* The Fissured Workplace: Why Work Became So Bad for So Many and What Can Be Done to Improve It. David Weil (Prof of Economics and Distinguished Faculty Scholar, Boston U School of Management; Co-Director, Transparency Policy Project, Harvard's JFK School of Government). Cambridge MA: Harvard U Press, Feb 2014, 392p, $29.95. For much of the 20th century, large companies employing many workers formed the bedrock of the US economy. Today, on the list of big business priorities, sustaining the employer-worker relationship ranks far below building a devoted customer base and delivering value to investors. Large corporations have shed their role as direct employers of the people responsible for their products, in favor of outsourcing work to small companies that compete fiercely with one another. The result has been declining wages, eroding benefits, inadequate health and safety conditions, and ever-widening income inequality. From the perspectives of CEOs and investors, fissuring--splitting off functions that were once managed internally--has been a phenomenally successful business strategy, allowing companies to become more streamlined and drive down costs. But from the perspective of workers, this lucrative strategy has meant stagnation in wages and benefits and a lower standard of living--if they are fortunate enough to have a job at all. (WORK * BUSINESS * CORPORATE FISSURING)
* Corporate Responsibility Coalitions: The Past, Present, and Future of Alliances for Sustainable Capitalism. David Grayson (Director, Doughty Centre for Corporate Responsibility, Cranfield U) and Jane Nelson (Director, Harvard U JFK School Corporate Social Responsibility Initiative; nonresident Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution; and Senior Associate, Cambridge U’s Programme for Sustainability Leadership). Palo Alto CA: Stanford U Press, Feb 2013, 450p, $35 (also as e-book). It is estimated that there are more than 110 national and international business-led corporate responsibility coalitions. There is now a critical need for an informed and balanced analysis of their achievements, their progress, and their potential. Grayson and Nelson consider 1) the emergence of new models of collective corporate action over the past four decades; 2) the increasing number of these coalitions, their diversity and complexity; and 3) how they network with each other and a broader set of institutions that promote sustainable capitalism. They indicate the way for future development of these influential alliances and provide in-depth profiles of the most strategic, effective, and longstanding coalitions. (BUSINESS RESPONSIBILITY COALITIONS * SUSTAINABLE CAPITALISM * CORPRATE RESPONSIBILITY)
* Addressing Base Erosion and Profit Shifting. Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. Paris: OECD, Feb 2013, 88p, $23 e-book. Base erosion constitutes a serious risk to tax revenues, tax sovereignty, and tax fairness for many countries. While there are many ways in which domestic tax bases can be eroded, a significant source of base erosion is profit shifting. This report identifies key principles that underlie taxation of cross-border activities, as well as the BEPS opportunities these principles may create. Current rules provide opportunities to associate more profits with legal constructs and intangible rights and obligations, and to legally shift risk intra-group, with the result of reducing the share of profits associated with substantive operations. (BUSINESS * GOVERNMENT * TAX FAIRNESS: PROFIT SHIFTING AND BASE EROSION * PROFIT SHIFTING AND TAX FAIRNESS)
* Eco-Business: A Big-Brand Takeover of Sustainability. Peter Dauvergne (Prof of Pol Sci and Director, Liu Institute for Global Issues, U of British Columbia) and Jane Lister (Senior Research Fellow, Liu Institute for Global Issues). Cambridge MA: MIT Press, March 2012, 208p, $24.95. McDonald’s promises to use only beef, coffee, fish, chicken, and cooking oil obtained from sustainable sources. Coca-Cola promises to achieve water neutrality. Unilever has set a deadline of 2020 to reach 100% sustainable agricultural sourcing. Walmart has pledged to become carbon neutral. Today, big-brand companies seem to be making commitments that go beyond the usual “greenwashing” efforts undertaken largely for public relations purposes. For many leading-brand companies, these corporate sustainability efforts go deep, reorienting central operations and extending through global supply chains. Yet, these companies are doing this not for the good of the planet but for their own profits and market share in a volatile, globalized economy. They are using sustainability as a business tool. Advocacy groups and governments are partnering with these companies, eager to reap the governance potential of eco-business efforts. “The acclaimed eco-efficiencies achieved by big-brand companies limit the potential for finding deeper solutions to pressing environmental problems and reinforce runaway consumption. Eco-business promotes the sustainability of big business, not the sustainability of life on Earth.” (SUSTAINABILITY * ECO-BUSINESS * BUSINESS “GREENING”)
