporate philanthropy programs of the Cisco Corporation. The specific focus of this research was how Cisco, recognized as exemplary in the area of corporate philanthropy, leverages its core competencies to produce valuable social programs, impact the bottom line, and attain true competitive advantage. This study has proven that successful strategic corporate philanthropy is, indeed, very difficult work. The starting point for successful strategic corporate philanthropy is a strong corporate culture, well understood by all employees. This study also demonstrated that three key components of successful corporate philanthropy are the matching of corporate core competencies to the needs of the nonprofit so that benefits accrue to the nonprofit and the corporation; the integration and skills development of stakeholders necessary for the success of the program; and the measurement and communication of the benefits of the program to all stakeholders.

AdviserLaura Markos
Source TypeDissertation
SubjectsManagement; Occupational psychology
Publication Number3615448

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