Beyond Selfishness

Mintzberg, Henry, Simons, Robert and Basu, Kunal (2002) Beyond Selfishness. MIT Sloan Management Review, 44 (1). pp. 67-74.


Traditional western society is based on a balance between private and public interests, the economic and the social spheres of life. However, in recent years this balance has been completely upset, in favour of the private and economic. This has driven six wedges between business and society, fueled by as many half truths: a wedge of distrust, generated by the idea of homo oeconomicus; a wedge of disconnection, generated by the idea that the goal of the firm is to create shareholder value (how can that engage organisational member?); a wedge of disconnection, caused by the view of leadership as heroic and separate from the file and rank; a wedge of discontinuity, consequence of the continuous attempt to cut the fat out of organisations, that rendered them anorexic and unable to plan for the future; and a wedge of disparity, caused by the rising tide of prosperity which actually left the poorest behind. To counter all this, the authors suggest trying to go back towards engagement, leaving selfishness behind and restoring the original balance.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Social responsibility of business; Business ethics; Stakeholders; Economic impact
Subject(s): Corporate reputation
Centre: Oxford University Centre for Corporate Reputation
Faculty of Marketing
Date Deposited: 12 Mar 2012 16:05
Last Modified: 23 Oct 2015 14:06

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