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The Market for Virtue: The Potential and Limits of Corporate Social Responsibility Paperback – July 28, 2006

9 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0815790778 ISBN-10: 0815790775

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"David Vogel brings a refreshing breath of fresh air and objective reporting to a polarized debate. [He] has made an important contribution and has advanced scholarship in this realm with his book" — Environment



"In a world filled with hot air on the subject, it is refreshing to find such a clear--and concise--assessment of CSR's pros and cons." —Simon London, Financial Times



"Well written and empirically based. A valuable, timely volume on an important business issue. Highly recommended." — Choice



"An incisive new book... rich in detail. Vogel's argument is a rebuke to those who want fat profits and easy consciences, too. His analysis is particularly sharp at questioning conventional assumptions." — Perspectives on Politics

About the Author

David Vogel is the Solomon Lee Professor of Business Ethics at the Haas School of Business and professor of political science at the University of California, Berkeley. His books include Barriers or Benefits? Regulation in Transatlantic Trade (Brookings, 1998); Kindred Strangers: The Uneasy Relationship between Politics and Business (Princeton, 1996); and Trading Up: Consumer and Environmental Regulation in a Global Economy (Harvard, 1995).

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 222 pages
  • Publisher: Brookings Institution Press (July 28, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0815790775
  • ISBN-13: 978-0815790778
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.1 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #342,772 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By James J. O'toole on October 6, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Vogel's THE MARKET FOR VIRTUE is a balanced and objective review of the many activites that fall under the rubric of "corporate social responsibility." He convincingly shows that these are over-ballyhooed by their enthusiasts, and over-disparaged by their critics. In fact, they make useful, albeit marginal, contributions to the welfare of communities and society. He draws useful distinctions between the many different manifestations of CSR, and offers thoughtful metrics for evaluating them. He cites literally hundreds of examples, and helps the reader to think about them in a rigorous and disciplined way. This is a must-read for corporate executives and business students.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Jerry Schulman on November 17, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Vogel's THE MARKET FOR VIRTUE is the seminal work in CSR. His lively text offers the right mix of theory, analysis, and example. His conclusions are profound and will make a difference for the better. Required reading for corporate executives, business and management students, and those of us who simply wish to be informed participants in 21st century society.
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Format: Paperback
Written by Professor of Business Ethics (Haas School of Business) David Vogel, The Market for Virtue: The Potential and Limits of Corporate Social Responsibility is a scholarly examination of a politically charged and highly polarized debate concerning what corporate social responsibility can, cannot, and must accomplish in a modern capitalist economy. Chapters explore answers to and differing perspectives on the questions "Is there a business case for virtue?" and "What is the demand for virtue?" as well as examining corporate responsibility with regard to both the environment and human rights. Extensively researched, The Market for Virtue is an invaluable resource offering a serious-minded, in-depth discussion of a complex issue. Enthusiastically recommended especially for college library shelves, and invaluable reading for activists, businessmen, and legal personnel grappling with all dimensions of the interests and responsibilities of corporations.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Peter L., Thigpen on February 21, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Vogel has provided us with a much needed skeptics eye view of Corporate Social Resposibility. This book is a very accesible and practical guide for the manager who is beset with open ended questions and needs realistic answers to a difficult subject. The "needs to have" are separated from the "nices to have", the realistic from the theoretical.

At less than 200 pages, this is the one book the operating manager needs to read on the subject.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Frank T. Manheim on September 4, 2009
Format: Paperback
Vogel's book offers realistic observations on corporate behavior and constraints that limit "good citizen" policy on the part of companies. He clearly has made a conscientious effort to be accurate and fair. What's missing is the historical and international perspectives of authors like Andrew Bacevic (in dealing with American foreign policy) and Robert Reich (who praises Vogel's book) in economic policy. I think that we can't really understand the problems and develop long-term solutions without those "big picture" insights.

For example, let's consider the post World War II history of business enterprise. Business and industry were widely respected fields in the United States through the 1950s. Indeed before the expansion of universities and governmental functions the majority of college students assumed that their futures would be somewhere in the business world, though they might major in English literature, French history, biology or engineering in college.

But in the 1960s a stigma developed on business, powerfully reflected in the movie, "The Graduate", starring Dustin Hoffman. Remember the heavy sarcasm conveyed by the businessman who, with intense terseness, offered his advice to Hoffman: "Let me just say one word to you - 'plastics'"?
In other words, business was portrayed as concerned with soulless materialism. Fashionable movements in the burgeoning universities pilloried clipped lawns and "mindless conformity" in bourgeois suburban communities. As I point out in my recent book, "The Conflict over Environmental Regulation in the United States", 321 p. Springer, March 23, 2009, the Santa Barbara offshore oil spill of 1969 led to further erosion of the image of manufacturing and industry, which were now regarded as the main threats to the environment.
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