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Capitalism at the Crossroads: Next Generation Business Strategies for a Post-Crisis World (3rd Edition) Paperback – June 25, 2010

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Editorial Reviews



From the Back Cover

“The central message of Stuart Hart's book is that global business needs to be caring and be committed to preserving the globe's ecological integrity. The ongoing economic slowdown brought about by rampant capitalism, the lessons from which this new edition of the book factors in, has only served to emphasize the urgency for business to adopt the radical transformation of strategy that Stuart has been advocating.

-RATAN TATA, Chairman, Tata Group


“A few books change the way you think. Very few change the way you act. Stuart Hart's writings have served as a practical guide, a system of road signs that put new order into the complex business of becoming sustainable. We're learning that we can advance in a meaningful, exciting, and beneficial way. We fully expect that his ideas are guideposts that will mark Dow Corning's road to sustainability leadership.

-STEPHANIE BURNS, Ph.D., Chairman, CEO, and President, Dow Corning Corporation


Capitalism at the Crossroadsrightly points to capitalism as the most powerful and creative force we have for solving global problems. It is a welcome antidote to widespread ignorance about capitalism as a force for good.

-JOHN MACKEY, CEO, Whole Foods Market, and coauthor,Be the Solution


“I hope this book will be able to influence the thought processes of corporations and motivate them to adapt to forthcoming business realities for the sake of their own long-term existence. Besides business leaders, this is a thought-provoking book for the readers who are looking for solutions to capitalism's problems.

-MUHAMMAD YUNUS, Founder and Managing Director, Grameen Bank, Bangladesh, and 2006 Nobel Peace Prize recipient


“... pioneering roadmap to responsible corporate growth.

-CLAYTON CHRISTENSEN, Professor, Harvard Business School, and New York Times best-selling author,The Innovator's Dilemma


Reinventing Capitalism and Companies for a Radically New World


Today's era of economic crisis has sent a powerful message: The age of “mercenary capitalism is ending. We must finally embark on a new age of sustainable, stakeholder-based capitalism. While enlightened executives and policymakers understand the critical need for change, few have tangible plans for making it happen. InCapitalism at the Crossroads, Stuart L. Hart presents new strategies for identifying sustainable products, technologies, and business models that will drive urgently needed growth and help solve social and environmental problems at the same time.


Drawing on his experience consulting with top companies and NGOs worldwide, Hart shows how to craft your optimal sustainability strategy and overcome the limitations of traditional “greening approaches. In this edition, he presents new and updated case studies from the United States and around the world, demonstrating what's working and what isn't. He also guides business leaders in building an organizational “infrastructure for sustainability--one that can survive budgeting and boardrooms, recharging innovation and growth throughout your enterprise.


Mapping the terrain: where we stand and where to go from here

The new business case for pursuing sustainable capitalism


Beyond “greening

Implementing sustainability strategies that go far beyond environmental sensitivity


Becoming indigenous: how to build a truly sustainable global enterprise

How to fully embed your enterprise in the local context--and why you should


Robust organizational blueprints for sustaining sustainability

Making long-term sustainability work in a short-term world


Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: FT Press; 3 edition (June 25, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0137042329
  • ISBN-13: 978-0137042326
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #783,641 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Dr. Stuart L. Hart is the Samuel C. Johnson Chair in Sustainable Global Enterprise at the Johnson School of Management and Founder of the Center for Sustainable Global Enterprise at Cornell University. He is also the President and Founder of Enterprise for a Sustainable World. Previously he was the Hans Zulliger Distinguished Professor of Sustainable Enterprise at the Kenan Flagler Business School and Founder of the Center for Sustainable Enterprise at the University of North Carolina. He was also the Founding Director of the Corporate Environmental Management Program at the University of Michigan (now the Erb Institute's Dual Masters Program).

