By Jay Hodgkins
Newswise — The idea that business is only about the money doesn’t hold true in the 21st century, when companies around the world are giving up traditional distinctions in order to succeed. Yet expectations for businesses remain under the sway of an outdated worldview that emphasizes profits for shareholders above all else.
University of Virginia Darden School of Business Professors Ed Freeman and Bobby Parmar and George Washington University School of Business Professor Kirsten Martin co-authored their new book, The Power of And: Responsible Business Without Trade-Offs, available 13 June from Columbia University Press, to offer a new narrative about the nature of business, revealing the focus on responsibility and ethics that unites today’s most influential ideas and companies.
Freeman, Martin, and Parmar detail an emerging business model built on five key concepts:
- Prioritizing purpose as well as profits
- Creating value for stakeholders as well as shareholders
- Seeing business as embedded in society as well as markets
- Recognizing people’s full humanity as well as their economic interests
- Integrating business and ethics into a more holistic model.
Drawing on examples across companies, industries, and countries, they show that these values support persevering in hard times and prospering over the long term. Real-world success stories disprove the conventional wisdom that there are unavoidable trade-offs between acting ethically and succeeding financially. The Power of And presents a conceptual revolution about what it means for business to be responsible, providing a new story for us to tell in order to help all kinds of companies thrive.
John Mackey, co-founder and CEO of Whole Foods Market and co-author of Conscious Capitalism, endorsed the book and Freeman’s longstanding leadership advancing stakeholder theory. “For over forty years, Ed Freeman has been the intellectual leader championing stakeholder philosophy for both the academic and the business communities. The Power of And shows us that the old narrative, which tells us the only purpose of business is to maximize short-term profits for investors, is steadily being replaced with a new narrative that is more inclusive and comprehensive. The new business narrative is about finding win-win-win solutions to challenges and problems, which minimizes or eliminates trade-offs and which make our collective world a better place.”
Fishing With Dynamite Lands on Apple iTunes This Month
After debuting at the Virginia Film Festival in October, the award-winning documentary Fishing With Dynamite will be available for purchase on Apple iTunes to stream in home on 23 June.
Much like The Power of And, the documentary explores how businesses can do more than pursue short-term, easy profits at the expense of employees, customers, suppliers, and communities. Directed by Academy Award-winning filmmaker Paul Wagner and produced by Parmar and Darden Senior Researcher Jenny Mead with support from Darden’s Institute for Business in Society, the film aims to present issues of critical importance to to the future of American business in an engaging and entertaining format. The title that refers to the practice of blast fishing — a wildly irresponsible way to fish that destroys the surrounding habitat supporting marine life.
About the University of Virginia Darden School of Business
The University of Virginia Darden School of Business delivers the world’s best business education experience to prepare entrepreneurial, global and responsible leaders through its MBA, Ph.D., MSBA and Executive Education programs. Darden’s top-ranked faculty is renowned for teaching excellence and advances practical business knowledge through research. Darden was established in 1955 at the University of Virginia, a top public university founded by Thomas Jefferson in 1819 in Charlottesville, Virginia.