Two New Books Advocate Stakeholder Capitalism
Professors from Harvard Business School, University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business and George Washington University author books that include the fundamental need for CEOs to lead a strategic and systematic approach to addressing the needs of all stakeholders.
The financial and societal benefits of a stakeholder approach to Capitalism is front and center in these two recently published books.
In Reimagining Capitalism in a World on Fire
, the author Rebecca Henderson argues that companies have to move beyond maximizing profits to identify business opportunities to meet society’s needs, and that they should consider the welfare of all stakeholders. Investors, she asserts, will benefit by focusing on the long term and considering social and environmental impact. She believes that governments need to regulate markets more strictly and impose carbon taxes. The solution to failing capitalism, she says, lies in all sectors working together to address challenges through collective action, with the result being not only a better world but more profitable businesses and a stronger economy.
Rebecca Henderson is the John and Natty McArthur University Professor at Harvard University.
• Prioritizing purpose as well as profits;
• Creating value for stakeholders as well as shareholders;
• Seeing business as embedded in society as well as markets;
• Recognizing people’s full humanity as well as their economic interests, and
• Integrating business and ethics into a more holistic model.
Drawing on examples from multiple companies, industries, and countries, the authors seek to demonstrate that these values support resilience and prosperity over the long term. They share real-world success stories they say disprove the conventional wisdom that there are unavoidable trade-offs between acting ethically and succeeding financially. The Power of And is written to present a conceptual revolution about what it means for business to be responsible, providing a new story to help all kinds of companies thrive.
R. Edward Freeman is University Professor and Elis and Signe Olsson Professor of Business Administration at the University of Virginia Darden School of Business. Kirsten E. Martin is associate professor of strategic management and public policy at the George Washington University’s School of Business. Bidhan L. Parmar is associate professor of business administration at University of Virginia Darden School of Business.
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