Books relevant to virtuous business
These books helped form the intellectual background for Transforming Business. But their contents are the responsibility of their authors and editors alone and do not necessarily reflect the starting-points or findings of this project. All these books should be easily available via an internet bookstore such as Amazon.
Corporate Social Opportunity!: Seven Steps to Make Corporate Social Responsibility Work for Your Business
The authors of this book look to a future in which 'corporate social responsibility' (CSR) is perceived as an opportunity, rather than a responsibility, and that it becomes part of the way core business is conducted, rather than an 'add-on'. For them, doing good and doing well can and should go together. Because they recognize that this is not always easy to achieve, their book is offered as a practical guide.
The Role of Business in the Modern World: Progress, Pressures and Prospects for the Market Economy
In this robust critique of CSR, Henderson insists that business' primary role is economic progress, rather than fulfilling wider social goals. CSR's 'global salvationism' may be the consensus in business but it is based on erroneous beliefs about capitalism. The book builds on his earlier book Misguided Virtue: False Notions of Corporate Social Responsibility.
Capitalism at the Crossroads: The Unlimited Business Opportunities in Solving the World's Most Difficult Problems
This book, by an influential business economist, argues that business needs to regard global problems such as poverty and climate change as opportunities rather than as obstacles. It draws on the author's experience of working with top companies and major NGOs and provides practical strategies for combining principle with profit.
The 86 Percent Solution: How to Succeed in the Biggest Market Opportunity of the Next 50 Years
Only 14 percent of the world's population live in rich countries - the others (86 percent) live in poor ones. Providing the products offered are appropriate, therefore, huge potential markets exist in developing countries, especially as developed country markets become saturated. That is the contention of this academically grounded but practically oriented book.
Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid: Eradicating Poverty through Profits
Markets in developing countries have often been overlooked but they are amongst the world's fastest growing. In a similar vein to the previous book above, Prahalad argues that this represents a huge opportunity for companies prepared to serve the needs of the poor. Such companies stand to make a fortune at the bottom of the economic pyramid, while the poor gain jobs, wealth and dignity.
Globalisation, ICT and Developing Nations: Challenges in the Information Age
Comparing Africa with East and South Asia, this book discusses the development potential of ICT. Policies that are favourable towards investment by ICT companies, the author claims, can further the innovation, productivity and diffusion of technology within societies in which state institutions are gradually being replaced by non-state ones.
Fair Trade for All: How Trade can Promote Development
Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglitz is one of the world's most famous, accomplished and controversial economists. In contrast to the four other former World Bank employees whose books are reviewed here or via the link at the end of these reviews (Collier, Calderisi, Easterly and Lal), he is more optimistic about the effectiveness of aid. His main concern, however, is how the poor can best be integrated into the global economy.
The Elgar Companion to Development Studies
This substantial handbook of just over 700 pages is multi-disciplinary, though contributions from business experts are comparatively thin on the ground. Each of the 136 entries provides enough detail on the topic to be helpful but not too much to be too technical for the purposes on an introduction and summary.
The Challenge of Liberty: Classical Liberalism Today
The essays in this book on classical liberal thought (covering the work of such thinkers as Adam Smith and John Locke) are by a collection of modern liberals. In responding to their critics, they stress the inherent dignity and worth of the individual, inalienable rights, the rule of law and the benevolent consequences of the cooperative, peaceful pursuit of individual happiness.
White Man's Burden: Why the West's Efforts to Aid the Rest have done so Much Ill and So Little Good
Poverty activists tend to support international aid but this book casts doubt on its effectiveness. Like authors Collier and Calderisi, reviews of whose books are available via the at the end of these reviews), Easterly is a former employee of the world's largest aid organization, the World Bank. His message, therefore, which largely agrees with that of Riddell (a fellow aid professional whose book is reviewed at the end of this section), cannot be easily be dismissed.
Corporate Social Responsibility and International Development: Is Business the Solution?
