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Profit with Honor: The New Stage of Market Capitalism (The Future of American Democracy Series)
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Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
Enter Daniel Yankelovich with his new book "Profit With Honor: The New Stage of Market Capitalism." In my opinion, on the Aristotelian scale of ethical virtue, his book represents the "mean" between the extremes of a dog-eat-dog capitalism with profit as the "only" consideration and the position that profit is evil, private enterprise is antisocial and, therefore, a centrally-planned government-run economy is the only acceptable solution. Economic activity is, of course, not fundamentally different from any other human activity, whether it be individual, social, political, or whatever.Read more ›
This book could easily have been a statist prescription for yet more regulation by that whacko entity we call the federal government (which doesn't actually govern), but fortunately it was not. Just as easily, it could have been yet another book used by the author to push the leftist agenda in the rosiest of terms, despite the fact that agenda has always failed and always will. Fortunately, we were spared that reality-challenged view as well. Nor is it another effort to push the "conservative" agenda (basically, a way of diverting money to special interests). In fact, Yankelovich stresses the need to move beyond political "solutions" to problems.
People change careers, and I am one of those people. In my former life as an engineer (in a galaxy far, far away or something to that effect), one of the skills I learned was root cause analysis. This kind of analysis is demonstrably absent in public policy, as is evident from the demonstrable failure of federal policies, federal agencies, federal programs, and just about anything else spewing forth from Washington, DC. I notice that most "experts" have pretty logical-sounding solutions to what ails us, but almost none of them first determines what problem needs solving. They have a hammer (their area of expertise), and the whole world is their nail.
Yankelovich takes a humbler and more rational approach. This book talks about what CEOs and other leaders should do to restore integrity in our corporations, yet in the preface he says he's neither a celebrated CEO nor an expert on the subject. Upon reading the book, I found this worked to his advantage.Read more ›
Yankelovich, to use his term, is a "privileged witness," who sees business from the outside, but has seen its inner workings up close. Even more important in some ways is the fact that he and his company have been among the firms tracking changes in society over several decades.
Here is why he wrote this book: "The purpose of this short book is to suggest that the business community can turn the scandals of recent years to good use, both for business itself and for the larger society."
Yankelovich sees three causes for these scandals. They are: 1) deregulation; 2) linking the biggest part of CEO compensation to stock price; and, 3) the importing of wider social norms into business, resulting in what he calls "unenlightened self-interest."
In the first half of the book he outlines changes in social norms in both business in society over several decades. Business, according to Yankelovich is more likely establish the norms he desires than society as a whole. And, he thinks, if business does so it will "help dispel moral confusion in the culture at large."
He says: "My main argument in the book is that the time has come for market capitalism in the United States to advance to a new stage of enlightened self-interest."
To do that he advocates something he calls "Stewardship Ethics," which he defines as "commitment to care for one's institution and those it serves in a manner that responds to a higher level of expectations.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I bought the book used, and was very impressed with it's great price! It wasn't in top-notch condition, but I wasn't led to believe that it would be so I was quite happy with what... Read morePublished on March 7, 2011 by Clare McG
I won't expand on the good service done by the two lengthy reviews of Yankelovich's book, especially that by Lamendola (who, among other things, does serious readers the favor of... Read morePublished on September 4, 2009 by Frank T. Manheim