Grow the Pie Updated Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 147 ratings
ISBN-13: 978-1009054676
ISBN-10: 1009054678
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From the Publisher

Editorial Reviews


'I do not know whether capitalism is in crisis. But I do know Alex Edmans' superb book makes the case, compellingly and comprehensively, for a radical rethink of how companies operate and indeed why they exist. It is the definitive account of the analytical case for responsible business, but is at the same time practical and grounded in real business experience. It is a tour de force.' Andy Haldane, Chief Economist, Bank of England

'Politicians are calling for large companies to be regulated or split up. In this compelling book Alex Edmans argues that there is indeed a problem with corporate behavior but that the solution may be simpler: change corporate purpose so that companies focus on growing the pie rather than grabbing more of it. Edmans's arguments are a powerful and persuasive antidote to much of the conventional wisdom about the corporate world.' Oliver Hart, 2016 Nobel Laureate in Economics

'This is a brilliant and timely book, taking the business case for responsible capitalism to a whole new level. Edmans provides a rigorous, evidence-based approach, exploring numerous angles around how businesses can (and, as he shows, must) combine profit-seeking with purpose as well as the role investors and other stakeholders can play in driving a genuine win-win approach. He tackles counter-arguments head-on and has the courage to expose examples of virtue-signalling that falsely discredit responsible businesses. Citing case studies collated over decades, it's a great read, too, offering fascinating examples well beyond the usual suspects. Grow the Pie really has the power to convince the sceptics as well as encourage advocates consider new ways to embed the approach further in their businesses.' Dame Helena Morrissey, financier and founder of the 30% Club

'This is a must-read book for anyone interested in reforming capitalism - particularly in its role of serving wider society. The book is grounded in academic evidence, but the ideas are highly practical, and recognize the need for business to be profitable as well as purposeful. Most companies have inspiring mission statements; Edmans provides a concrete framework for translating them into actual practice. He does not shy away from acknowledging the challenges with running a purpose-driven company - balancing multiple objectives, achieving investor buy-in, and making decisions where the key criteria cannot be quantified. Instead, he tackles them head-on, giving clear guidelines on how to navigate tough decisions, which he illustrates with powerful examples.' Dominic Barton, former Global Managing Partner of McKinsey

'The quest to encourage companies to adopt positive values, for the benefit of all stakeholders, sometimes seems long on vision and short on firepower. Edmans, a finance professor, provides plenty of ammunition to support the idea that visionary leaders can expand the whole 'pie' in pursuit of purpose and profit.' Andrew Hill, Financial Times, Best Books of 2020

'This is an original and important book that will help transform how business sees itself - and how we see business. Alex Edmans in his passionate advocacy of 'Pieconomics' challenges us all to adopt a mindset and unity of purpose in which all business actions contribute to pie growing. The implications are radical and far-reaching. Read it: it will challenge how you think.' Will Hutton, Principal of Hertford College, Oxford and Observer columnist

'In Grow the Pie, Alex Edmans has provided us with a valuable contribution to contemporary thinking about how business can be a force for good in society. His thought-provoking, often contrarian, ideas are rigorously logical, delving beneath the superficial analyses we often see, which assume correlation implies causation. And Alex's engaging storytelling brings the principles of 'Pieconomics' to life with examples of prominent business people - not just those who understand the benefits of growing the pie - but also those who don't.' Sir James G. M. Wates, Chairman of Wates Group

'Alex Edmans has done a great service to society by showing that business doesn't have to be a zero-sum game if we focus more on growing the pie rather than maximizing our slice of it. This is capitalism with a human face.' Andrew Lo, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

'Just as Freakonomics encouraged readers to look beyond the conventional wisdom that underlies many public policies, now Professor Alex Edmans introduces the concept of Pieconomics. In Grow the Pie, he challenges popular rhetoric that the free enterprise system is broadly detracting from society. Instead, through many and varied examples, he offers an alternate lens through which we can interpret what constitutes responsible business. In this thoroughly readable book, Edmans debunks mythologies about corporate behavior and offers a new vocabulary by which we can have principled discussions about the role of business in society.  A 'must read' for leaders in government, business and the media that reports on both.' Paula Rosput, Reynolds, Director of GE, BP, and BAE

