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Spreading the Wealth

Spreading the Wealth

by Joel Makower

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In this energizing study, Makower (The E Factor) and the advocacy group Business for Social Responsibility theorize that firms ``function best when they merge their business interests with the interests of customers, employees, suppliers.'' This social responsibility thesis-or ``caring capitalism''-is illustrated with examples from numerous well-known companies (Reebok, Body Shop). Practical tips abound as we learn how firms inaugurate such policies as environmental protection and family leave. The text is replete with quotations from memos, brochures, statements of CEOs and the like. Also included is a corporate reputation/responsibility assessment tool developed by the Levi Strauss company. Unfortunately, however, the study has nothing to say about successful firms that eschew social responsibility or those motivated only by regulatory agency guidelines. Illustrations. (Oct.)
Library Journal
Not so long ago, business viewed enterprise as a zero sum game (i.e., I win; you lose). Today, the two words that consume business are credible and responsible. Value-driven management has achieved what marketers call critical mass. Makower (The E Factor, LJ 2/1/93) presents the case for corporate social responsibility in realistic terms: "One of the most socially responsible things most companies can do is to be profitable....[W]ithout such viability, even the best designed and well-executed efforts will be for naught." This book, which follows in the lineage of Harvey Cox (The Secular City, 1966) and Robert Reich (The Greening of America, 1970), deals with the contemporary issues of empowerment and environment as well as corporate beneficence. Essential for business collections.-Steven Silkunas, Southeastern Pennsylvania Transit Authority, Philadelphia
David Rouse
Little more than three years ago, Business for Social Responsibility was formed as an alternative to more-traditional chambers of commerce whose probusiness agendas often come into conflict with such progressive social concerns as creating a more human workplace, environmental awareness, and community involvement. Makower tells the story of this new organization, which has grown from 50 to more than 700 members--with a roster of hundreds of small businesses, but also including Levi Strauss, Starbucks, and Reebok. He also offers concrete evidence that corporate social responsibility is good for business because it leads to increased productivity and profits, and he shows how like-minded programs can be implemented at individual companies.

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Simon & Schuster
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