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Environmental Risk Management at Chevron Corp.

by Jennifer Burns Forest Reinhardt Monica Mandelli

Chevron Corp., headquartered in San Francisco, manages a worldwide, vertically integrated value chain from the oil well to the gasoline station. Mishandling of oil at any stage of production can damage the natural environment, human health, corporate profitability, or all three. But at the same time Chevron needs to be prudent about the amount of money it spends on measures to manage these risks, and environmental programs within the firm can conflict with a long-standing tradition of decentralized management. To manage risks more efficiently, Chevron executives are contemplating the use of quantitative decision tools that enable operating managers to compute rough benefit-cost ratios for various alternative risk management projects. The case focuses on the pros and cons of using such tools within the context of Chevron's overall system for environmental risk management.

Forever: De Beers and U.S. Antitrust Law

by Jennifer Burns Debora L. Spar

For over a century, the international diamond market has been dominated by one of the most successful cartels on earth. Run by the legendary De Beers Corp., the cartel has managed to keep diamond prices increasing and to prevent the defection that dooms most other "orderly marketing arrangements." It has also managed to uphold one of the greatest marketing coups of history: convincing millions of customers that diamonds are actually rare and therefore highly prized. There is only one problem for the cartel. It is illegal in the United States (the world's largest market for gem diamonds) and has been under constant attack by the U.S. Justice Department. The case describes how De Beers has dealt with this problem in the past and how, in the late 1990s, changes in the African political situation and the world diamond market may suggest a new relationship with the U.S. government.

Hitting the Wall: Nike and International Labor Practices

by Jennifer Burns Debora L. Spar

The case 'Hitting the Wall: Nike and International Labor Practices' is set in the mid-1990s, when Nike, one of the world's most successful footwear companies, is hit by a spate of alarmingly bad publicity. After years of high-profile media attention as the company that can "just do it," Nike is suddenly being portrayed as a firm that relies on low-cost, exploited labor in its overseas plants. Nike officials vigorously deny the charges, claiming that Nike has no control over the independent contractors who manufacture Nike shoes. But the activists will not retreat. Eventually, Nike must learn to deal with the activists' claims and with the tangle of conflicting data that surrounds the concept of a "fair" or "living" wage.

Pride and Prejudice (SparkNotes)

by Ross Douthat Molly Haskel Jennifer Burns

Sparknotes of Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen's masterpiece

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