*Owning Our Future: The Emerging Ownership Revolution. Marjorie Kelly (co-founder and editor, Business Ethics; www.divinerightofcapital.com). San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler Publishers, June 2012, 241p, $19.95pb (also as e-book). In the wake of the world economy’s latest crisis, some institutions were left relatively unscathed. Prominent among the survivors were organizations that combined the flexibility of traditional private ownership with a focus on the common good. As long as businesses are set up to focus exclusively on maximizing quarterly returns for a limited group of individuals, the economy will be plagued by destructive boom-bust cycles. But now people are experimenting with new forms of ownership such as a community-owned wind facility in Massachusetts, a lobster cooperative in Maine, a multibillion-dollar employee-owned department-store chain in London, a foundation-owned pharmaceutical in Denmark, a farmer-owned dairy in Wisconsin, etc. Journalist and entrepreneur Kelly offers a solution to our recurring economic crises --innovative new forms of institutional ownership-- and takes the reader on a global journey to meet the people and organizations that are pioneering new forms of life-sustaining ownership. (BUSINESS * OWNERSHIP REVOLUTION * INNOVATIVE OWNERSHIP * COOPERATIVES)
**Re|Source 2050. Flourishing from Prosperity: Faster and Further. Angela Wilkinson et al. (Smith School Futures Team). Oxford UK: Smith School of Enterprise and Environment, U of Oxford, Jan 2013, 83p (download at www.smithschool.ox.ac.uk). Consumption habits of the West have driven demand for food, energy, and water, compounded by growth in China, India, Brazil, and Russia. Middle-class consumers are expected to reach 4.5 billion by 2030. New resource-efficient systems and patterns of production are needed. This third World Forum of the Smith School, an event attended by >200 heads of state and business leaders (most from the financial and investor communities), focused on growing concerns about prosperity, resources, population, and climate. Rather than focus on forecasting, two frames enable a new set of questions: Growth (moving faster with increasing efficiency) and Health (moving further by aiming for resiliency and dynamic complexity). Given the imperative that “we must rethink the link between economic development and a viable environment,” the Growth and Health frames are then applied to Water, Energy (Growth is supply-driven; Health balances supply and demand), Climate, Land (Growth manages land more efficiently for food and fuel; Health takes a more inclusive approach), Infrastructure (Health fosters more local initiatives that are resilient, flexible, and frugal in the long term), Business Models, Economy (Health promotes evolutionary-based theory, complexity economics, and moving to a “circular economy”), and Leadership. Four Scenarios for the Growth Frame are sketched: 1) Lean, But Mean (high efficiency gain, but global temperatures is still “far more than 2oC”); 2) Broader Gains (strict environmental regulation in developing new abundances); 3) Fat and Unfit (all boats sinking by 2050 in a volatile world, despite decarbonization and eco-efficiency); 4) Scramble for Survival (an extended global recession; more droughts, floods, and famines; subsistence for many). In contrast, four other Scenarios for the Health Frame are provided: 1) Networked Communities (smart cities and new models of greener growth); 2) Inclusive Globalization (systems management coordinated at the global level); 3) Walled Cities (competition between global cities for resources); 4) Worlds Apart (more social inequality; resource security only for the wealth few). In sum, “Re|thinking the world as a complex, adaptive system is analogous to the 16th-century adjustment in which humanity began accepting the world as round rather than flat.” (p.13) These different futures frames raise different sets of nightmare scenarios: “within Growth, the world of health can threaten a kind of green totalitarianism; within Health, the world of Growth looks like a form of capitalist feudalism” (p.14), with the 1% taking still more resources from the 99%. In a Growth frame, we can increase efficiency by focusing on what we can do well now, because we “don’t have time to wait around for a new global ecological myth to take over from the global economic myth within which we operate.” But a Health frame is better for more people. [NOTE: Very dense, leading-edge re-framing for business leaders. The “Health” frame is a fresh approach to the population/resources issue.] (ECONOMICS: GROWTH VS. HEALTH * BUSINESS AND ENVIRONMENT * RESOURCES)
* Business Regulation and Non-State Actors: Whose Standards? Whose Development? Edited by Peter Utting (UNRISD, Switzerland), Darryl Reed and Ananya Mukherjee Reed (both, York U, Canada). NY: Routledge, Jan 2012, 336p, $140 (also