In a world where trust in politicians, corporations and the processes that determine our lives continues to dwindle, this innovative book brings together research, case studies and stories that begin to answer a central question for society: How we can create organisations, institutions, groups and societies that can nurture trusting relationships with one another and among individuals?
Something to Believe In provides a fresh take on the corporate responsibility debate, based as it is on the work of key global thinkers on corporate social responsibility, along with a raft of work developed from collaborations between the New Academy of Business and the United Nations Volunteers, UK Department for International Development and TERI-Europe in countries such as Brazil, Nicaragua, Ghana, India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Lebanon, Nigeria, the Philippines and South Africa. The focus is on business, and particularly how deeper, more systemic changes to current ways of understanding and undertaking business can and have been enacted in both developed countries and in nations where the Western concept of CSR means nothing. The market-based model of economic thinking-the increasingly distrusted globalisation project-which threatens to sweep all before it is challenged by many of the contributions to this book.
The book tells stories such as the mobilization of civil society in Ghana to bring business to account; the reorientation of a business school to focus on values; the life-cycle of ethical chocolate; the accountability of the diamond business in a war zone; the need to reinvent codes of conduct for women workers in the plantations and factories of Nicaragua; a Philippine initiative to economically empower former Moslem liberation fighters; and the development of local governance practices in a South African eco-village.
The book is split into four sections. "Through Some Looking Glasses" contains short, thought-provoking pieces about the issues of trust, belief and change from writers including Thabo Mbeki, Malcolm McIntosh and a reprinted piece from E.M. Forster. Section Two asks how it will be possible to believe in our corporations and provides new approaches from around the world on how space is being opened up to found businesses that are able to create trust. Section Three examines the role of auditing in fostering trust. Corporations continue to attempt to engender trust through their activities in philanthropy, reporting and voluntary programmes. But, post-Enron et al., even the most highly praised corporate mission statements are tarnished. Can social and environmental audits of corporate reports, codes and practices assuage our doubts about boardroom democracy? Section Four examines alternative forms of accountability, transparency and governance from around the world and offers some different ways of thinking about the practice of creating trust in society.
Something to Believe In provides a host of fascinating suggestions about redefining and renewing the underlying deal between society and its organizations. It will become a key text for students, thinkers and practitioners in the field of corporate responsibility.
The discussions in this book range across a wide number of areas including management schools, specific companies, countries, industries, codes of conduct, communities and government. What emerges is ... a recognition that just as people and individuals and institutions are very diverse, so too are the journeys to change the future. ...the most important feature of the journeys described here is that ... to change the world requires considerably more imagination and creativity than we are seeing from the sorts of codes and standards which are increasingly taken up by many right now.
This book addresses themes related to the idea of trust...one strength is that there is a refreshing focus on examples of corporate social responsibility from countries that is unusual to hear from (including Ghana, Lebanon and India). Another strength is the weaving of quite different perspectives on trust from a variety of perspectives.
If you want to create organisations to aspire to and that are worthy of our aspirations you have to keep nurturing trust. This is not only with the customers who buy the products but also with the suppliers and the communities you trade with worldwide. If you want to enable everyone you engage with to have this trust, then this book will offer you an ecology of diverse ideas and stories to act on.
In this age of major failures of some business organisations and even more distressing failures in business ethics, this book comes as a refreshing compilation of insights on actions and initiatives that can lead to a brighter future jointly for business and society. More importantly, this volume provides a roadmap for the restoration of public trust in corporate behaviour.
At a time when business is rapidly becoming the most powerful force on the globe, there is an accompanying groundswell of activism for more human, more socially connected and more hopeful approaches to the relationships that define our lives. This book holds between its pages a range of stories and experiences that reflect real possibilities for building trust, through living and working in a way that is underpinned by the transcendent values such as tolerance, faith and ardour for enlightened learning. It is an inspiration to those of us who aspire to a more conscious and more joyful life, both personally and professionally.
