Caterpillar

  • CaterpillarA corporate strategy article by Thunderbird students Shen-Chun Lin, Aimee DeGrauwe, Eli Darby, Monica Willbrand, Raymond Caruso and James Moore

    CSR: The Reputation Necessity

    For most companies, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is a face-saving, repair mission in reaction to some recently identified social injustice or industrial accident.  Examples of reputation saving CSR have been seen with Nike’s early reaction to substandard working conditions or Union Carbide’s Bhopal tragic explosion in 1984.  At best, most companies treat CSR as a cost center line item akin to corporate publicity or charity, where a separate division within the organization implements a “community outreach” program.  Although these programs do have merit, they are mainly counter balances to the damages a corporation’s normal operations have on the community and environment.  This inefficiency lies in the fact that many firms’ CSR attempts pit society and business against each other, when in reality they should be dependent.  In addition, CSR tends to push firms into thinking generally, rather than about shared value.  In the developed world, national and regional laws help regulate and limit the damage a company’s presence can have at large. From environmental regulations, to worker safety standards, many US and EU companies meet or exceed the bare minimums laid out by governments.

  • Caterpillar in China and IndiaBy Edward Matloub, Thomas McIntyre, Peter Rohlfer, Caelie Fryers, Bert Valencia Jr. and Aditya Koyyalamud

    Caterpillar has survived the recession and enhanced its global presence, but at what cost? Caterpillar is a quintessential American company with a highly differentiated brand that is recognized for quality and dependability. Founded in 1925, as a result of the merger of the Holt Company and C.L. Best Tractor Trailers, the company has left an indelible mark on American society. The Holt Company gained notoriety during the First World War with the production of heavy-duty tractor-trailers. The company also produced other machinery during World War II to build bridges, airstrips and an entire logistical network used to support the Allies. This cemented the company’s position as an all-American brand capable of attaining the highest quality. This image has remained with the company for three generations, and in 2008 Global Brands ranked Caterpillar number sixty-eight out of the top one hundred global brands. Despite this rich legacy, the firm operates in a highly competitive industry and is at a crossroads which will determine the future of the company and potentially re-define its image throughout the world.