How to Identify Companies that Are Truly Responsible and Profitable

CareerCast - Life-long Career Development

In this CareerCast, Christine Arena discusses how successful companies today are making corporate responsibility programs an integral part of business strategy and, as a result, realizing greater innovation, expansion, and profitability.

Aired July 19, 2007

How to Change the World: Social Entrepreneurs and the Power of New Ideas, by David Bornstein.

Social Entrepreneurship, by Johanna Mair, Jeffery Robinson, and Kai Hockerts

Entrepreneurship in the Social Sector, by Jane C. Wei-Skillern, James E. Austin, Herman B. (Dutch) Leonard, and Howard H. Stevenson

Enterprising Nonprofits: A Toolkit for Social Entrepreneurs, by J. Gregory Dees, Jed Emerson, and Peter Economy 

True to Yourself: Leading a Values-Based Business (Social Venture Network), by Mark Albion.

Making Ecopreneurs: Developing Sustainable Entrepreneurship (Corporate Social Responsibility Series), by Michael Schaper.

Social Sector Entrepreneurship and Innovation, by Warren Tranquada, John Baker, and John Pepin. 

Entrepreneurship as Social Change: A Third Movements in Entrepreneurship Book, by Chris Steyaert and Daniel Hjorth.

Making a Living While Making a Difference: The Expanded Guide to Creating Careers with a Conscience, by Melissa Everett. 

From Making a Profit to Making a Difference: How to Launch Your New Career in Nonprofits, by Richard M. King.

Careers in the Nonprofit Sector, by Stephanie Lowell (Harvard Business School Series).

Real Resumes for Jobs in Nonprofit Organizations, by Anne McKinney. 

100 Best Nonprofits to Work For, by Leslie Hamilton and Robert Tragert.

Government & Nonprofit Employers, Vault Series.

WetFeet Insider Guide to Careers in Non-Profits and Government Agencies (WetFeet Series)

The High-Purpose Company: The TRULY Responsible (and Highly Profitable) Firms That Are Changing Business Now, by Christine Arena.

Ethical Markets: Growing the Green Economy, by Hazel Henderson and Simran Sethi.

The Clean Tech Revolution: The Next Big Growth and Investment Opportunity, by Ron Pernick and Clint Wilder.

The Triple Bottom Line: How Today’s Best-Run Companies Are Achieving Economic, Social and Environmental Success and How You Can Too, by Andrew W. Savitz and Karl Weber.

Social Entrepreneurship: New Models of Sustainable Social Change, by Alex Nicholis. 

World of Risk: A New Approach to Global Strategy and Leadership, by Mark Daniels. 

Triple Bottom Line Risk Management: Enhancing Profit, Environmental Performance, and Community Benefits, by Adrian R. Bowden, Malcolm R. Lane and Julia H. Martin.

Triple Bottom Line: Does It All Add Up? Assessing the Sustainability of Business and CSR, by Adrian Henriques and Julie Richardson.

Environmental Policy: New Directions for the Twenty-First Century, by Norman J. Vig and Michael E. Kraft.


Christine Arena is the former managing director of Polese Clancy, a former strategy director for Zentropy Partners, and the cofounder of several businesses. She currently heads an initiative that helps companies develop innovative and profitable corporate responsibility programs. She has over a decade of experience leading consumer research, trend forecasting, and marketing initiatives for a range of start-up and Fortune 1000 brands.

Christine challenged conventional wisdom and launched two of the most provocative studies ever conducted on the topic of corporate social responsibility (CSR). Five years of research, thousands of hours of team analysis, and hundreds of in-depth interviews with corporate leaders, conscientious consumers, vigilant watchdogs, and controversial whistleblowers get to the heart of the matter. The crux of her findings, and arguably the definitive business case for CSR, plays out in Christine’s books: The High-Purpose Company: The Truly Responsible (and Highly Profitable) Firms that Are Changing Business Now (Collins, 2007), a Harvard Business Review Reading List selection, and Cause for Success: 10 Companies that Put Profits Second and Came in First (New World Library, 2004), a Nautilus Award winner. Both books reframe an ongoing debate and separate winning and losing CSR approaches.

Christine is a founding member of the Spirit in Business World Institute and an associate member of the Center for Business Ethics. Her work has appeared in BrandWeek, Adweek, and the New York Times. She has a master’s degree in cultural anthropology from NYU and lives in the San Francisco Bay area.


Read an excerpt of The High-Purpose Company by Christina Arena. 

Read the Excerpt