as e-book). Assesses the achievements and limitations of a new set of non-state or multi-stakeholder institutions that are concerned with improving the social and environmental record of business, and holding corporations to account. Contents focus on the International Organization for Standardization, the Forest Stewardship Council, global retail strategies and Wal-Mart’s CSR regime, the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, blood diamonds, non-state actors and development, peoples’ tribunals in Latin America, International Framework Agreements and Development, IFOAM and the institutionalization of organic agriculture, the World Fair Trade Organization, Fairtrade International, etc. (WORLD GOVERNANCE * BUSINESS: GLOBAL REGULATION * BUSINESS AND INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATION)
* The New Industrial Revolution: Consumers, Globalization and the End of Mass Production. Peter Marsh (Financial Times; London). New Haven, CT: Yale U Press, May 2012, 320p, $35. The rapid emergence of China and India as prime locations for low-cost manufacturing has led some to conclude that manufacturers in the “old economies” – the US, UK, Germany, and Japan – are being edged out of a profitable future. This analysis of the industrial revolution that is taking place right now shows that opportunities are not over for these countries. Considers advances in technology, a greater focus on tailor-made goods aimed at specific individuals and industry users, participation of many more countries in world manufacturing, and the growing importance of sustainable forms of production. (WORLD ECONOMY * NEW INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION * MANUFACTURING * BUSINESS)
* Consumer Shift: How Changing Values Are Reshaping the Consumer Landscape. Andy Hines (Lecturer and Executive-in-Residence, Graduate Program in Future Studies, U of Houston). Tempe AZ: No Limit Publishing Group, 2011, 292p. The old approaches to understanding consumers aren’t working, and the landscape of the next decade is likely to be quite different. A rethink is needed about shifts to postmodern values reinforced by the Great Recession. Five key themes: 1) Authenticity: people are tired of being managed and manipulated; 2) Connection: related to feeling that life is out of control is the desire to get reconnected to what is really important; 3) Anti-Consumerism: disenchantment with consuming has been gaining momentum, as people beyond poverty level seek to trade off money and material goods for time to enjoy experiences; 4) Self-Expression: people are turning inward and re-assessing the meaning of their lives, with a search for deeper meaning and purpose; 5) Enoughness: voluntary simplicity by choice or necessity; acceptance and embrace of the need for limits. Chapters discuss what’s going on deep inside consumers (identity, needs, values, mind-body), what’s being said to consumers, patterns in changing values, the shift to integral values (the next wave behind postmodern values), consumer co-creation and augmentation, consumer “sweet spots” (23 emerging need states in seven meta-needs such as pursuit of happiness, simplicity, local community preference,, global citizens), future personas, and the three “worlds” of nations (affluent nations, emerging markets, nations mired in poverty). (BUSINESS * SOCIETY * CONSUMER VALUES * VALUES OF CONSUMERS)
*The New Industrial Revolution: Consumers, Globalization and the End of Mass Production. Peter Marsh (Financial Times; London). New Haven, CT: Yale U Press, May 2012, 320p, $35. The rapid emergence of China and India as prime locations for low-cost manufacturing has led some to conclude that manufacturers in the “old economies” – the US, UK, Germany, and Japan – are being edged out of a profitable future. This analysis of the industrial revolution that is taking place right now shows that opportunities are not over for these countries. Considers advances in technology, a greater focus on tailor-made goods aimed at specific individuals and industry users, participation of many more countries in world manufacturing, and the growing importance of sustainable forms of production. (WORLD ECONOMY * NEW INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION * MANUFACTURING * BUSINESS)
