Timberland: Company Analysis

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1. Introduction As a manufacturer of apparel and signature items such as boots, Timberland has become greatly successful over the decades of its existence. The reasons for this can be regarded not only as residing in the keen business sense of its CEO, but also in the company's culture of social responsibility and justice. Over the two decades that is the focus of the case, Timberland has built up its social responsibility drive with as much care and attention as the business side of the company. What is most interesting about this case is that, even during the financial dip the company experienced during the middle of the 1990s, the CEO at the time nonetheless remained as committed to the social responsibility drive as during times of prosperity, regardless of the counterintuitive nature of this and despite the advice by hardened business associates to scale down the drive, at least until the company was back on its feet. Again, counterintuitively, the company recovered on both the financial and social responsibility scales to become stronger than ever during the turn of the millennium. An important factor of this was the company's global expansion. Operating in several countries, Timberland's financial situation has grown to look better than ever. One aspect of global expansion, however, has revealed a two-tiered challenge: encouraging partners in foreign countries to be as passionate about social responsibility as their U.S. counterparts; and to create a
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