Axel Springer Harvard Case Solution & Analysis

Axel Springer


Axel Springer is one of the leading integrated multimedia companies in the world with expansion that has reached to 34 countries, owning 230 newspapers and magazines and over 160 online offerings as well as more than 120 apps and has become Europe’s largest industrial consumer for Apple. Axel Springer is also renowned for its unsurpassed corporate social responsibility that has enabled it to receive a wide range of recognition awards for its social and environmental initiatives. In early 2012, Axel Springer was active in 34 countries owning over 230 newspapers and magazines and over 160 online offerings as well as more than 120 apps.

Sooner or later, Axel Springer has to address the daunting issue of tainted minerals. Having such a mighty CSR commitment, Axel Springer is guilty of using products that has blood minerals in their products to display their apps and data, if they haven’t checked the source from where they are getting their minerals. It certainly raises the questions of whether a company which is so effectively managing its commitment to sustainability has no idea about whether the minerals used to display its image to its consumers are colored or not. This may not have been a daunting issue for Axel Springer, but with commitment comes responsibility that Axel Springer has fulfilled every time when it has conducted business. Joining Apple to storm its digital products in the market may be a move they have to re-strategize as Apple doesn’t have a very good reputation when it comes to social responsibility and questions have been raised regarding the transparency of their operations and limited access to information to its stakeholders.

There are a lot of stakeholders involved in this issue comprising of the owners, employees, customers, suppliers, and suppliers of suppliers, competitors, NGOs, governments, media, general public, and political institutions.

On the other hand one must understand that Axel Springer may be guilty but the firm itself doesn’t have the power to do something that is productive in order to change the course of this issue such as stopping the flow of these minerals as this is not practicable. Rather it can take actions and steps to raise awareness among end consumers and create a sense of urgency so that this issue can be addressed on a global platform. This will give them a first mover advantage about this issue and will keep their CSR brand image intact and will also provide Axel Springer the competitive advantage. Collaboratively the stakeholders should come together to strategize this issue as it’s just not about keeping intact the CSR image and the competitive edge, rather it’s the child labor and people who are forced into labor and lose their lives excavating these minerals and their blood is also one of the cost these minerals incur. Moreover whoever it is but no will never want to be part of something that has been dug out by the blood of many. Best mechanism that can be used to tackle this will be to start a global campaign by educating and informing people about the moral and business ethics that one has to follow in trade in order to increase the pressure on the responsible elements and start a collaborative effort to fight of these minerals in different ways for e.g. recycling of the electronic devices will ensure that the resources are used from a rightful source. Axel Springer can also make joint collaborative efforts with Apple to go down the rabbit hole and fetch where the resources are coming from and scrutinize them.

Axel Springer with such a prestigious image in the customer’s minds as well as its stakeholders has to get involved in this debate right away as it will give them a competitive advantage as well as boost up their CSR image. Also it is their moral responsibility to address this issue as there is a certain responsibility and moral ethics allocated to everyone when they tend to..........................

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