Novartis and the United Nations Global Compact Initiative

24 Pages Posted: 20 Nov 2003

See all articles by Lee A. Tavis

Lee A. Tavis

University of Notre Dame - Department of Finance

Date Written: December 2, 2002


The United Nations Global Compact Initiative evolved from a challenge posed by Secretary-General Kofi Annan to business communities at the Davos World Economic Forum in January 1999. "I call on you - individually through your firms, and collectively through your business associations - to embrace, support, and enact a set of core values in the areas of human rights, liberal standards, and environmental practices." Since that time, the Global Compact has emerged as a voluntary initiative where corporations are asked to embrace nine principles.

As companies join the Global Compact, an independent outside analyst is invited to assess the incorporation of these principles into their daily operations. The attached case, one of the first, is a study of Novartis AG, a large Swiss pharmaceutical enterprise. The report analyzes the inclusion of the Global Compact as an integral part of a strategy for sustainable corporate development. Based on managerial interviews, the process of initiating a principles-based human rights dimension into managerial behavior is assessed.

Keywords: Novartis, Pharmaceutical Industry, UN Global Compact, Gleevec, Novartis Institute for Tropical Diseases

Suggested Citation

Tavis, Lee A., Novartis and the United Nations Global Compact Initiative (December 2, 2002). Available at SSRN: or

Lee A. Tavis (Contact Author)

University of Notre Dame - Department of Finance ( email )

P.O. Box 399
Notre Dame, IN 46556-0399
United States

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