If there’s nothing wrong, then why can’t we take a look?

Open government is a doctrine which holds that citizens have the right to access documents and proceedings of the government to allow for effective public oversight. Would a nonprofit organization with ties to state legislature and corporate interests count as a quasi-governmental agency?

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2.3 Miles Makes a Giant Difference

Fortune 500 and nationally-known companies are not the only ones who face ethical dilemmas in their decisions. Smaller and lesser-known companies also grapple with the ethical implications of both their day-day and long-term decision-making. In my Paper 2, I will take a look at the strategic decisions behind local grocery store chain, Giant Foods. In this blog post I will give a summarized version of the case and a glossed over version of the results (sort of spoiler alert but not really). Fortunately for me, my dad has a management position in Giant, so most of the information in this post is from using him as a source.

On October 10, 2014, Giant Foods opened its new store located just off of I-81 and Wertzville Road in Enola, Pennsylvania.  A few weeks previous, Giant closed its long-time successful store 2.3 miles away on Wertzville Road located in Pennsboro Commons Shopping Center.

Giant has owned the leasing rights to the land for the new store for ten years.  Approximately three years ago, the real estate developer for the land told Giant that they must do something to develop the land or else they would not be able to renew their lease for the 25-30 acre plot.  Giant was only holding the land to prevent competitors like Wegmans from entering the market, but now they were faced with a difficult decision. It was clear that Giant needed to build a new store on this plot of land, but what should they do with the existing Enola store?

Closing the old Enola store would be a significant blow to the community. That store is the heart of Pennsboro Commons, a shopping center that only exists because of the large number of customers in which Giant brings. The 2.3 miles to the new Giant would be a way bigger issue than most would think. The communities between these two areas are very different, and even more importantly, while the new Giant was technically still in Enola, it now resided in Hampden Township as opposed to the old store which was in East Pennsboro Township.  This was a major loss of tax dollars for East Pennsboro Township.

Giant’s accounting and real estate teams crunched the numbers of their ROI figures and determined that opening a new store at the new location would increase sales because they would have a new facility, closer location to the highway, and closer vicinity to the technology parkway (new local medical and corporate centers).  They also determined that there was no way to keep both stores open; especially since the majority of existing customers would simple drive 2.3 miles to the new store. Spoiler: They were wrong. Old customers were not willing to travel to the new store, and the new customers did not care for the new store. Sales figures missed projections badly (stay tuned for exact figures in Paper 2).

Giant was fully aware of the negative implications that closing the old store would have on East Pennsboro Township. They could have tried to make a compromising plan to appease the community but instead they went with the plan for most profit. Ironically, the strategy did not go as planned and Giant is left with an angry community and a less profitable store. Below are pictures from Google Images of the Pennsboro Commons shopping center layout and a picture of what the parking lot looks like before and after Giant closed its doors.


“We don’t hire people to bake brownies, we bake brownies to hire people.”

Heather Van Dusen, who is the director of  “B-Corps Fellows Program” and the “B-Corps on Campus initiative,” spoke about B-Corps certification and one example she showed was Greyston Bakery, Inc., which interested me and made me want to learn more about the company. Greyston in Yonkers, New York is a for-profit social enterprise that bakes brownies and cookies with a good will. They are famously known as Ben & Jerry’s brownie supplier, which we can say are tasty. Greyston Bakery is a company that has become B-Corp certified and scored a 147/200 on their impact assessment based on their contribution towards social, environmental, and economic sustainability. Continue reading “We don’t hire people to bake brownies, we bake brownies to hire people.”

Illumina: Innovation through Ingenuity

The human body is an incredibly complex and amazing entity. No two people are exactly alike because no two people have identical DNA. DNA is the building block for humans, and something seemingly so simple as a double helix has the ability to control all of our genetic programming. Recently technology has helped us begin to unlock the secrets DNA has encoded, and our ability to understand the human genome has greatly expanded. The company at the forefront of this life sciences industry is Illumina.  Continue reading Illumina: Innovation through Ingenuity

The company the world needs. But the company the world deserves?

As the world nears a population of 9.5 billion people by the year 2050 and the world’s climate continues to become more volatile, Monsanto will work to provide the necessary resources to feed the world’s population. Monsanto is an industry leader in agriculture as it produces products in two segments: Seeds and Genomics, and Agricultural Productivity. The company has over 21,000 employees in facilities in sixty-six countries. In the Seeds and Genomics Segment, Monsanto researches, develops and sells normal seeds for crops like corn and soybeans as well as genetically modified seeds (GMOs) that incorporate certain traits in a seed to help the crop flourish. In the Agricultural Productivity Segment, Monsanto produces and sells chemicals like herbicides to its customers.

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“Soccer is a Religion and FIFA is its Church”

Without a doubt, my favorite sporting event to watch is the World Cup. The  World Cup is an international soccer tournament that takes place every four years. Over 200 different nations across 6 different continents play matches to be one of the 31 nations to make it into the prestigious World Cup. The World Cup is run by the Federation Internationale de Football Association(FIFA), a civil society organization, whose goal is to improve the game of soccer and unite the world through events and competitions. However, closer looks into FIFA’s practices have illuminated the corrupt, unethical nature of the organization.

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Uber: Transforming Transportation Around the World

Uber is a company that has taken new technological developments and used them to create a superior service within the transportation industry amid the changing sociocultural influences of today’s societies. Uber allows for greater convenience for their riders and improves the economy of the communities within which they operate through job creation, while also operating in accordance to local, state, federal, and international laws and regulations. Because Uber is a young company that is transforming the transportation industry and entering the food and delivery service industry, I think it would be a very interesting company to research in greater detail.

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