Bank of America’s Investment in the Dakota Pipeline – A Wake-up Call for Stakeholders

Author: Elise Perrault, David Desplaces
Publisher: International Journal of Instructional Cases


IJIC, Volume 1 (2017)


Bank of America (BoA) was one of the major lenders to the Dakota Pipeline project. Taking the perspective of a BoA investor and customer, the case raises issues of socially responsible investment in light of salient societal protests and considerations germane to BoA’s continuing financial support for the pipeline. Specifically, the case allows students to apply stakeholder and ethical analyses to understand how corporate social responsibility policies and actions affect a firm’s investments. It also invites students to rethink their personal role as stakeholders of corporations and the actions they take in support (opposition) to firms’ practices.


Corporate social responsibility, ethics, stakeholder analysis, Bank of America, Dakota pipeline

Target Audience and Usage

This case is designed for upper level undergraduates studying business ethics and society. There are also some cross applications for strategy and business communication courses. The case can be used either as a discussion tool to demonstrate that students have mastered the analytical frameworks or to test their knowledge at the end of the semester.

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