Governments and international agencies, such as those grouped under the UN umbrella, have failed, to address poverty effectively. The solution lies with the private sector, particularly though the economic leverage of large corporations. That is the contention of this book, written by the CEO of a major corporation who is also a business academic.
Nation-States and the Multinational Corporation: A Political Economy of Foreign Direct Investment
Jensen uses interviews and empirical data to build his case that foreign direct investment is attracted to countries not so much with low taxation as with a sound institutional infrastructure that will help secure the investment. IMF involvement in a developing country, he argues, often deters, rather than encourages, multinational investment.
Reviving the Invisible Hand: The Case for Classical Liberalism in the Twentieth Century
This is an unashamed defence of classic liberalism and the benefits of global capitalism. The author is clearly at home in economic history and empirical analysis as well as in economic theory. Along with Stiglitz, Collier, Calderisi and Easterly, all with books reviewed here or via the link at the end of these reviews, Lal used to work for the World Bank. But in this book he calls for its abolition.
A Corporate Solution to Global Poverty: How Multinationals can Help the Poor and Invigorate their Own Legitimacy
The authors claim that multinational corporations have the critical combination of capabilities required to reduce poverty in developing countries through building investment, growing economies and creating jobs. This book is not, therefore, a call for corporate philanthropy or for CSR programmes but for business to perform their core operations in ways that serve both the poor and the bottom line.
The Next Great Globalization: How Disadvantaged Nations Can Harness their Financial Systems to Get Rich
Financial globalization has often been the bugbear of intellectuals anti-globalization intellectuals. This book takes a contrarian view - that it is the means by which many poor nations can become rich. Its potential, the book argues, is comparable to the momentous trade and information globalizations of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
Untapped: Creating Value in Underserved Markets
The argument that there are huge potential markets in developing countries at the 'bottom of the pyramid' has gained momentum since the work of Hart and Prahalad (both of whom have books reviewed above). Until now, however, there has been little that outlines the strategies necessary to turn this idea into practical reality. This is exactly what this books seeks to do.
Make Poverty Business: Increase Profits and Reduce Risks by Engaging with the Poor
Hart and Prahalad (see above) have popularized the idea that there are fortunes to be made by selling to the poor. This book, however, sets out the business case for regarding the poor as producers rather than consumers. In doing so, it shifts economic development away from CSR and into the realm of core business competence.
Bridging the Digital Divide: Innovation Systems for ICT in Brazil, China, India, Thailand, and Southern Africa
Bridging the 'digital divide' is a key to economic development, though there are no simple solutions. This book focuses on the relationship of ICT to the socio-economic context of developing countries. Each chapter deals with one of the countries mentioned in the title.
Paths to Property: Approaches to Institutional Change in International Development
Sound legal institutions help to overcome poverty because they allow contracts and property rights to be enforced, thus lowering the risk to entrepreneurs of raising capital and trusting people they do not know. This is the finding of the authors' research in Africa, which also reveals that, when such institutions are developed in keeping with local culture, social capital increases.
Multinationals in Their Communities: A Social Capital Approach to Corporate Citizenship Projects
In recent years, CSR and social capital have attracted a great deal of interest from business and development scholars respectively. This book brings these two themes together, using social capital as a means of measuring the effectiveness of CSR projects of multinational companies operating in developing or transitional economies.
The Debate over Corporate Social Responsibility
What role should business play in society? This book brings together a range of perspectives on this issue from experts in a variety of disciplines, including business, law, sociology, political science and economics. Several of them scrutinize the assumptions underlying CSR, while others discuss its practicalities.
Moving Out of Poverty: Cross-disciplinary Perspectives on Mobility
The editors of this book are committed to a multi-disciplinary approach to development. Their book brings together perspectives from anthropology, economics, political science, and sociology, thereby incorporating a broad range of conceptual and empirical work. Deepa Narayan is a Senior Advisor of the World Bank.
