Ben and Jerry´s: Balancing Financial Responsibility with Social Responsibility

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Ben & Jerry’s was established by Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield which met on seventh grade (1966) which led them to open the first ice-cream shop (1978) with a $12.000 investment in an old gas station situated in Burlington, Vermont (Ben & Jerry’s, 2013). Initially, they considered making bagels but apparently, they could not afford the necessary equipment (Cohen and Greenfield et al., 1997). The success that came from this shop lead them to pack ice-cream in pints (1980) for distribution across the region.
In 1985 the Ben & Jerry’s Foundation was established which provides community focused projects with 7.5% of the organisations’ annual pre-tax profits (Ben & Jerry’s, 1997). Later on, in 2000 Ben & Jerry’s was acquired by Unilever for
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Balancing the Financial Responsibility with Social Responsibility
When a business is set up on a CSR approach this means that it will build its principles on the social and environmental aspects. At the same time it also means that problems relating to competition and the sustainability of this approach with arise later on.
“Lead with your values and make money too” states the cover of Ben & Jerry’s Double-Dip book (1997), but it is not always easy to set in equilibrium the business side of the organisation with the social aspect as they remarked two months after opening the first store stating “we are closed to figure out whether we are making any money”, which they were not (Ben & Jerry’s, 2013).
When Cohen stepped down as CEO he was replaced by Perry Odak in January 1997 who’s basis for the company was “doing well while still doing good” which resulted in rumours that stipulated the “do-good” company has taken a more corporate approach to doing business while at the same time losing its identity (Hays, 1998, pp. 2-3). Although concurrently, Jerry Greenfield mentioned that the company became rather “buttoned down” and this lead them to improved business processes, better clarity about decision making, authority and ameliorated accountability, all aspects which the company required (Dearlove, 1999, p.4).
The profits/social responsibility balance situation was noticed by the media once again when Ben & Jerry’s was acquired by

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