Areas of Expertise (4)
Nordic Sustainable Business
Corporate Social Responsibility
Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
Robert Strand is the Executive Director of the Center for Responsible Business and Lecturer at the Berkeley Haas School of Business. His research and teaching compares U.S. and Nordic approaches to sustainable and socially responsible business. He has more recently turned attention to contrast varieties of capitalism in the U.S. and Nordic contexts and is currently working on the book project "Sustainable Vikings." He was a United States Fulbright Scholar to Norway.
Prior to joining academia as a professor with the Copenhagen Business School, Strand spent a decade in industry with IBM and Boston Scientific in a range of roles in manufacturing, supply chain, marketing, strategy, and investor relations. He holds a PhD in corporate social responsibility from the Copenhagen Business School, an MBA in international business from the University of Minnesota (completed at HEC-Paris), and a BS in industrial engineering from the University of Wisconsin. With his wife Sarah, he is the proud parent of two wonderful boys.
Copenhagen Business School: PhD, Doctoral School of Organization & Management Studies
University of Minnesota: MBA, International Business
University of Wisconsin: BS, Industrial Engineering
Honors & Awards (9)
Berkeley Haas Case of the Year Award 2019
for "Patagonia's Path to Carbon Neutrality by 2025"
Berkeley Haas Case of the Year Award 2017
for "Patagonia: Driving Sustainable Innovation by Embracing Tensions"
Nykredit CSR Research Talent Award
Society for Business Ethics Founders’ Award
Next Generation Environmental, Social, Governance (ESG) Scholar Award
Bush Leadership Fellow & Award, Archibald Bush Foundation
Society for Business Ethics Emerging Scholar Award
Net Impact Distinguished Member Award
U.S. Fulbright Scholar to Norway
Positions Held (1)
At Haas since 2014
2014 – present, Executive Director, Berkeley Haas Center for Responsible Business 2014 – present, Lecturer, Berkeley Haas 2012 – 2014, Assistant Professor of Leadership & Sustainability, Copenhagen Business School 2009 – 2012, Ph.D. Fellow, Copenhagen Business School 2006 – 2009, Principal Market Planner, Boston Scientific Corporation 2005 – 2006, U.S. Fulbright Scholar to Norway 2003 – 2005, Industrial Engineer, Boston Scientific Corporation 1999 – 2003, Industrial Engineer, IBM Corporation
Media Appearances (15)
Business schools wake up and smell the (ESG) coffee
Financial Times online
Berkeley Haas is launching a new course on how to integrate sustainability into business strategy. Robert Strand, executive director of the Center for Responsible Business, says the pandemic has put “stakeholder capitalism on steroids.” It has “exposed and worsened inequalities, but it’s also an opportunity to change the narrative of capitalism, and redefine the purpose of a corporation,” he said.
Corporate America's response to restrictive voting laws in Georgia and Texas isn't benevolence. It's about economics and profit, experts say.
Business Insider online
Executives from more than 200 countries have spoken out against Georgia’s new restrictive voting laws. But Lecturer Robert Strand, executive director of the Center for Responsible Business, said sometimes the message is more for the company’s employees than an actual moral stance because “increasingly, employees of these companies expect their leaders to take a stand on matters of societal importance,” he said.
Hail the Era of Activist CEOs - When Purpose and Platform Converge
Triple Pundit online
Successful leaders, including an emerging group of activist CEOs, can use their platform to shine a spotlight on important sustainability issues—and when times are tough or challenges too great to solve alone, they form cross-sector alliances with unconventional partners to get tough things done. Lecturer Robert Strand, executive director of the Center for Responsible Business, calls this the Scandinavian cooperative advantage, which is enshrined in the Scandinavian culture.
Covid-19 proves the Nordics have an edge in building silent societies
Nordic Business online
The Covid-19 pandemic has shown how fragile our societies are. But the Nordic economies and businesses are better positioned to emerge from the crisis because they've long focused on building resiliency, says Robert Strand, executive director of the Berkeley Haas Center for Responsible Business.
Coinbase’s rejection of corporate social responsibility creates a stir, but it shouldn't be a shocker
San Francisco Business Times online
Coinbase's CEO has pledged the company will remain focused on profit, with no distraction from the interests of other stakeholders or corporate responsibility. Robert Strand, executive director of the Center for Responsible Business, disagrees with the stance, arguing "Friedman’s dogmatic assertion that the purpose of business is profits is like saying the purpose of life is to breathe oxygen," said "They are both necessary for survival but represent a pretty lousy thing to live for."
Companies Are Failing To Deliver On Stakeholder Capitalism
Business Because online
Last year, the Business Roundtable (BRT), a nonprofit association of CEOs from major U.S. companies, issued a statement that businesses should bring value to all stakeholders—customers, employees, suppliers, communities—in addition to shareholders. Robert Strand, executive director of The Center for Responsible Business (CRB) at Haas, said that CEOs must advocate for changes to support this stakeholder view. "COVID-19 has exposed the incredible fragilities of an American model of capitalism and we need business leaders to step up and advocate for smart policy measures to build a more resilient society," he said.