Business Solutions for the Global Poor: Creating Social and Economic Value
This book emerged from the first conference Harvard Business School convened on business solutions to poverty. It brings together perspectives not only from business academics but also from leaders in corporations, NGOs and the public sector. They draw on the experience of 'bottom of the pyramid' initiatives from around the world.
Does Foreign Aid Really Work?
This book will infuriate aid enthusiasts, though aid sceptics will also be challenged. As with Easterly (whose book is reviewed above), Riddell is a former aid professional (International Director of Christian Aid, one of the UK's largest aid agencies) but his devastating critique of aid resonates with Easterly's. Riddell is, however, cautiously optimistic about the potential of aid when it is linked to productive enterprise.
The Entrepreneur in Focus: Achieve your Potential
Two of the UK's first experts in the study of entrepreneurship present a framework for identifying and releasing entrepreneurial potential. Based on twenty years of research by Gallup, the framework is captured in the word FACETS: Focus, Advantage, Creativity, Ego, Team and Social. The book is user-friendly, aimed to appeal primarily to entrepreneurs.
Entrepreneurs: Talent, Temperament, Technique
This book, more academic in orientation than the book by the same authors above, explores what entrepreneurs do, why they do it, and how to identify and support entrepreneurs. Through its use of scores of real life examples, this book is suitable not only for students and scholars of entrepreneurship but also for practitioners.
The New Philanthropists: The New Generosity
The use of entrepreneurial skills, strategies and experience is found increasingly in the voluntary or charitable sector. Many of those driving this growth in 'social entrepreneurship' are successful commercial entrepreneurs seeking for greater meaning and purpose in life. Some of them have told their stories to the business guru Charles Handy, who has written them down in this book.
Social entrepreneurship is becoming a recognized subject of academic study. The university business schools of Cambridge and Oxford, for instance, provide education and conduct research in this field. This book provides an introduction to this rapidly emerging field of inquiry and lays out a framework for future research.
Social Entrepreneurship: New Models of Sustainable Social Change
Addressing social issues in innovative and financially sustainable ways lies at the heart of social entrepreneurship. This form of entrepreneurship is catching on not only in business schools and NGOs but also amongst business foundations and corporations eager to emulate some of its models and dynamics. This book reflects this diversity, with contributors from leading representatives from each of these sectors.
Based on the findings of extensive research, this book develops a theory of social enterprise. The focus is on social enterprises that help disadvantaged unemployed people back into work through productive activity. The book follows an rigorous and elaborate analytical structure, reflecting the approach of the contributors, who are empirical scholars.
How to be an Entrepreneur: The Six Secrets of Self-Made Success
This book, from the founder of the Institute for Entrepreneurs, aims to get away from 'how to' books that focus on the details of starting up a company. Instead it focuses on the 'soft' skills required, such as attitude, motivating others, building networks and developing ideas. It is based on the author's own experience of being an entrepreneur.
How to Change the World: Social Entrepreneurs and the Power of New Ideas
Around the world, ordinary people with vision, creativity, talent and determination are bringing innovative, grass-roots solutions to a variety of socio-economic problems. As with commercial entrepreneurs, these social entrepreneurs embrace change and exploit new opportunities. This book presents vivid profiles of some such individuals and discusses the personality traits, strategies, and techniques they have in common.
Good Capitalism, Bad Capitalism, and the Economics of Growth and Prosperity
A lot of development writing focuses on poverty - its definitions and causes. But we also need to understand wealth - how poverty can be overcome. This book is a step in the right direction. The authors conclude that 'good capitalism', the sort that incentivizes productive entrepreneurship, is key.
Entrepreneurship is the key to economic growth. As such, it is very important that it is properly understood. This book aims to help. The author argues that entrepreneurship cannot be planned, that it is about courage rather than willpower, and that it involves experimentation, networking, self-confidence and learning from mistakes.
The study of entrepreneurship is on the rise around the world and this book is intended to resource scholars and educators in this field. It brings together some of the best thinking on how entrepreneurship can best be taught in the form of a 'reader'.
