In recent years, companies have been increasingly under pressure to deliver programs that can create both business value and social value. Building on the positive social change framework developed by Stephan et al., this paper uses two case studies (Gongyi Baobei and Jutudi) of the Alibaba Group, a leading Internet company in China, to investigate how companies can use the Internet to bring about positive social changes (PSC) to target groups. Our focus is placed on the nature of projects, i.e., surface-level and deep-level PSC projects. Our decision to use different case studies from the same company is based on the assumption that the enabling effects of internal organizational practices should be similar. To be more specific, we want to study the link between PSC projects and the company’s existing businesses, the role of the Internet in raising customers’ awareness and participation in the programs, and the change mechanism designed and implemented to bring positive social changes to customers. Data were collected through interviews and literature review. Our research provides empirical evidence to show a deep-level PSC project (i.e., Jutudi) can be very different from a surface-level PSC project (i.e., Gongyi Baobei) in terms of the reliance on existing business operations and the design of change mechanisms. Our research limitations and direction for future research will also be discussed.
Huang, MinYi; Yang, Steve; and Yao, YiHong, "Using the Internet to Create Positive Social Changes: Case Studies in China" (2016). ICEB 2016 Proceedings. 65.