What I Didn't Learn in Business School: How Strategy Works in the Real World by Jay B. Barney and Trish Gorman Clifford (Harvard Business Review Press) Readers discover how business strategy really works in What I Didn't Learn in Business School.
Meet Justin Campbell. He's a new MBA graduate who's landed a job
with a strategy consultancy. His engagement team is on a mission:
help HGS Inc., a specialty chemicals firm, define and execute a
strategy for exploiting a textile technology the company developed.
Justin and his team deploy state-of-the-art strategy tools to analyze the attractiveness of potential markets for the technology. But they soon realize the tools don't help them grapple with the human side of strategy including political forces swirling within HGS. Everyone involved in the engagement is biased and insecure, brilliant and hardworking, selfish and lazy, loyal and dedicated. The political and organizational forces swirling within HGS complicate his analyses and test his fundamental understanding of important strategic concepts. More
International Corporate Social Responsibility: The Role of Corporations in the Economic Order of the 21st Century by Ramon Mullerat (Kluwer Law International) At present, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) for some may not be more than an attitude. Can it be more? What degree of commitment can we reasonably expect of corporations in the struggle to eradicate poverty, promote human rights, halt climate change, and reverse ongoing environmental destruction? It is not a question of power; more than half of the world's top 100 economies are corporations, not nation-states. Whatever can be done to 'fix' the world's problems, corporations are in the best position to do. That they should act accordingly does not seem unwarranted, and for more and more corporations CSR is in fact a stated objective.
In this impassioned work the well-known international lawyer Ramon Mullerat suggests that one of the root problems faced by CSR is one of definition. Various interested parties define the term differently, and their definitions clash. However, Dr Mullerat clearly shows in these pages that this very multiplicity of perspectives in fact enhances our ultimate comprehension of CSR. It is through an honest appreciation of the motivations and hopes behind each point of view - and of the nature of their conflict - that the way forward emerges. And as we examine these various perspectives, we inevitably come to a clear awareness of the role of corporations in the 21st century world order. More
Market, State and Feminism: The Economics of Feminist Policy by Graham Dawson, Sue Hatt, Linda Watson-Brown, Arthur Baxter, Arthur Baxter, Nancy Bertaux (Edward Elgar) offers an inter-disciplinary critique of the 'free market backlash' - the belief that free market economics can improve the position, status and well-being of women. The authors argue that, far from being restrictive and intrusive, state action can enhance the individual's ability to make responsible choices.
This book questions the philosophical basis of free market feminism, challenging its masculine assumptions about rationality and individualism. The authors critically examine the theoretical validity of dichotomizing the market versus the state and draw attention to the richness of the interdependence between markets and state institutions. Empirical and case study material is drawn from the UK, the European Union and the United States and illuminates the issues of equal employment opportunities and pay, girls' education performance, business attitudes toward women, lobbying by women's groups and equal opportunities legislation.
Contents: Introduction 1. A Feminist Economic Perspective 2. Some Basic Principles of Feminism 3. The Different Worlds of Work 4. The Free Market, Family and Gender 5. 'Valuing Diversity?' Women in the US Workforce Today 6. Women's Employment and the European Union 7. A Critique of Free Market Feminism Index
Competing Capitalisms: Institutions and Economies edited by Richard Whitley (Critical Studies in Economic Institutions Series: Edward Elgar) Well chosen selection of 29 articles, dating from 1980 to 2000. Contributors include: R. Boyer, M. Granovetter, G.G. Hamilton, J.R. Hollingsworth, P.H. Kristensen, G. Morgan, S. Quack, A. Sorge, D. Soskice, W. Streeck
The Lost Art of Economics: Essays on Economics and the Economic Profession by David Colander (Edward Elgar) Economics is the study of a complex system in which simple laws are not always forthcoming. That complexity mandates three branches of the profession: positive, normative and the art of economics. The economics profession has focused on one of these - positive economics, and in doing so has lost the art of economics. In a series of provocative essays the author argues that most of what economists do is applied policy, which belongs in the art of economics, not in normative or positive economics.
The essays explore the forces in academic institutions that have led economics to its current position, as well as the implications of the lost art for the economics profession and its future. In the end, the author is positive about the future of the profession, and predicts that in 2050 it will no longer be as Solow suggested it currently is - 'the overeducated in pursuit of the unknowable'. Instead it will be the 'appropriately educated in search of the knowable'.
The essays are written in a highly accessible style, and can be enjoyed by most non-economists, as well as by those economists who don't take themselves too seriously. It can be usefully read by all economists, even those who do take themselves too seriously.
