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Journal of Business Ethics Education

Volume 6, 2009

Gabriele Suder, Nina Marie Nicolas
Pages 183-198
DOI: 10.5840/jbee2009611

Microsoft’s Partnership with UNHCR—Pro Bono Publico?

The discussion of ethics, corporate responsibility and its educational dimensions focuses primarily on CSR, corporate citizenship and philanthropic theory and practise. The partnership between Microsoft Corporation and UNHCR was launched to help the victims of the Kosovo crisis, at the same time as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation gained momentum, and in particular, at the same time as Microsoft experienced a decrease in stock value. This case study sheds light on a decade of Microsoft Corp. efforts to align business objectives with refugee aid, by use of corporate expertise and company revenues. As a leader in technology and corporate citizenship, can Microsoft bridge the digital divide for the disadvantaged and arouse the unlimited potential of tomorrow’s leaders, as the company claims in its communications? Is the partnership beneficial to UNHCR, in line with corporate objectives of “doing big things” and “doing good”?