Greenpeace, Nestlé and the Palm Oil Controversy: Social Media Driving Change?

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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Case Details:


Case Code : ITSY065 For delivery in electronic format: Rs. 500;
For delivery through courier (within India): Rs. 500 + Rs. 25 for Shipping & Handling Charges


Change Management/Information Technology/Organizational Behavior
Case Length : 23 pages
Period : 1996-2011
Pub Date : 2011
Teaching Note : Not Available
Organization : Nestlé SA/Greenpeace International
Industry : Consumer Packaged Goods
Countries : Europe, US, Global


This case study is about how Greenpeace used social media to foster change in Nestlé SA (Nestlé). Experts felt that the environmental protection group made clever use of social media and direct action against the European food processing giant. The campaign proved to have high impact, forcing Nestlé to clarify its stance on palm oil and create a timetable for cleaning up its palm oil supply chain. This case is meant for MBA/ MS students as a part of their IT & Systems/ Organizational Behavior curriculum. It can also be used in Marketing Management curriculum.

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» Understand how Information and Communication Technology (ICT) can be used in initiating change.
» Evaluate the use of ICT, especially Social Media, in change management.
» Understand the communications process in the particular context of Social Media.
» Appreciate the importance of formulating a Social Media strategy and full time professionals for executing the same


  Page No.
Introduction 1
Palm Oil, Rainforests and Orangutans 2
Isolating Sinar Mas 4
Nestlé and Its Controversies 5
Unleashing the Power Of Social Media 7
Direct Action by Greenpeace 11
A Change of Heart? 12
One of The Most Successful Anti-Corporate Media Campaigns 14
Social Media as A Change Agent 15
Exhibits 17


Information and Communication technology, Change management,IT in change management,Social media, Social media as change agent, Social media as communication and coordination tool, Anti-corporate media campaign, Supply chain

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