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AIDS and Business

Saskia Faulk and Jean-Claude Usunier, 2009 Routledge ISBN: 978-0-415-45463-6

As educators working in an international business context we uncovered a need for a book that has broad coverage of issues around HIV/AIDS and business. To fi ll that need, we developed AIDS and Business to be of use in analyzing the interplay between business and the HIV/AIDS pandemic for three primary types of readers. Firstly, it is useful for businesspeople who need to learn more about the commercial impact of HIV/AIDS worldwide and the roles that business plays in the epidemic. Secondly, students enrolled in upper-level courses in business-related disciplines are frequently called upon to analyze emerging factors in the global business environment, macroeconomic factors, and the ethical dimensions of business policies—all of which are impacted by HIV/AIDS. Thirdly, educators and other nonsubject area specialists in the fi elds of business, economics, political science, law, ethics, public health, communications, and the social sciences may want or need to incorporate the study of the spread of HIV/AIDS into their course or training offerings. In addition, AIDS and Business could be of interest to the public health or social activist as well as the general reader seeking an understanding of one of the major social phenomena of our time: the HIV/AIDS pandemic.

It would be irresponsible to attempt to put the broad and complex study of the HIV/AIDS epidemic and its interactions with economics and commerce in “a nutshell.” Yet between the covers of this book we have assembled a unique range of tools useful to the reader in beginning to understand the epidemic, designed from the perspective of economic actors. The case study format was selected because it is one that is often used in business education and in-house company training programs. Case studies are effi cient, effective, thought-provoking learning tools that can be used in different ways according to the learning objectives of instructor or trainer. The case studies are grounded in research fi ndings. They are brought to life by protagonists that readers can identify with, who face compelling decision situations.

The book may be used as a resource on HIV/AIDS and business, a set of case studies, or a training tool. For those conducting research or interested in learning more, radiating from the book’s notes are links to Web sites that  provide information from experts around the world, and a wealth of resources about many aspects of the syndrome relevant to the business sector.

Countries covered throughout the volume include: Brazil, India, Mexico, Morocco, Russia, South Africa and other sub-Saharan African countries, Switzerland, and Thailand. We offer ten perspectives about the complex interplay between AIDS and the world of companies dealing with significant issues such as the following:

Developing an international perspective on HIV/AIDS epidemics (Case Studies 1, 2, 3, 7, and 8)

Improving the manager’s understanding of the economic, political, and sociocultural factors that contribute to the spread of HIV/AIDS (Case Studies 1 and 2)

Voluntary testing and counseling (Case Study 4)

Communications for HIV/AIDS prevention and education (Case Studies 3 and 5)

The pricing and marketing of AIDS drugs, testing equipment, and intellectual property issues (Case Studies 4 and 6)

Marketing and social marketing of condoms (Case Study 5)

Workplace, ethical, and human resources issues (Case Studies 7, 8, and 9)

How to design a workplace policy (Case Studies 9 and 10)

Corporate social responsibility (Case Studies 6, 8, 9, and 10)

With the exception of the Woolworths South Africa case study, the case studies are based on real companies and situations. However, names (of companies, locations, and people) have often been changed and any resemblance with existing people or organization is spurious. The cases were designed to depict a decision situation for the purposes of learning through discussion and debate, not to demonstrate a “right” or “wrong” course of action.

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