The man who started the private equity industry 40 years ago, is plotting to harness entrepreneurship to act as an agent for social change.
...has been back to Harvard and a clutch of other top universities to tell the students about the next big thing in the business world – social finance...
"We want to do the same thing for social entrepreneurship. We want to connect the capital markets to the social sector.
"I think it is going to be similarly powerful because the impact of the recent crisis on peoples consciousness has emphasised the importance of dealing with the social consequences of the [capitalist] system."
Sir Ronald is fervent in his belief that this is more than just the latest business fad, but a crunch-point moment for the entire Western market-based system.
"It is not enough to increase the standard of living at the high end. It is right at the same time to worry about those who are left behind," he says.
"I think societies everywhere will come to the conclusion that an important part of the capitalist system is having a powerful social sector to address social issues, because government doesn't have the resources."
Prof Awaysheh’s research focuses on how firms attempt to manage socially responsible practices in their operations and supply chains. He teaches operations management on the MBA programme at the school as well as an elective on corporate social responsibility.
He defines for the Financial Times: operations management, socially responsible practice, supply chain distance, supply chain power, supply chain transparency...
Large-scale social change requires broad cross-sector coordination, yet the social sector remains focused on the isolated intervention of individual organizations. Substantially greater progress could be made in alleviating many of our most serious and complex social problems if nonprofits, governments, businesses, and the public were brought together around a common agenda to create collective impact. Published in the Stanford Social Innovation Review, Winter 2011.
...Our research shows that successful collective impact initiatives typically have five conditions that together produce true alignment and lead to powerful results: a common agenda, shared measurement systems, mutually reinforcing activities, continuous communication, and backbone support organizations...
We're a social enterprise with the ambition to inspire and support imaginative and enterprising initiatives for a better world. The Hub is a global community of people from every profession, background and culture working at 'new frontiers' to tackle the world's most pressing social, cultural and environmental challenges.
We believe that there is no absence of good ideas in the world. The problem is a crisis of access, scale, resources and impact. So it felt vital to create places around the world for accessing space, resources, connections, knowledge, experience and investment...
Via Business Week., January 23, 2007, by Kate Ngo, a member of Cornell's MBA Class of 2007.
"As it turns out, there is in fact a certain amount of anxiety in how I feel right now. A permanent full-time job is, well, so permanent"...
..."After careful review of your application, it is with sincere regret that we are unable to offer you a position at this time."
..but the company's way of letting me down easy... ..."Not only is my ego bruised at this point, but my feelings are hurt."...
Price of the "Perfect" Job
As it turns out, there is in fact a certain amount of anxiety in how I feel right now. A permanent full-time job is, well, so permanent. While the summer internship is a chance to try something risky, develop skills, and test unknown waters, full-time recruiting requires real introspection. To find the perfect job, I have to figure out my passion, the pace with which I want to advance my career, and—in the long term—what will make me truly happy.
Having weighed these factors for the past few months, it's becoming clear to me that my crankiness over recruiting does not originate from being rejected for a job. As everyone knows, rejection is not a business school reality but a life reality. In truth, I believe that I am my own cause of anxiety and crankiness. In the time and effort I invest to find my perfect job, I deprive myself of the same things that I want that perfect job to preserve—my relationships, my personal interests, my expectations for quality of life. As obsessive as it may be, it is quite common in business school to ignore something attainable and stretch for something a little closer to perfect. One can argue that this approach only sets me up for failure. On the other hand, maybe I should've just checked my voicemail first...
The recent passing of economist Milton Friedman offers a timely opportunity to reconsider the future role of business and, indeed, the future role of the MBA.
It's been over 35 years since Milton Friedman declared that "the social responsibility of business is to increase profits" in an essay published in the New York Times. Freidman's words set forth a standard against which any discussions of the purpose of business were measured. His views on the role of business elevated him to an icon of laissez-faire style capitalism.