The Entrepreneur in Youth: An Untapped Resource for Economic Growth, Social Entrepreneurship, and Education
Young people today are displaying extraordinary interest in entrepreneurship, as well as a strong desire to 'give back' to their communities. These are some of the key findings of the surveys carried out on attitudes among America's young people, on which this book is based.
Entrepreneurship, Innovation, and the Growth Mechanism of the Free-Enterprise Economies
The contributors to this volume, all eminent in their various fields, are committed to the view that independent entrepreneurs are far more important to economic growth than most economists recognize. For market economies to succeed, large corporations and entrepreneurs need to work in partnership, within a robust institutional framework.
A Billion Bootstraps: Microcredit, Barefoot Banking, and the Business Solution for Ending Poverty
The authors, both venture philanthropists, dedicate this book to 'entrepreneurs around the world who, thanks to microcredit, are overcoming poverty'. Their account is based on the close contact they have had with such barefoot business people, arguing that the poor need a hand-up rather than a hand-out.
Innovative Approaches to Reducing Global Poverty
New ideas, models and strategies are rapidly emerging on the role of business in poverty alleviation. The contributors to this book outline a number of these approaches, including social enterprise and commercial enterprise, big business and small business solutions. One of the contributors is Peter Heslam, director of Transforming Business.
Making Poor Nations Rich: Entrepreneurship and the Process of Economic Development
What explains the wealth and poverty of nations? This book argues that much of what has been written about this issue focuses too much on economic growth. This can miss the point, the author claims, that entrepreneurship, a sound institutional infrastructure and economic freedom are essential for significant growth to occur.
Books relevant to enterprise solutions to poverty that focus on Asia, Africa and the role of China in Africa.
Global Future: The Next Challenge for Asian Business
Relatively few Asian businesses appear amongst the world's truly global companies. This book is an attempt to help Asian business leaders change this situation by learning from the experience of entrepreneurial Asian companies. Since co-writing this book, De Meyer has become Director of the Judge Business School in Cambridge.
Inspire to Innovate: Management and Innovation in Asia
Future economic growth in Asia is likely to depend on innovation in China and India. But how can such innovation best be managed? This book seeks to answer this question on the basis of surveys and empirical research. Both authors combine business experience in Asia with academic careers, reflected in the fact that this book, like the one above by the same co-author, is targeted at business leaders, not just academics.
China and the New World Order: How Entrepreneurship, Globalization, and Borderless Business Are Reshaping China and the World
China is moving away from a bureaucracy to embrace the more open and dynamic culture of global capitalism, reshaping global business and politics in the process. The author making this argument is a Chinese citizen based in China. This makes his book compelling reading, not least because of its critique of communism and its detailed analysis of China's business scene.
Unleashing India's Innovation: Toward Sustainable and Inclusive Growth
Innovation in high-tech products and services partly accounts for India's rapid economic growth and rising living standards. But constraints in education and training need to be overcome if this is to be sustained. This book focuses on types of innovation that are most relevant to the needs of the poor, making recommendations for increasing productivity.
The Writing on the Wall: China and the West in the 21st Century
China's economic rise is phenomenal but it is also precarious without the institutions that underpin capitalism such as a free press, an independent judiciary and representative government. Rampant corruption and environmental degradation only increase the threat China poses to the global economy. So argues one of the UK's most influential thinkers in this important book.
Charm Offensive: How China's Soft Power is Transforming the World
This book claims that China is using soft power - including diplomacy, trade incentives, cultural and educational exchange opportunities - to project a benign image, pose as a model of social and economic success, and develop stronger international alliances. In so doing, it is wooing the world, changing the global political landscape in the process.
China: The Fragile Superpower
Susan Shirk was a US diplomat under the Clinton administration and she draws on that experience in this book. Despite its economic growth, China is beset with internal problems, of which the country's leaders are well aware. But they cloak these problems with nationalism, in a bid legitimize the Communist Party and win favour on the world stage - in this respect, the argument resembles Kurlantzick's above.
