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Doing Well By Doing Good - Case Study: 'Fair & Lovely' Whitening Cream

Ross School of Business Working Paper No. 1063

Strategic Management Journal, Forthcoming

19 Pages Posted: 24 Jan 2007  

Aneel G. Karnani

University of Michigan, Stephen M. Ross School of Business

Abstract

According to the 'doing well by doing good' proposition, firms have a corporate social responsibility to achieve some larger social goals, and can do so without a financial sacrifice. This paper empirically examines this proposition by studying in depth the case of 'Fair & Lovely,' a skin whitening cream, marketed by Unilever in many countries in Asia and Africa, and, in particular, India. Fair & Lovely is indeed doing well; it is a profitable and fast growing brand. It is, however, not doing good, and I demonstrate its negative implications for public welfare. I conclude with thoughts on how to reconcile this divergence between private profits and public welfare.

Keywords: Corporate social responsibility, bottom of the pyramid

JEL Classification: M14

Suggested Citation

Karnani, Aneel G., Doing Well By Doing Good - Case Study: 'Fair & Lovely' Whitening Cream. Ross School of Business Working Paper No. 1063; Strategic Management Journal, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=958087

Aneel G. Karnani (Contact Author)

University of Michigan, Stephen M. Ross School of Business ( email )

701 Tappan Street
Ann Arbor, MI MI 48109
United States

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