To me Trust also means Hope. A suspicious mind is closed to enlightenment. An inquisitive mind on the other hand leads to evolution. Whether it is in personal, private, corporate or public life, trust and openness are two facets of a coin. This book gives us hope "if we try in our own small way we can make a change ... for the better". Kaizen is a philosophy that appeals to me; it means change for the better in small steps. This book is one small step in that journey.
Foreword Sharon Capeling-Alakija, United Nations Volunteers
Introduction Rupesh A. Shah, David F. Murphy and Malcolm McIntosh
Part I: Through some looking glasses
1. Something to have struggled for and now to believe in T.M. Mbeki, then Vice President of the Republic of South Africa
2. PlanetHome Malcolm McIntosh, Writer and Teacher, UK
3. From terrorism to trust: Trusting our nature? Mary-Jayne Rust, Jungian Analyst (Society of Analytical Psychology) and Art Therapis
4. Partnering trust: India's corporate social responsibility heritage Viraal B. Balsari, TERI-Europe
5. Tolerance E.M. Forster
Part II: How could it be possible to believe in our corporations?
6. Demanding corporate responsibility is the key: The creation of a movement for corporate responsibility in Ghana Joseph Yaw Boateng, United Nations Volunteer, Association of Ghana Industries, Ghana
7. Corporate responsibility: The emerging South Asian agenda Ritu Kumar, TERI-Europe
8. Corporate governance, shareholder interests and managerial accountability in turbulent times Scott Bourke and Neil E. Bechervaise, Australian Graduate School of Entrepreneurship, Australia
9. Strange bedfellows make for democratic deficits: The rise and challenges of private corporate social responsibility engagement Matthew J. Hirschland, Department of Political Science, University of Colorado, USA
10. The rise of the "abdroids" Roger Warren Evans, Barrister-at-law, UK
11. Changing focus: A business school for sustainable development Juliet Roper, Eva Collins and Mike Pratt, University of Waikato Management School, New Zealand
Part III: Auditing for whom?
12. Love in a time of chocolate: The corporate discipline of compassion Adrian Henriques, Middlesex University, UK
13. Trouble at the Hard Rock Cafe: Diamonds and corporate social responsibility Ian Smillie and Ralph Hazleton, Partnership Africa Canada
14. In search of transparency: Corporate codes of conduct and women workers in Central America Marina Prieto-Carron, University of Bristol, UK
15. Voluntary governance or a contradiction in terms: Are voluntary codes accountable and transparent governance tools? Simon B. Archer, Torys LLP, Canada, and S. Tina Piper, Balliol College, University of Oxford, UK
16. The auditor has no clothes: Challenging the pursuit of objectivity in auditing Rupesh A. Shah, New Academy of Business, UK
Part IV: New initiatives
17. In the business of making peace: La Frutera and Paglas in the Philippines Charmaine Nuguid-Anden, United Nations Volunteer, Philippine Business for Social Progress
18. Corporate responsibility in New Zealand: A case study Bob Frame, Richard Gordon and Ian Whitehouse, Landcare Research, New Zealand
19. Reforming government, working with business: The Office of the Minister of State for Administrative Reform in Lebanon Lubna Forzley, United Nations Volunteer, UNDP Lebanon
20. Living and learning in the Boland Mark Swilling and Eve Annecke, University of Stellenbosch, South Africa
21. It's the film that matters, not the photo: Good governance in development co-operation David F. Murphy, New Academy of Business, UK
Part V: Conclusion
22. Under the Trumpet Flower Abdul Cader Riswana, Ismael Ashraff, Jinutheen Rasmina, Kanathan Dinojit, Stepan Sampath, The Butterfly Garden of Batticaloa, Sri Lanka
RUPESH A. SHAH works with the New Academy of Business. DAVID F. MURPHY is the Director of the New Academy of Business. MALCOLM McINTOSH is a writer and teacher on corporate responsibility and sustainability.
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