Dancing with Giants: China, India, and the Global Economy (Paperback)
Both China and India are 'developing countries' and yet their economies are growing rapidly - China is already the world's fourth largest economy. This book identifies the key factors that will influence the future development of these two countries and discusses the potential impact of their economic growth on domestic poverty and on the global economy.
Putting Africa First: The Making of African Innovation Systems
The twenty one essays that make up this book cover conceptual and empirical approaches to 'innovation systems' - the combination of technical and institutional development that is needed for economic development. They cover a range of development issues, including trade and bridging the digital divide.
Our Common Interest: Report of the Commission for Africa
This report is the result of a highly publicized undertaking, initiated by the UK government, which involved heads of state, development economists and anti-poverty activists. The 450 pages of the report contain detailed analysis, robust argument and policy recommendations. African development is underway, it insists, but it needs a partnership with the developed world that takes full account of Africa's diversity.
Connecting Sub-Saharan Africa: A World Bank Group Strategy for Information and Communication Technology Sector Development
Increasing Africa's connectivity is essential for its economic development. This book presents a strategy to achieve this, partly in the hope that it will persuade the development community to be more supportive of ICT's development potential. Some of world's poorest people will gain new opportunities, this book argues, through the role ICT can play in helping to integrate rural areas into national, regional and global economies.
The Trouble with Africa: Why Foreign Aid isn't Working
The title of this book is surprising for an author whose career has largely been spent working for the World Bank, the world's largest aid agency. But this book is much more than a case against aid. It delves into the root causes of Africa' poverty and suggests solutions based on the author's research, observations and experience.
The Bottom Billion: Why the Poorest Countries are Failing and What Can be Done About it
Paul Collier is one of the UK's top development economists. Although his book is based on original research, it is easy to read and it has no notes or references. He identifies a series of 'poverty traps' that keep the billion people at the bottom of the economic pyramid in the grip of poverty and he suggests how these traps can be broken.
On China in Africa
The New Sinosphere: China in Africa
This book is in part a response to the fact that, although Africa became the subject of unprecedented international political attention in 2005, the impact of China's involvement in Africa was almost entirely ignored. The authors move from analysis to policy recommendations designed to ensure that Sino-African relations work for the advantage, rather than detriment, of Africa's economic development.
China and Africa
The author, an authority on Africa, presents a daunting picture of Sino-African relations. He argues that China has used the rhetoric of anti-hegemony to secure its position in Africa, while many African countries see in China a partner that, unlike the West, does not worry about democracy and transparency, or impose political conditions on economic relations.
China> in Africa
In many places in Africa today, China's growing economic power is clearly visible, as Chinese Investments, traders, entrepreneurs, labourers and cheap flood into the continent. As they do so, Africa's position on the global economic map is being redrawn. This book charts the new situation, exploring whether China's relationship will Africa will turn out to be that of development partner, economic competitor or new hegemon.
Africa's Silk Road: China and India's New Economic Frontier
This book shows how China and India's eyes are wide open to the business opportunities Africa represents and that these have significant potential to help Africa integrate into the global economy. Chinese and Indian businesses operating in Africa participate increasingly in advanced global markets, use leading technology and meet demanding quality standards. But the book insists that for Africa to benefit fully it needs to instigate reforms that will unleash competitive market forces and strengthen its institutions.
Africa in China's Global Strategy
Kitissou argues that increasing trade and aid is central to Chinese foreign policy with respect to Africa. This, he claims, is driven by the prospect of new markets for Chinese products and new sources of raw materials. The author explores whether, in this evolving geopolitical game, Africa be a full, independent and confident player or merely a pawn.
China in Africa
The contributors to this publication cover various aspects of the new 'scramble for Africa'. They base their findings on solid research, largely in the form of case studies. They focus on the means by which China is seeking to gain access to Africa's raw materials and they discuss the prospects of this delivering win-win outcomes.