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It Takes More than a Brochure: Best Practices for Leading Social Movements

Submitted by: Network for Business Sustainability

Categories: Sustainability, Corporate Social Responsibility

Posted: Mar 04, 2013 – 09:00 AM EST


LONDON, O.N., Mar. 04 /CSRwire/ - Whether you’re an electric utility asking people to use less energy or a grocery store encouraging people to buy healthy food, businesses play a key role in driving social change.

A new report released by the Network for Business Sustainability (NBS), a research group based at the Richard Ivey School of Business, has revealed the three components that companies can use to drive positive behavior change. Based on a review of 123 studies from the last 20 years, this report is a handbook for any business interested in cause marketing, social innovation or responsible consumption.

“There is no single body of work on business-driven social change: This report breaks new ground,” says lead author Dr. Ute Stephan from the University of Sheffield’s Management School. “By providing a framework for businesses to understand what and how to drive social change, this report offers the tools necessary for businesses to effectively achieve change.”

The framework provides an overview of the 19 mechanisms companies can use to drive positive behaviour change (e.g. providing feedback and changing people’s environment) and how change efforts should be managed.

Businesses are uniquely positioned to change people’s behaviour in order to benefit society. Forward-thinking business leaders see that these social innovations can also add value to organizations by raising their profile, attracting new customers or identifying new markets or opportunities. This report is a key tool for managers who want to spark positive change among people and organizations.

This report addressed one of the 2012 Top 10 Canadian business sustainability challenges identified by NBS’s Leadership Council – an exclusive group of 18 Canadian organizations recognized for their leadership and commitment to business sustainability.


Driving Social Change: Best Practices for Business Leaders and Social Entrepreneurs (20 pages)

Business-Driven Social Change: A Systematic Review of the Evidence (109 pages)


Join us Tuesday, March 5 at 1 p.m. EST for a free webinar as professor Ute Stephan discusses her research findings and shares examples from Unilever, Home Depot, Walmart, Tim Hortons and Danone. Share this opportunity with colleagues inside and outside your organization.

For more information, please contact Jessica Kilcoyne, Communications Coordinator, NBS at 519-661-2111 x88932 or jkilcoyne@nbs.net.

About the Network for Business Sustainability

The Network for Business Sustainability is a Canadian not-for-profit organization that connects thousands of researchers and business leaders worldwide, with the goal of creating new, sustainable business models for the 21st century. NBS receives funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the Richard Ivey School of Business at The University of Western Ontario, École des Sciences de la Gestion at the Université du Québec à Montréal and industry partners.

NBS Leadership Council Members

BC Hydro, BlackBerry, Canadian Pacific Railway Limited, Environment Canada, Home Depot of Canada Inc., Holcim (Canada) Inc., Industry Canada, LANXESS Inc., LoyaltyOne, Inc., Pembina Institute, SAP Canada Inc., Suncor Energy Inc., TD Bank Group, Teck Resources Limited, TELUS Corporation, Tembec Inc., Tim Hortons Inc., Unilever Canada Inc.

The University of Sheffield

Each year nearly 25,000 of the brightest students from 125 countries come to the University of Sheffield to learn alongside 1,181 of the world’s best academics at one of the UK’s leading universities. Staff and students at Sheffield are committed to helping discover and understand the causes of things - and propose solutions that have the power to transform the world we live in.

A member of the Russell Group, the University of Sheffield has a reputation for world-class teaching and research excellence across a wide range of disciplines. The University of Sheffield has been named University of the Year in the Times Higher Education Awards 2011 for its exceptional performance in research, teaching, access and business performance. In addition, the University has won four Queen’s Anniversary Prizes (1998, 2000, 2002, 2007), recognising the outstanding contribution by universities and colleges to the United Kingdom’s intellectual, economic, cultural and social life.

One of the markers of a leading university is the quality of its alumni and Sheffield boasts five Nobel Prize winners among former staff and students. Its alumni have gone on to hold positions of great responsibility and influence all over the world, making significant contributions in their chosen fields.

Research partners and clients include Boeing, Rolls-Royce, Unilever, Boots, AstraZeneca, GSK, ICI, Slazenger, and many more household names, as well as UK and overseas government agencies and charitable foundations.

The University has well-established partnerships with a number of universities and major corporations, both in the UK and abroad. Its partnership with Leeds and York Universities in the White Rose Consortium has a combined research power greater than that of either Oxford or Cambridge.

For further information, please visit www.sheffield.ac.uk.

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Network for Business Sustainability


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