Debating CSR the Merck Mectizan donation program Topic Debating CSR the Merck Mectizan A major…

Debating CSR: the Merck Mectizan donation program

Topic: Debating CSR: the Merck Mectizan

A major theme of this course is the debate over the meaning and desirability of CSR. We have examined several positions in this debate, including:

– normative stakeholder theories (e.g. Dodd, Donaldson & Preston, Davis, Freeman, Blair & Stout, Greenfield, Wood, Hsieh)

– instrumental (strategic) stakeholder theories (e.g. Drucker)

– normative stockholder theories  (e.g. Friedman, Henderson, Hasnas, Boatright, Jensen)

– some of these stockholder theorists (e.g. Friedman, Henderson) are right-wing critics of CSR, while others are right-wing critics of normative stakeholder based CSR but supporters of instrumental CSR.

– market-failure CSR theories (e.g. Heath)

– left-wing critics of CSR (e.g. Corporate Watch, Bakan)


For this assignment, you will be analyzing the Merck Mectizan donation program from the point of view of the above mentioned positions.

Question: is the Mectizan program socially responsible, and why/why not?

In answering this question, you will need to address the following issues:

What are the normative stakeholder arguments for the program?

What, if any, are the instrumental/strategic (business case) arguments for the program?

What criticisms, if any, could be made of the program from a right-wing anti-CSR position?

What criticisms, if any, could be made of the program from a left-wing anti-CSR position?

To what extent is the program jusified from the perspective of market-failure CSR theory?


Note that your answer to the topic question may be qualified and nuanced; we are not looking for a simple yes/no answer.


Mectizan case:

The information you need on the case and context can be found in the Powerpoint slides posted with these assignment instructions, including the links embedded and in the notes. This assignment is not a research paper. You do not have to do additional outside research on the issue. The aim is for you to practice and demonstrate your skills in applying the course content (readings and lectures) on the perspectives listed above to a real world CSR program.


For your convenience, the links in the Powerpoint deck are reproduced here:


Grading criteria

1) Demonstrates accurate comprehension of relevant course content.

2) Uses course content effectively in addressing the issues posed in the assignment (as opposed to merely paraphrasing or rehashing course materials).

3) Defends a thesis (could be complex or multipart) from anticipated objections.

4) Skillfully writen: well organized overall; well-structured paragraphs; well structured, uncluttered sentences with correct syntax (grammar) and appropriate diction (word choice).


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