** The Corporate Whistleblower’s Survival Guide: A Handbook for Committing the Truth. Tom Devine (Legal Director, Government Accountability Project) and Tarek F. Maassarani (Adjunct Prof of Communication and Human Rights, George Washington U). San Francisco CA: Berrett-Koehler Publishers and Government Accountability Project, April 2011, 288p, $19.95pb (also as e-book). The Government Accountability project has helped over 5,000 people blow the whistle since 1977. Corporate whistleblowers save lives, prevent fraud, and preserve the environment by undergoing a long, difficult, draining, and often frightening process. They rarely have any idea what they’re in for and, daunted by the ferocity of the resistance and their feelings of isolation and helplessness, some give up, and others are broken financially and emotionally. Describes the tactics corporations use to attack whistleblowers and cover up or deny damaging revelations, and provides practical advice to whistleblowers on how to find information to support their claims, who to blow the whistle to, how to enlist allies, and taking advantage of legal opportunities. (BUSINESS * METHODS * WHISTLEBLOWER’S SURVIVAL GUIDE * GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABILITY PROJECT)
* Report on the Green Transition Scoreboard. Hazel Henderson, Rosalinda Sanquiche, and Timothy Jack Nash (all www.EthicalMarkets.com). St. Augustine FL: Ethical Markets Media, Feb 2011, 26p (free online). The Green Transition Scoreboard, created by Hazel Henderson (longtime futurist and author of The Politics of the Solar Age, Doubleday Anchor 1981), is a global tracking of private financial system for all sectors investing in green markets. In the 2007-2010 period, $1,359 billion was invested in Renewable Energy, $282 billion in Efficiency and Green Construction, $65 billion in Cleantech (agriculture, materials, recycling, wastewater, etc.), $135 billion in Smart Grid (companies building infrastructure), and $164 billion in Corporate R&D (with thousands of R&D projects still unaccounted for). This finding of >$2 trillion “puts global investors and countries on track to reach $10 trillion in investments by 2020. [Note: This distinctive and heartening report will be updated every six months.]
(SUSTAINABILITY * GREEN TRANSITION SCOREBOARD * BUSINESS: GREEN INVESTMENT)
* Embedded Sustainability: The Next Big Competitive Advantage. Chris Laszlo (Visiting Professor, Case Western Reserve U; co-founder and managing partner, Sustainable Value Partners) and Nadya Zhexembayeva (Chair of Sustainable Development, IEDC-Bled School of Management). Palo Alto CA: Stanford U Press, April 2011, 224p, $35. Incorporating environmental, health, and social value into the product life cycle with no trade-off in price or quality is a requisite for every sector of the economy. The more mainstream “green” becomes, the more it sets the standard for all businesses. Embedded sustainability enables smart companies to create even more value for their investors, while excelling in the marketplace and meeting customers’ demands and personal standards.
(BUSINESS * SUSTAINABILITY AND BUSINESS)
* Doing Business 2011. The World Bank. Washington: World Bank, Sept 2010/185p/$35. More countries than ever are slashing red tape around starting businesses. Measures regulations across 183 economies affecting ten areas of everyday business activity (starting a business, dealing with construction permits, employing workers, registering property, getting credit, protecting investors, paying taxes, trading across borders, enforcing contracts, closing a business). Ranks countries on their overall ease of doing business, analyzes reforms to business regulations, and illustrates how reforms can translate into better outcomes for domestic entrepreneurs and the wider economy. Also focuses on how women are affected by complex business regulations. (BUSINESS)
* Consumer Policy Toolkit. Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. Paris: OECD, July 2010, 128p, $40 (free pdf). One of the principal functions of governments of market-based economies is to establish economic frameworks that promote innovation, productivity, and growth for the ultimate benefit of consumers. But “more choice and more complexity in many markets have made it increasingly difficult for consumers to compare and assess the value of products and services.” Similar challenges face government authorities responsible for protecting consumers from unfair commercial practices and fraud. Examines how markets have evolved and provides insights for improved consumer policy making (including accreditation, provision, standards, enforcement, and cooling-off periods). Explores how the study of behavioral economics is changing the way policy makers are addressing problems. (BUSINESS * ECONOMY * CONSUMER POLICY)
* The End of the Free Market: Who Wins the War Between States and Corporations? Ian Bremmer (president, Eurasia Group risk consultancy). NY: Portfolio (Penguin Group), May 2010/221p/$26.95 (e-Book, $12.99). Details the growing phenomenon of state capitalism, where governments drive local economies through ownership of market-dominant companies and large pools of excess capital. China has become the global model, boosted by the recent financial crisis. Other nations using state companies to shore up power at home include Russia, Iran, Venezuela, and the Arab states of the Persian Gulf. This new hybrid has led to a changing balance of power between the state and the market. This trend threatens America’s competitive edge, the conduct of free markets everywhere, and the entire global economy. [Also see interview with Bremmer (The Futurist, May-June 2010, 29-31) and The Beijing Consensus by Stefan Halper (Basic Books, 2010).]