A great deal has changed in the years since Friedman’s essay was published in the Times. We have arrived at a point where the catastrophic implications of global climate change call for a new discussion on the role of business - and business leaders. These days, it seems that operating in a manner that seeks only to increase profits, without regard to environmental and social costs, risks lawsuits, regulatory action and loss of brand value. Any one of these can be detrimental to shareholder value and long-term profits. The future calls for leaders that can develop and lead profitable, competitive businesses that are sustainable, both in a social and environmental way. Where will these future leaders come from?
In a recent guest opinion column in USA Today, Alan Webber, co-founding editor of Fast Company and former editorial director of the Harvard Business Review, examines the connection between the recent wave of corporate scandals and the fact that business traditionally serves no "higher purpose" than making money....
The United Nations global compact – a voluntary initiative to promote corporate citizenship – will work with leaders of academic institutions round the world to develop principles for responsible business education.
A framework for action for the academic world will be based on the global compact’s 10 principles in the areas of human rights, labour, the environment and anti-corruption.
These principles for responsible business education are intended to help academic institutions act as strategic partners in advancing corporate citizenship across the globe.
The agreement was reached at a recent forum – titled “Business as an agent for world benefit” – in Ohio... (see related post on this blog of October 26th, 2006)
Cleveland, Ohio - With the corporate scandals of recent years exposing severe moral and ethical transgressions, business schools have come under fire for failing to instill adequate ethical standards in students, while questions have been raised as well about the character of the students themselves. Several studies, for example, have found that business students cheat more than other students or are less concerned about economic and social justice.
Given this background, a Net Impact survey of more than 2,000 MBA students conducted within the past month gives cause for encouragement.
The survey suggests that the overwhelming majority of today's MBA students believe that businesses should work toward the betterment of society, that managers should take into account social and environmental impacts when making business decisions, and that corporate social responsibility should be integrated into core curricula in MBA programs.
Initial results of the survey were reported on Tuesday, October 24, by Liz Maw, executive director of Net Impact, at the Business as an Agent of World Benefit Global Forum in Cleveland. Net Impact is an international network of MBAs, graduate students and professionals committed to using the power of business to improve the world. The survey results will also be available at the annual Net Impact conference, Oct. 27-29 in Chicago and Evanston, Illinois.
"While we don't have earlier results for comparison, it may be that these responses reflect, at least in part, the extensive coverage of the corporate scandals of the recent past and the trials of the top executives implicated in them," Ms. Maw surmises. "It would hardly be surprising for such ethical disasters to enhance students' appreciation of corporate social responsibility."
The Net Impact survey was conducted online from September 25 to October 15, 2006 at 110 MBA programs in the US and Canada. A total of 2,112 students from 87 programs, 70% of whom were in the first year and 30% in the second, responded to 31 questions. Forty-five percent of the respondents were female, and 34% were people of color. Thirty-seven percent were members of Net Impact, whose membership exceeds 10,000 worldwide.
Among the findings:
Eighty-one percent agreed with a statement that businesses should work toward the betterment of society, although only 18% believed most corporations are currently working toward that goal.
Seventy-eight percent agreed that the subject of corporate social responsibility should be integrated into the MBA core curriculum, and 60% said they believed CSR makes good business sense and leads to profits.
Seventy-nine percent indicated they would seek employment that is socially responsible in the course of their careers, and 59% said they would do so immediately following business school.
Eighty-nine percent said business professionals should take social and environmental impacts into account when making business decisions.
While the 37% of the respondents who were Net Impact members were the most likely to be partial to social responsibility, social commitment proved strong even among the 63% who were nonmembers. Thus, among respondents who said they were not interested in becoming Net Impact members, 81% believed business professionals should take into account social and environmental impacts when making decisions; 64% said the subject of corporate social responsibility should be integrated into core MBA classes; 66% said business should work toward the betterment of society; and 60% said they would seek socially responsible employment.
The Net Impact survey was presented as part of a three-day global forum in Cleveland from Oct. 22nd to 25th. Convened by the Academy of Management, Case Western Reserve University and the United Nations Global Compact, the Business as an Agent of World Benefit Global Forum brings over 400 on-site and 700 virtual participants representing 40 different countries together to discuss issues of corporate social responsibility and sustainability.