This books explains capitalism as it exists today and the drawbacks of the same. With more focus on corporate social responsibility and declining public trust and negative opinions about the intention of business institutions, the book attempts to explain how new age managers and leaders need to understand the changing roles of businesses and create and implement solutions based on trust that may work in the world that exists today, especially India. Since India is still a developing nation caught in the midst of the concepts of capitalist, communist and social wars, it can be perceived as a prime candidate to create and implement revolutionary reforms that could trigger a global phenomenon of creating a better world. The book is divided into 4 parts with each section explaining what ails the world and especially India:
Institutions and Trust: This section details the rocky relationship between large business giants and the society. What constitutes a civil society and how can corporations try to define their responsibilities to the citizens of the civil society? How can they over come problems such as obtaining lands, handle the displacement of the affected citizens and reduce or negate impact on the physical environment in terms of water and air pollution. As the country continues to grow in the face of competition how can we ensure that intellectual property rights of basic inventions are respected and not misused.
The Business of Business: This section documents the core focus of most corporations and in some cases their despair between their commitment to shareholders and their corporate social responsibility. Is the business of business purely business? Should the fate of the community of the impacted citizens be left in the hands of the government? How can corporations develop and grow, such that they keep their promises to investors and shareholders without compromising on the needs of the society that might be impacted by these corporations and the products they create?
Improving the world for everyone: This section describes the process of creating and implementing reforms. It tries to address the doubts behind creating a better India in the face of global issues such as climate change, poverty and terrorism. It talks about the regulation of free markets in a fair way and attracting more foreign investment without compromising the rights of its citizens. As the author states, economic growth would be successful only when it provides young Indians the adequate opportunities to earn and be independent. And the most important question of them all: Who or what can drive this change? Could it be the citizens themselves?
Listening and Reading: This section tries to understand the best possible ways other than elections and strikes to ensure that people can be heard. Listening to the needs of community and citizens will involve a lot of thinking and soul-searching by modern managers, leaders and executives today.
Written by Arun Maira, a member of the planning commission of India, the book contains many interesting case studies and essays about the global crisis that exists today. A major part of the book talks about corporate greed and corporate social responsibility. It also talks about the impact of the global crisis that started out in the west and its domino effect on other economies of the world. As a reader who is completely new to the concepts of economics, I found that I could now understand many issues that I have wondered about myself and that people around the world definitely seem to have the same kind of questions that I do when we think of the world today.
A must read for lovers of economics and world studies!!