On the tenth anniversary of the presentation of the "In Praxi Outstanding Thesis Award" by the WHU Alumni Association In Praxi e.V., WHU is presenting several prizewinners and their theses from previous years.
On September 25, 2010, Anna Gerhard née Frese (BSc 2010) won the In Praxi Outstanding Thesis Award for her work entitled "Corporate Social Responsibility as Competitive Advantage."
Frese's work has built an essential bridge between perspectives that view corporate social responsibility as an obligation of companies and those that propagate it. Frese showed that companies can use corporate social responsibility as a strategic competitive advantage, both at the product and company level. However, she also proved that the benefits of such investments depend on the (heterogeneous) preference structure of consumers.
She developed a sophisticated model theoretical framework to analyze corporate decisions, from which application-relevant thought-provoking impulses for companies emerge. From a purely economic point of view, managers should also consider investing in corporate social responsibility initiatives and consciously using them for strategic positioning.