Post-Coronavirus: Sustainability-Focused Investment As The New Normal?
They reflect the Nordic philosophy that’s still in evidence today, says Robert Strand, executive director of the Center for Responsible Business at Haas School of Business at the University of California Berkeley.
Coronavirus: How one small San Jose business came back from the brink
Mercury News online
In the past two weeks, about one-third of small companies in the U.S. have temporarily shut down and about one in five small businesses say they are two months or less away from closing permanently. But Lecturer Robert Strand, executive director of the Center for Responsible Business, believes the challenges brought by the crisis could foster solidarity.
US can learn from Nordic countries’ response to COVID-19, UC Berkeley experts say
Daily Californian online
A group of academics, including Distinguished Professor of the Graduate School Laura Tyson and Lecturer Robert Strand, the executive director of the Center for Responsible Business, came together to discuss the response of Nordic countries to the pandemic. While all the countries differ, access to health care is likely to play a large role in economic recovery from the pandemic.
Under pressure on all fronts to move beyond ‘profits at all costs’, business schools are making sustainability part of the core MBA curriculum
Find MBA online
Strand says that MBA students look deep into a companies’ ethos and strategy to ensure they are “walking the talk”. “If a company has a recycling initiative, that wouldn't qualify as a social initiative in the minds of our students,” he says.
AI is coming. What does that mean for business education?
Poets & Quants online
Robert Strand, Executive Director of the Center for Responsible Business, warns students can be too focused on the undeniable power of machine learning, and not the risks. "My concern involves the unintended consequences of AI – the aspects that were not by design but nevertheless are an outcome in a world where AI is everywhere," he said.
Jeans giant adopts new operating model
Innovators Magazine online
Robert Strand, executive director for the Berkeley-Haas Center for Responsible Business, added: “This is a significant win for the industry. It’s inspiring to see how LS&Co. used constraints to drive innovation, paving the way for a more sustainable apparel industry. This is an important step forward that I hope others will follow.”
MBA Application: 6 Of The Best US Business Schools For Social Impact
Business Because online
Of the school’s commitment to addressing social and environmental challenges, Robert Strand, executive director of Haas’ Center for Responsible Business said: “We live and breathe social impact at Berkeley. Berkeley-Haas is a pioneer innovating social impact solutions, from our longstanding Global Social Venture Competition (GSVC) to our expansive curricular opportunities, which include our Social Lean Launchpad course and our hosting of the annual Patagonia Case Competition.”
How CEOs Decided Trump Is a Bad Investment
CEOs have been rapidly fleeing President Trump’s business councils. The CEOs of Merck, Intel, Under Armour (UAA, +1.46%)—and now 3M (MMM, +0.88%) and Campell’s Soup (CPB, -0.59%)—are all gone. I just got up to get a cup of coffee. Did I miss anything? Oh, the president disbanded the business councils altogether. Hold on—another update: United Technologies (UTX, +1.72%) CEO Greg Hayes just resigned from the council. Sorry Greg, you’ve got to move a lot faster than that to stay ahead of the perpetual turmoil that is Donald Trump.
How Businesses Can Profit with Purpose
San Francisco Chronicle online
How do you motivate someone to work?
Selected Papers & Publications (10)
Patagonia: Driving Sustainable Innovation by Embracing TensionsCalifornia Management Review
Robert Strand and Dara O’Rourke
Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability in Scandinavia: An OverviewJournal of Business Ethics
Robert Strand, R. Edward Freeman, and Kai Hockerts
CSR and Beyond. A Nordic PerspectiveCorporate Communications: An International Journal
Mette Morsing, Robert Strand
Scandinavian Cooperative Advantage: The Theory and Practice of Stakeholder Engagement in ScandinaviaJournal of Business Ethics
Robert Strand and R Edward Freeman
Strategic Leadership of Corporate SustainabilityJournal of Business Ethics
The Chief Officer of Corporate Social Responsibility: a Study of Its Presence in Top Management TeamsJournal of Business Ethics
Toward Sustainable Sustainability Learning: Lessons from a U.S. MBA study abroad program to ScandinaviaJournal of Strategic Innovation and Sustainability
Exploring the Role of Leadership in Corporate Social Responsibility: A ReviewJournal of Leadership, Accountability and Ethics
Corporate Responsibility in Scandinavian Supply ChainsJournal of Business Ethics
The Stakeholder DashboardGreener Management International and The Journal of Corporate Environmental Strategy and Practice
Sustainable Business in the Nordics
Sustainable Business in the Nordics
Sustainable Business in the Nordics