Performance and Progress Essays on Capitalism, Business, and Society, Oxford University Press (2015) 528 p.
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The prevailing aspiration of business is performance, while that of society is progress. Capitalism, both the paradigm and practice, sits at the intersection of these dual aspirations, and the essays in this volume explore its fraught status there.
Contributions to this volume address questions such as (i) what's the problem with capitalism?; (ii) is the problem just with the practice or with the very paradigm?; (iii) what is progress and who is responsible for it?; (iv) what evolution is required at the individual, system, and paradigm level so that enterprises and the executives who lead them may better integrate performance with progress?; and (v) whither consumers, employees, and investors in this evolution?
The book offers perspectives from two distinct intellectual domains-social science and philosophy. Scholars in social science (including economics, management, and sociology) tend to study performance. Ideas of progress, on the other hand, tend to fall more under the purview of philosophers (in particular social and political philosophers). Further, to obtain an insider's view on practice and possibilities, the volume includes essays from a handful of thoughtful business leaders.
Research should consider not just how to make sustainability profitable, but also how to make profitability and the modern economic system sustainable. If we are to better comprehend why the world is in protest, to reflect on progress or dilemmas of trust, we must appreciate the tenuous assumptions of modern microeconomics and markets, and hear from modern philosophers about the basis and limits of rationality.
Readership: Academics, students and scholars across the social sciences and humanities, concerned with the role of business in society, and the future of capitalism