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

See all articles by Aneel G. Karnani

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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