He is one of the world's leading authorities on the implications of environment and poverty for business strategy. Professor Hart has published over 70 papers and authored or edited seven books, with over 5,000 Google Scholar citations in all. Hart wrote the seminal article "Beyond Greening: Strategies for a Sustainable World," which won the McKinsey Award for Best Article in the Harvard Business Review in 1997, and helped launch the movement for corporate sustainability. With C.K. Prahalad, he also wrote the path-breaking 2002 article, "The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid," which first articulated how business could profitably serve the needs of the four billion poor in the developing world. His best-selling 2005 book, Capitalism at the Crossroads (Wharton School Publishing) was recognized by Cambridge University as one of the top 50 books on sustainability of all time. A third edition of the book was published in 2010. With Ted London, Hart is also the author of a newly released book entitled Next Generation Business Strategies for the Base of the Pyramid. In this book, Hart and other leading BoP thought and practice leaders show how to apply second-generation BoP innovations, techniques, and business models to build successful and sustainable BoP businesses.

He has served as consultant, advisor, or management educator for dozens of corporations and organizations including Dupont, S. C. Johnson, General Electric, Baxter Healthcare, Wal Mart, the World Economic Forum, and the Clinton Global Initiative. He is an internationally recognized speaker and has delivered hundreds of keynote addresses on the topic of sustainable business around the world.

Stuart Hart earned his Bachelor's degree from the University of Rochester (General Science), Master's degree from Yale University's School of Forestry and Environmental Studies (Environmental Management), and Ph.D. from the University of Michigan (Planning and Strategy).

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
There are only two paths going forward - a radically different form of commerce that uplifts the entire human community or depletion of the remaining natural and cultural capital with prolonged human strife as a result. This is the fork in the road described by Stuart Hart in Capitalism at the Crossroads, released June 2010 on its 3rd edition.

This is a book about capitalism on the throes of the greatest economic recession of our time. However, neither the fundamental pillars of the capitalist system nor the causes of the recession are the focus here. Rather the main themes in the book suggest new strategies and competencies that companies could adopt to change the system from within. The focus here is to effect institutional change from within the capitalist system.

While the commandments handed down to industry are broad and well articulated, a discussion on how government could enable or encourage firm behavior is largely absent. In Hart's opinion, the role of the private sector and entrepreneurial base must take an unprecedented role because "incremental governmental policies are insufficient and large-scale, crash programs are likely to fail." Hart's vision of the new green economy is painted broadly, but in his canvas government is no more than a smudge.

The author makes the most of the post-recession mood to impress urgency in the book's premise - the world is on a collision course and only the private sector can avert catastrophe. In the future - if the higher road is taken - sustainable enterprises and civil society work together on creating opportunity at the bottom of the pyramid (BoP) and corporations compete to "seize the opportunity for sustainable development.
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I appreciate the previous reviews. I find the book extremely helpful in describing the step-by-step progression in thought leadership among business strategists over the last century and up to today. Dr. Hart provides a very helpful outline for clarifying where our own thinking and action preferences fit into his emerging outline of sustainable business strategies for our future.

Dr. Hart describes how we can, but only with an appropriate attitude, broaden our business strategies to functionally serve the growing numbers of people who live "at the bottom of the pyramid" on our planet. These people are currently not served well by modern best-practices business. Vast business opportunities exist for entrepreneurs who include tailored integration of the best of our modern thinking and clean technologies with true "listening to the natives," in ways genuinely respectful of and ultimately useful to these people, as defined first-and-foremost by their in-common, universal, basic human needs. This requires suspending our own predisposition to actions long enough to ensure we are moving forward with true respect and in harmony with what I assert are our evolving STEM understandings concerning sustained peak human performance.

Dr. Hart provides examples of how constructive change begins with oneself and one's own business activities. This is not about changing others to meet our expectations, per se. Rather, this is about taking personal responsibility to leverage our own resources in ways truly respectful of ourselves and others -- including those very different from us -- and respectful of our collective dependence upon an intact bio-sphere. Inherent to the many solutions advocated and described by Dr.
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Professor Hart's scholarship and simple writing style combine to make this book compulsive reading. The core argument that sustainability delivers both benefits, from taking the risks arising from addressing the challenges of that form of development, and that there is no realistic alternative, is well grounded. The case that business is uniquely capable and resourced to address some very significant issues, such as dealing with externalities, is possibly over-done. The particular organisational structure of business is not fully attuned towards social democracy and there have been colossal failures on it's part that have not been fully acknowledged. The model has some way to run before it can be truly judged. In the meantime this book is an important milestone.
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