We are delighted to announce that the journal Business, Peace and Sustainable Development has been ranked by the Australian Business Deans Council in its Journal Quality list as a category C journal. The ABDC seeks to promote value and excellence in business research across universities, governments and industry throughout Australia and New Zealand. Continue reading
Tony Judt, in the valedictory conversations with Timothy Snyder whose title is echoed in this book, said that the task of the public intellectual in the face of growing global insecurities would no longer be ‘to imagine better worlds but rather to think how to prevent worse ones’. There is no way out, ‘the fully enlightened earth radiates disaster triumphant’ and it is all we can hope for that a handful will survive to start again.
And yet – both books, by their very existence, suggest the contrary – that, in extremis, it is faith in a better world in a distant and unknowable future that validates a life – that there is no reason to suppose that there is a shortage of better worlds to come.
Of course, some of those better worlds may not feature Facebook and buttered crumpets. It remains to be seen whether we will be dragged screaming and kicking to a sustainable economy by an angry earth, or achieve it through reason and collaboration. This book is all for the latter and offers us a comprehensive a guide to the ideas that will help us do it. Continue reading
By Adrian Henriques, Visiting Professor of Accountability and CSR, Middlesex University Business School
Review of the book, The Dark Side 2: Critical Cases on the Downside of Business
The importance of a rounded look at CSR cannot be over-estimated. If CSR is to be more than a PR programme, then it is necessary to examine how things have gone badly as well as how things have gone well. For academic research and teaching, it is vital. There is no shortage of positive case studies out there, but there is a dearth of critical ones. In 2009 Raufflet and Mills produced the first volume of the Dark Side, containing case studies that illustrated how things can go wrong between businesses and society. Now, four years later, here is another volume of critical case studies.
Review of Natural Corporate Management: From the Big Bang to Wall Street by William C. Frederick
Rare are books that begin with the Big Bang and march sequentially through a litany of seemingly unrelated natural phenomena including energy, life itself, genetics, and the rise of Homo sapiens. Add to this Darwinian survival and market competition, and you have Natural Corporate Management, a truly fresh perspective on individual and corporate behavior.
The novelty of the examples and logic is indisputable. Each natural science phenomenon is presented as more than just an analogy. Frederick (emer., Univ. of Pittsburgh), author of numerous works including Corporation, Be Good! (CH, Jul’06, 43-6635), treats them directly or indirectly as the causes for modern business practices. He offers a natural-world evolutionary perspective of why organizations exist and how they function. Continue reading
John Ehrenfeld is a friend and valued mentor, yet because I am one of those consultants that he says “tout sustainability as the new way toward profits and market share,” I sometimes find myself in his crosshairs. That can be a sobering experience, but I’m grateful for his fierce and honest critique, which is reprinted below from a new book that marries Ehrenfeld’s writings and his interviews with his former student Andy Hoffman. The book is grounded in a truth that too many of us ignore: Superficial tweaks to business as usual will do little to transform the structural and infrastructural fallacies of the modern global economy.
In the brouhaha surrounding the great debates on responsible business practice, the focus always seems to be on what individual companies are doing and which CEOs are the leaders – or on the ropes. Perhaps that’s inevitable. We like our heroes and villains, to spot the good guys and condemn the baddies.
This book helpfully reminds us that actually the big issues transcend any one company or hero leader. The deep-rooted sustainable solutions we need are usually to be found through cross-industry, indeed cross sector, working. That means most progress is made through collective action in alliances and coalitions.
In fact that’s a message at least one of the current individual ‘heroes’ would heartedly endorse – as Unilever’s Paul Polman keeps saying: “If we achieve our own plans but no one joins us on the journey, we’ll have failed.”
Therefore, instead of theories, academic models and case studies, in Mohin’s book we get to learn about the real world of CSR, which is very different from the theoretical world of CSR. After all, how many CSR books tell you that the most important skill you’ll need to succeed as a CSR manager is communication because basically “you lead a function where you have broad responsibility for issues that you have almost no authority to control”? Well, this book does.