This case explores Monsanto’s sustainability-based strategy and subsequent transition from a chemical company to a giant in the life sciences, particularly in the area of biotechnology. There are five sections to this case 1) a survey of the sustainability challenges facing the agricultural sector, 2) an overview of the agbiotech industry, 3) a brief history of the Monsanto company, 4) a summary of Monsanto’s sustainability initiatives and a description of its transition to life sciences, and 5) an overview of stakeholders’ responses to the development of genetically modified crops.
Monsanto Company (A): Quest For Sustainability
by: Stuart L. Hart
Core Disciplines: International Business, Leadership/Organizational Behavior, Sustainability
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After reading and discussing the material, students should:
- Explore the concept of sustainability and the specific challenges confronting the agricultural sector;
- Identify the strengths and weaknesses of Monsanto's sustainability-driven corporate strategy, in terms of both developing and industrialized economies;
- Demonstrate the escalating importance of broad-based stakeholder engagement and the growing power of civil society;
- Discuss the process by which a strategic vision is conceived, communicated, and institutionalized.