Terms for Endearment
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Terms for Endearment

Business, NGOs and Sustainable Development

Edited by Jem Bendell

Business and NGOs are seen by many to be locked in a perpetual war of values and ideologies. What this book demonstrates is that the war has moved on. Many companies are now engaging with their stakeholders – even those with which they have traditionally had antagonistic relationships – as part of their strategies for improved social and environmental performance.

With contributions from an outstanding and diverse group of experts from business, consultancy, research institutes, NGOs and academia, Terms for Endearment investigates the how and why of these new collaborations and provides concrete examples of business working with stakeholder pressure for sustainable development.

The book forcibly argues the notion of organizations of civil society setting the standards for business behaviour in the 21st century. For those companies that choose not to pursue high standards of social and environmental performance, confrontation with NGOs must be expected, with negative consequences for sales, costs and social capital, i.e. the bottom line. Terms for Endearment therefore presents business with both a threat and opportunity as we move closer to establishing a social basis for global economic activity.

Terms for Endearment is useful for the essential task of achieving a better understanding of where power lies and what drives NGOs, businesses and the political process.

Caspar Henderson, The Ecologist

Reading this book will not guarantee you success. But it will give you a better insight into the dynamics at work. Partnership, dialogue, and engagement are the sexy words of the moment, and good fodder for a future library of books to follow.

Suzannah Lansdell, Elements (The Environment Council, UK)

... it provides meaty evidence of the evolving relationship between businesses and the societies in which they operate. Informative and well-argued.

Community Affairs Briefing

The contributing editor should be commended highly for his contributions ... I find the text informative and the writing very accessible ... it should be a library source for societal, environmental and ethical accounting and management courses.

Social and Environmental Accounting

With increased attention being paid to both corporate responsibility and global civil society, a collection that examines the interaction between the two is particularly timely. Terms for Endearment should be notable for both practitioners and analysts of business/NGO relations.

Environment magazine

With contributions form a diverse group of experts from business, consultancy, research institutes, NGOs and academia, Terms for Endearment investigates the how and why of these new collaborations and provides concrete examples of business working with stakeholder pressure for sustainable development [and] therefore presents business with both a threat and opportunity as we move closer to establishing a social basis for global economic activity.

Connections – UNED Forum Quarterly Newsletter

... the book is a must-read for those who champion corporate responsibility and wish to truly engage with stakeholders.

Sustain magazine

Terms for Endearment is an interesting and groundbreaking book, bringing new voices to the debate on the future of business.

Scottish Environmental Protection Agency

Terms for Endearment breaks the mould. It brings new voices to the debate on the future of business. The writers explain why business needs to put the important things in life first and how to translate such principles into practice. We're all challenged to do the same.

Anita Roddick, Founder and Co-Chair, The Body Shop International; Founder, New Academy of Business

This book is a true treasure chest. It gives a unique insight into the dynamics and motives of the actors involved and it describes dilemmas and possible responses that are at the forefront of social change. Communicating this insight will hopefully only be the beginning of a much-needed debate on the role of business in society in an era of globalising markets.

Georg Kell, Senior Officer, Executive Office of the United Nations Secretary-General

At a time of rising concern over where the world is heading, the experiments and innovations detailed in this book provide new insights into the possibilities of humanising capitalism. Rich in case studies and challenging in its conclusions, Terms for Endearment lays out an exciting agenda for NGO–business collaboration in the 21st century.

Michael Edwards, Director, Governance and Civil Society, The Ford Foundation and author of 'Future Positive'

Terms for Endearment effectively explores some of the fascinating and important highways and byways along which NGOs pass in seeking to influence business practice, and thereby being deeply influenced themselves.

Simon Zadek, Chair, Institute of Social and Ethical Accountability

This is a must-read for the champions of corporate responsibility, for those that want to go beyond the PR stuff and really engage with stakeholders. Its combination of case studies and commentary goes beyond exhortation to provide insights into the potential benefits as well as the pitfalls.

Barry Coates, Director, World Development Movement

Global business and civil society are the superpowers of the 21st century. This book shows that, in both battle and detente, they are shaping our futures. Anyone interested in novel ways of achieving the sustainable governance of markets should read it.

Professor Richard Welford, University of Huddersfield, UK

Managing relations with stakeholders is an essential aspect of modern business. More than suggesting a strategy, Terms for Endearment presents a philosophy for success.

