Leading with Purpose: The New Corporate Realities by Richard Ellsworth | 9780804743853 | Hardcover | Barnes & Noble
Leading with Purpose: The New Corporate Realities

Leading with Purpose: The New Corporate Realities

by Richard Ellsworth
     
 

ISBN-10: 0804743851

ISBN-13: 9780804743853

Pub. Date: 07/28/2002

Publisher: Stanford University Press


This book explores corporate purpose—a company's expressed overriding reason for existing—and its effect upon strategy, executive leadership, employees, and, ultimately, on competitive performance. Sharply challenging the conventional wisdom that corporations should be dedicated to shareholder wealth creation, the author presents a compelling argument

Overview


This book explores corporate purpose—a company's expressed overriding reason for existing—and its effect upon strategy, executive leadership, employees, and, ultimately, on competitive performance. Sharply challenging the conventional wisdom that corporations should be dedicated to shareholder wealth creation, the author presents a compelling argument that the path to competitive advantage and outstanding long-term financial performance lies instead in a customer-focused corporate purpose.

The book is in four parts. Part I shows how corporate purpose exerts a powerful effect on strategy, management, and the meaning employees derive from their work. A customer-focused purpose harmonizes these critical factors and enables leaders to push strategic thinking deeper into the organization and at the same time to grant employees a greater degree of autonomy. In contrast, a goal of maximizing shareholder wealth sows the seeds of conflict among the market-oriented purpose, product-focused strategies, and the individual values of employees.

Part II critiques the logic of "value-based management" and the relationship of the firm to the equity markets. It explores the validity of extending traditional concepts of property rights to share ownership, concluding that the separation of stock ownership from the responsibility for, and managerial control over, corporate actions makes traditional property rights arguments inapplicable to the underlying assets of a corporation.

Part III examines the functioning of corporate purpose in a global economy. When a firm operates globally, purpose needs to retain its motivational power across national boundaries, which a shareholder-focused purpose does not do.

Part IV explores the implications of corporate purpose for leaders, arguing that infusing an organization with a worthy purpose is an essential responsibility of leadership. Purpose is the foundation for the shared values that define organizational character, raise moral aspirations, and enhance performance. Drawing upon a wide range of thought from the world of business as well as from historical studies, cultural anthropology, philosophy, theology, and psychology, Leading with Purpose is sure to be an essential text as businesses move into the twenty-first century.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780804743853
Publisher:
Stanford University Press
Publication date:
07/28/2002
Edition description:
1
Pages:
424
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.30(d)

Table of Contents

Prefaceix
Introduction: The New Realities of Corporate Purpose1
Part IInfluences on Meaning, Strategy, Managing, and Performance
1Purpose and Performance: Leveraging the Essence of a Corporation25
2Corporations and Individuals: Creating Meaning and Competitiveness57
3Strategy: Defining Corporate Mission, Priorities, and Direction93
4Managing: Transforming Purpose into Action114
Part IICapital Markets, Property Rights, and the Individual
5Capital-Market Relationships: The Myths of Shareholder Wealth Maximization145
6Property Rights: The Shareholders' Rights and Responsibilities182
7Individualism: America's Competitive Advantage226
Part IIICompeting Purposes in the Global Marketplace
8Purpose and Global Competitiveness: The Realities243
9America's Rivals: Changing the Rules of Competition264
Conclusion: The Lessons for Leadership
10Infusing Purpose: A Moral and Strategic Responsibility of Leadership327
Notes361
Bibliography379
Index393

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