Timberland and Community Involvement (Abridged Version)
When Jeffrey Swartz became the third generation in his family to lead the Timberland Co., he made community involvement an integral part of the company's strategy. Under Swartz's leadership, Timberland formed a close partnership with City Year, the national corps of young adults engaged in community service events, established a community enterprise division to schedule community service events, and gave each employee 32 hours of annual paid leave to participate in service work. As a result of these initiatives, Swartz believed the idea of community service at Timberland had gone beyond traditional notions of philanthropy or cause-related marketing to become a central feature of the company and brand's identity. However, in 1995, the spectacular sales growth Timberland enjoyed during the first years of Jeffrey Swartz's tenure as COO leveled off. The company reported its first loss and initiated significant restructuring. The tough times prompted some observers to question Timberland's continued commitment to community service. An abridged version of a case.
- 2004 HBS
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