Maria Sillanpää, Director, KPMG Sustainability Advisory Services

This well-structured book draws on many practical examples to show how business and society can collaborate to achieve a more socially just and ecologically sustainable world. Moreover, its analysis provides innovative ideas and concepts which will both speed up and increase the possibility of attaining development that is sustainable for the many, rather than for the few. If you are concerned about improving the quality of the world you will live in tomorrow, whether as a corporate manager, social activist or citizen, this publication is for you.

Alan Fowler, Co-Founder, INTRAC

This book is helpful to anyone involved in sustainability management, accounting, auditing and reporting, because, without ongoing dialogue with local and international stakeholders, no organisation can develop and implement locally acceptable solutions to global issues.

Dominique Gangneux, Bureau Veritas Quality International

A sustainable future can only be guaranteed by responsible business practice. This book provides many practical examples of how companies can work with stakeholders to develop more effective solutions for a sustainable future.

Teresa Fabian, PricewaterhouseCoopers

We are all stakeholders in sustainability, and Terms for Endearment moves the practicalities of collaboration between all stakeholders in society well and truly onto the agenda of the 21st century. This is a timely, necessary and significant contribution to the expanding worldwide debates on effective partnerships between business and civil society organisations. The book is essential reading for all involved in securing sustainable change in the future.

Professor David Birch, Corporate Citizenship Research Unit, Deakin University, Australia

Foreword
Anita Roddick, Founder and Co-Chair, The Body Shop International; Founder, New Academy of Business, UK

Foreword
Georg Kell, Senior Officer, Executive Office of the United Nations Secretary-General

Foreword
Kumi Naidoo, President, CIVICUS

Introduction: Working with stakeholder pressure for sustainable development
Jem Bendell, New Academy of Business, UK


Part 1: Driving factors for business–NGO engagement

1. Globalisation and the new politics of sustainable development
Peter Newell, Institute of Development Studies, UK

2. Making it legit: new ways of generating corporate legitimacy in a global economy
Cheryl Rodgers, University of Portsmouth, UK

3. Web wars: business, NGOs and governments in an Internet-connected world
John Bray, Control Risks Group, UK

Part 2: Examples from industry sectors

4. Planting the seeds of change: business-NGO relations and tropical deforestation
David F. Murphy and Jem Bendell, New Academy of Business, UK

5. Shades of green: mining, NGOs and the pursuit of negotiating power
Saleem H. Ali, MIT, USA

6. A no win-win situation? GMOs, NGOs and sustainable development
Jem Bendell, New Academy of Business, UK

7. The listening banks: the development of relations with NGOs
Mike Lachowicz, SERM Rating Agency Ltd, UK

Part 3: Organisations' experiences
8. Meeting social and environmental objectives through partnership: the experience of Unilever
Anne Weir, Unilever, UK

9. Working non-"STOP" for sustainable development: case study of a Canadian environmental NGO's relationships with businesses since 1970
Marie-France Turcotte, Concordia University, Canada

10. Bridging troubled waters: the Marine Stewardship Council
Simon Heap, INTRAC, UK, and Penny Fowler, Trade Policy Advisor, Oxfam UK

Part 4: Seeking and managing collaboration

11. Partners for sustainability
John Elkington and Shelly Fennell, SustainAbility Ltd, UK

12. Culture clash and mediation: exploring the cultural dynamics of business-NGO collaboration
Andy Crane, Cardiff Business School, UK

13. The art of collaboration: emerging business-NGO relations in Asia
Christopher C. Plante, The Asia Foundation, USA, and Jem Bendell, New Academy of Business, UK

Part 5: Concepts

14. Complementary resources: the win-win rationale for partnership with NGOs
Steve Waddell, Organizational Futures, USA

15. Thinking partners: business, NGOs and the partnership concept
David F. Murphy and Gill Coleman, New Academy of Business, UK

16. Change the rules! Business–NGO relations and structuration theory
Uwe Schneidewind and Holger Petersen, University of Oldenburg, Germany

Part 6: Future directions

17. New frontiers: emerging NGO activities to strengthen transparency and accountability in business
Rob Lake, Traidcraft, UK, and Jem Bendell, New Academy of Business, UK

18. Civil regulation: a new form of democratic governance for the global economy?
Jem Bendell, New Academy of Business, UK

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