The Graduate School of International Policy & Management (GSIPM) is undertaking two studies that will result in presentations in China during the J-Term:Â The Cashmere/Inner Mongolia Sustainable Fibers Project & the CSR Ranking Project.Â
The primary contacts for both projects will be Dean Yuwei Shi and Dr. Randy Kritkausky, a Middlebury Research Scholar and President of ECOLOGIA, an NGO which facilitates long-term sustainable development projects.
We expect that the results from both of these studies will be presented by the student teams in China in January 2010.Â The projects are unpaid but there may be funds to defray travel expenses to China. Directed Study credit options are available for interested students.Â Dr. Yuwei Shi, Dean of GSIPM, will be the instructor of record for any proposed Directed Study.
If you have an interest in participating in one or both of the projects detailed below, send your resume with a cover letter which indicates the project(s) of interest and the reasons for your interest to Nina Dutra, Deanâ€™s Assistant, GSIPM, no later than Friday, November 6th.Â
Once your resume has been received, you will be invited to attend a preparatory meeting with Dr. Randy Kritkausky during the week of November 9th â€“ 12th.
Cashmere/Inner Mongolia Sustainable Fibers Project
The above link includes an RFP for the project.Â The RFP provides a broad description of the issues.Â
For this project, we will narrow the scope to focus on an analysis and comparison of a few scenarios based on production caps and related supply chain and marketing strategies. More specifically, we will build on the substantial data already collected by Professor Kritkausky to construct a profile of the business as it would operate under each product cap.
The variables used to construct the profile may include attributes related to the raw fiber, production methods, supply chain, end-product characteristics, and the marketing characteristics derived from those attributes, such as target markets, distribution channels, promotion, pricing, etc.
Once the profiles are constructed, we will run a comparative analysis to seek optimal profitability under different outlooks about the environment, policy, and industry competition. We expect that the current practice of overproduction, overgrazing and declining quality of product will be determined to be a suboptimal strategy.
CSR Ranking Project (click to view concept paper)
The second project is to rank Chinese companies regarding their sustainability practices.Â The concept paper is entitled, “CCRREC Concept Paper and Strategic Plan”.Â The first stage of this effort will be to study best practices in selected industries and existing rankings schemes, and then develop criteria for reviewing and ranking Chinese companies in these industries.Â
The objective will be to publish the rankings on an ongoing basis so that US companies can identify Chinese companies that employ high quality, sustainable business processes and practices.
The initial phase of the CSR project will include the following tasks:
-Literature review of the cross-cultural, cross-border and cross-industry perspectives and practices on CSR
-Comparative study of major CSR standards currently in place
-Study the China CSR cases written or collected by Ecologia and CEU, with a particular attention to strategic performance of the companies.
-Develop materials and design for a 1-2 day seminar targeting enterprise audiences in China.
ECOLOGIA (ECOlogists Linked for Organizing Grassroots Initiatives and Action) was founded in 1989 by grassroots environmental activists in order to support grassroots environmental initiatives across the Soviet Union and eastern Europe.Â In early 2000, ECOLOGIA moved its US headquarters to Middlebury, Vermont and increasingly shifted its geographic focus from the former Soviet Union and central Europe, to China.Â ECOLOGIA maintains a locally staffed affiliate office in Chengu (China) and works with a network of on-the-ground partner organizations on projects with promote long-term sustainable development in China and partner countries.