'This book is a must-read for asset owners, fund managers and for the boards and executives who lead business enterprise. It provides evidence-based analysis and guidance on how the influence of well-designed stewardship can yield benefit in terms of both financial returns for savers and investors and returns for all stakeholders in a way that benefits society as a whole.' Sir David Walker, former Chairman of Barclays and Morgan Stanley International, author of the Walker Review

'Alex Edmans has produced rigorous evidence that the choice between people and profits is a false dichotomy. Now he makes his work accessible to a broader audience and explains how it's possible to overcome the tradeoffs that hold so many leaders and companies back.' Adam Grant, author of Originals and Give and Take and host of the TED podcast WorkLife

'This uplifting book provides powerful examples, as well as evidence, that socially responsible businesses generate even higher long term profits than corporations focused on short term profit maximisation. Value is created particularly in new economy enterprises by employee purpose, creation of brand and reputation which drives customer preference. The findings reflects my own real world experiences of striving for business excellence across the global LifeSciences industry.' David Pyott, former Chairman and CEO of Allergan

'Finance Professor Alex Edmans defines his purpose in life as 'to use rigorous research to influence the practice of business.' This book, Grow the Pie, demonstrates his manifest success in fulfilling that purpose. Edmans mobilizes evidence - not anecdotes - to make a case, both accessible and compelling, for policies and practices that increase the value available for all stakeholders versus simply and simplistically maximizing profit. Edmans' critical contribution is to reframe arguments about business and capitalism from an all too prevalent short-term zero-sum game to collaborative games where, over time, all can benefit.' Bill Janeway, Warburg Pincus

'Alex Edmans provides robust evidence against the claim that businesses must choose between shareholder value and social responsibility. Although there are trade-offs, there is no single trade-off. What is good for shareholders can be good for society: evidence matters.' Baroness Onora O'Neill, University of Cambridge

Book Description

Companies can both serve society and create profit. This book shows how―based on rigorous evidence and an actionable framework.

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Cambridge University Press; Updated edition (November 11, 2021)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 540 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1009054678
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1009054676
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 1.26 pounds
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 5.06 x 1.22 x 7.81 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.5 out of 5 stars 147 ratings

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About the author

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I'm a Professor of Finance at London Business School who specialises in responsible business - how companies have a responsibility to serve wider society, not just shareholders. I gave the TED talk, &quot;What to Trust in a Post-Truth World&quot; and the TEDx talk &quot;The Social Responsibility of Business&quot; with a combined 2 million views. I've spoken at the World Economic Forum at Davos and testified in the UK Parliament. Outside of LBS I serve as Mercers School Memorial Professor of Business at Gresham College, giving public lectures on business.

I enjoy writing due to the challenge of conveying complex concepts into non-technical language and making it dynamic and engaging for a wide audience. I try to base my writings on rigorous, large-scale evidence to ensure that the ideas are grounded rather than &quot;shooting from the hip&quot;. But equally I endeavor to bring the ideas to life with real-world examples spanning industries and countries, and an actionable framework to put them into practice.

Customer reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5
147 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on May 11, 2020
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Reviewed in the United States on June 1, 2020
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Reviewed in the United States on April 15, 2020
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Reviewed in the United States on October 14, 2020
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Reviewed in the United States on May 23, 2020
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Top reviews from other countries

S.H. Goodman
5.0 out of 5 stars Transformed my view of purposeful business
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 1, 2020
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8 people found this helpful
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5.0 out of 5 stars A superb book that demands to be read by everyone who cares about capitalism
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 3, 2020
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5 people found this helpful
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Jim Bignal Great Workplace Cultures
5.0 out of 5 stars A "must read"for those who believe capitalism is part of the solution
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 17, 2020
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4 people found this helpful
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Justin Kew
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely refreshing book that argues facts from two sides of the coins
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 1, 2020
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Chendi Zhang
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant book that can be taught in university
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 17, 2020
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5 people found this helpful
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