Business Case Study : New Balance

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Case Study: New Balance John Tran Southern New Hampshire University Responsible Corp Leadership 15TW3 Prof. LeBeau March 8, 2015 Introduction New Balance was founded in 1906 by William J. Riley, a waiter who built arch supports for people who spent all day on their feet. Riley then designed a running shoe for the Boston Brown Bag Harriers, a Boston running club. The success of the shoe allowed the company to make custom shoes for other sports (basketball, baseball, boxing and tennis) in the 1940s. By 1960, the company expanded production significantly by making running shoes in multiple widths. The company was purchased by James Davis in 1972 for $100,000. Under the leadership of James Davis and his wife Anne Davis, New…show more content…
The company’s owners, James and Anne Davis are major contributors to philanthropic activities, which includes providing grants to charitable organizations through The New Balance Foundation. Through the Foundation, over $60 million in grants have been funded to partnering organizations working towards promoting healthy lifestyles, children’s fitness and overall community improvement (newbalancefoundation.org, 2015). The values expressed by New Balance through efforts in protecting US jobs were demonstrated when the company chose to retain a portion of its manufacturing base in the US, in order to avoid layoffs during the 2007-2009 recession. In addition, New Balance also exhibit strengths in areas of greening of US facilities, reductions in volatile organic compounds emissions domestically, and worker conditions in supplier factories (Veleva, 2010, pp. 8-9). However, even with all these strengths exhibited, New Balance’s weaknesses comprise of lack of clear leadership, lack of communication, lack of clear policies, and last but not least, lack of clear process for setting CSR goals. The issue of lack of clear leadership is due to the fact that New Balance does not have a CSR department nor an executive level VP in charge of CSR. The void of clear leadership inhibits the progress of developing an integrated CSR

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