Reimagining Capitalism in a World on Fire

Reimagining Capitalism in a World on Fire

by Rebecca Henderson
Reimagining Capitalism in a World on Fire

Reimagining Capitalism in a World on Fire

by Rebecca Henderson


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A renowned Harvard professor debunks prevailing orthodoxy with a new intellectual foundation and a practical pathway forward for a system that has lost its moral and ethical foundation.
Free market capitalism is one of humanity's greatest inventions and the greatest source of prosperity the world has ever seen. But this success has been costly. Capitalism is on the verge of destroying the planet and destabilizing society as wealth rushes to the top. The time for action is running short.

Rebecca Henderson's rigorous research in economics, psychology, and organizational behavior, as well as her many years of work with companies around the world, give us a path forward. She debunks the worldview that the only purpose of business is to make money and maximize shareholder value. She shows that we have failed to reimagine capitalism so that it is not only an engine of prosperity but also a system that is in harmony with environmental realities, the striving for social justice, and the demands of truly democratic institutions.

Henderson's deep understanding of how change takes place, combined with fascinating in-depth stories of companies that have made the first steps towards reimagining capitalism, provide inspiring insight into what capitalism can be. Together with rich discussions of important role of government and how the worlds of finance, governance, and leadership must also evolve, Henderson provides the pragmatic foundation for navigating a world faced with unprecedented challenge, but also with extraordinary opportunity for those who can get it right.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781541730151
Publisher: PublicAffairs
Publication date: 04/28/2020
Pages: 336
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Rebecca Henderson is the McArthur University Professor at Harvard University (the highest honor that can be awarded to a faculty member), where she teaches the acclaimed course on "Reimagining Capitalism." Henderson spent the first twenty-one years of her career at MIT's Sloan School where she was "teacher of the year" and where her research focused on the economics of innovation and on the question of how large organizations can reinvent themselves..

Inducted in to the American Academy of Arts and Science in 2018, Henderson is also a Research Fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research and the recipient of a number of academic prizes, including most recently the Viipuri Prize for strategy research and a recent election to the British Academy.

Henderson's academic career is complemented by a deep engagement with the practice of management. She has been on the boards of Amgen, a Fortune 200 company, for eight years, and Idexx, an S&P 500 company, for fifteen. She has also consulted with a wide variety of companies including IBM, Motorola, Cisco, Nokia, Eli Lilly, BP, ENI, Unilever, P&G, and many smaller firms, and is routinely invited to speak to executives across the world.

Table of Contents

Introduction to the Paperback Edition, ix

Prologue 1

1 "When the Facts Change, I Change My Mind. What Do You Do, SIR?"

Shareholder Value as Yesterday's Idea 7

2 Reimagining Capitalism in Practice

Welcome to the World's Most Important Conversation 31

3 The Business Case For Reimagining Capitalism

Reducing Risk, Increasing Demand, Cutting Costs 49

4 Deeply Rooted Common Values

Revolutionizing the Purpose of the Firm 85

5 Rewiring Finance

Learning to Love the Long Term 121

6 Between A Rock and A Hard Place

Learning to Cooperate 163

7 Protecting What Has Made Us Rich and Free

Markets, Politics, and the Future of the Capitalist System 201

8 Pebbles in An Avalanche of Change

Finding Your Own Path Toward Changing the World 251

Acknowledgments, 269

Notes, 273

Index, 307

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