(STATE CAPITALISM * CHINA * GLOBAL ECONOMY * BUSINESS)
* International White Collar Crime: Cases and Materials. Bruce Zagaris (partner, Berliner, Corcoran & Rowe, Washington; former Prof of Law, American U). NY: Cambridge U Press, March 2010, 366p, $45pb. On the rise of transnational economic crime —money laundering, terrorism, corruption, and organized crime— and recent strategies in the US, UN, World Bank, INTERPOL, and economic integration groups to combat it. As transnational criminals use globalization, trade liberalization, and new technologies for criminal purposes, combating transnational business crime draws attention to arduous tasks of extraterritorial jurisdiction, evidence gathering, extradition, and international prisoner transfer.
(INTERNATIONAL LAW *U.S. FOREIGN POLICY * WHITE COLLAR CRIME GLOBALIZED)
* How the Mighty Fall: And Why Some Companies Never Give In. Jim Collins. NY: HarperCollins, May 2009/240p/$23.99 (brief version, Business Week Cover Feature, 25 May 2009, 26-38). Author of Good to Great and Built to Last describes five stages of decline: 1) hubris born of success; 2) undisciplined pursuit of more growth; 3) denial of risk and peril (leaders discount negative data, amplify positive data, and put a spin on ambiguous data); 4) grasping for salvation (lurching for a quick fix or other silver-bullet solutions); 5) capitulation to irrelevance or death (hope abandoned for building a great future). (BUSINESS * METHODS)
* Boulevard of Broken Dreams: Why Public Efforts to Boost Entrepreneurship and Venture Capital Have Failed—and What to Do About It. Josh Lerner (Prof of Investment Banking, Harvard Business School). Princeton UP, Nov 2009/248p/$27.95. Global hubs of entrepreneurial activity all bear the marks of government investment, but there are many failed efforts, wasting billions of dollars* Lerner looks at ways governments have supported entrepreneurs and venture capitalists across decades and continents, suggesting how future public ventures should be implemented.
(BUSINESS * GOVERNMENT)
* The CEO’s Boss: Tough Love in the Boardroom. William M. Klepper (Prof of Management, Columbia U). NY: Columbia Business School (Columbia UP), Dec 2009/224p/$29.95. To avoid another Enron or Tyco, company directors have assumed a bold and independent role in the boardroom, creating a new atmosphere requiring careful negotiation* eight practices of a healthy partnership are detailed, notably the social contract where directors and CEOs agree to be transparent.
(BUSINESS * BOARD DIRECTORS)
* Can Business Save the World? Hard Truths About Ending Poverty. R. Glenn Hubbard (dean, Columbia Business School) and William Duggan (Senior Lecturer, CBS). NY: Columbia Business School (Columbia UP), Aug 2009/208p/$22.95. By diverting a major share of charitable aid into the local business sector of poor countries, citizens can take the lead in growing their own economies, following the success of China and India; switching the “feudal system of aid” to the local business sector to cultivate an ordinary middle class is the surest and only way to eliminate poverty.
(DEVELOPMENT * FOREIGN AID)
* WorldShift 2012: Making Green Business, New Politics, and Higher Consciousness Work Together. Ervin Laszlo (editor, World Futures; founder and president, Club of Budapest). Forewords by Deepak Chopra and Mikhail Gorbachev. Rochester VT: Inner Traditions, Sept 2009/128p/$14.95pb. The deepening economic crisis, threats of climate change, etc. also bring a great opportunity for fundamental change to a sustainable world respectful of humans, nature, and the planet; insights are assembled from spiritual leaders, scientists, and visionary businesspeople. (WORLD POLITICS)