Contents: Preface Introduction
Part I: How the Art of Economics was Lost 1. The Lost Art of Economics
2. Is Milton Friedman an Artist or a Scientist? Part II: Methodology of the Art of Economics 3. The Art of Economics by the Numbers 4. The Art of Monetary Policy Part III: Textbooks and the Art of Economics
5. Telling Better Stories in Introductory Macro 6. Teaching Keynes in the 21st Century Part IV: Doing Art in the Current Institutional Setting 7. Confessions of an Economic Gadfly 8. Surviving as a Slightly Out of Sync Economist Part V: Implications of the Lost Art of Economics for the Profession 9. Vision and Judgement in Economics 10. The Sound of Silence: The Profession's Response to the COGEE Report
Part VI: The Future of the Economic Profession 11. The Death of Neoclassical Economics 12. New Millennium Economics in 2050: How Did It Get This Way, and What Way is It? Bibliography Index
Growth Theory in Historical Perspective: Selected Essays of Theo Van De Klundert by Theo C. M. J. Van De Klundert, edited by Sjak Smulders (Wdward Elgar) is a collection of thirteen carefully selected essays by Theo van de Klundert which demonstrates the development of growth theory over the past forty years. The sequence of chapters reveals the shifts in focus which have occurred since the first formal growth models of the 1940s and 1950s. It illustrates how the Keynesian paradigm was replaced by neo-classical models, which in turn have been superseded by theories of endogenous technical progress, the focus of growth theory in the 1990s.
The author explains how the theory of economic growth is strongly shaped by ideas developed in the past. To this extent the book provides a comprehensive overview of the fundamentals of growth theory and develops important modern themes such as firm-specific research and development and the relationship between growth and international trade. Moreover, several of the chapters explore themes which, in the author's view, have been unfairly neglected in recent writings on the theory of growth. These include the role of demand, vintage models and issues of distribution, which he believes can still contribute to the current thinking on growth theory.
By balancing insights from old and new theories of economic growth, this comprehensive book should provide fascinating reading for students, researchers and scholars of growth theory.
Most theories of economic growth - the newest contributions in particular - regard economic growth as driven by the expansion of knowledge through the development of new ideas, while new ideas themselves build on old ideas. Research and development efforts start from past inventions and aim at improvements of existing products and production processes. Productivity improves through learning from experience. The primary aim of this book is to show that also the theory of economic growth itself is strongly shaped by ideas developed in the past. Similarly, many developments in growth theory of the (recent) past still provide a useful pool of ideas on which future theorizing may fruitfully build.
This book presents a selection of contributions to the theory and empirics of economic growth, published in international economics journals over the past 40 years. They give a picture of what were and are the main issues and insights from the field of economic growth. The sequence of chapters reveals the shifts in focus that occurred since the first formal growth models of the 1940s and 1950s. The initial concern for stability of economic expansion - motivated by the Keynesian paradigm - was replaced by the search for ways to stimulate and optimize long-run growth once the neoclassical view on equilibrating economic forces became more accepted. When it was realized that the neoclassical models of growth relied strongly on exogenous technological progress as the ultimate source of growth, theories of endogenous technical progress became important, and have been the central focus of growth theory in the 1990s.
The main purpose of this book is, however, not to simply survey developments in growth theory. Rather, topics are identified which have been important in the past but are either neglected in more recent contributions, or still have the potential for interesting elaborations. In particular, we refer to the growth effects of demand and unemployment, biased technical change, trade, and history and institutions. The role of effective demand in the process of growth was a natural topic to consider from the perspective of Keynesian economics. The recent literature on the interaction between growth and business cycle fluctuations, as well as new developments in New Keynesian economics are signs of the renewed interest in demand effects. Thinking about the connections between unemployment and growth was moved to the background when theorists focused on incorporating endogenous technical change in a general equilibrium model of growth. Now the endogenous growth revolution is completed, we can turn to topics more related to real world problems again. One of the most heavily debated stylized facts in the 1980s and 1990s is the rise in wage inequality. Technical change in favour of skilled workers and trade with low wage countries are blamed for this. This urges for further examination of the bias of technological change, on which much research was done in the 1960s, and for studying the interrelation between trade, growth and development. Also the slowdown of growth in the 1970s and 1980s, and the upsurge - often associated with the computer and information revolution - in the 1990s makes one wonder about the historical uniqueness of episodes of high growth in the 1960s.
All chapters are written by Theo van de Klundert in collaboration with younger colleagues. This brings us to the secondary aim of the book: providing an overview of the work of the author in one of the many fields in which he has been active.
The rest of this introduction consists - apart from the small concluding section on editorial choices made - of two main sections that discuss the content of the book along two dimensions. In the first main section the historical dimension is explored by linking the topics of Chapters 3-13 to the history of growth theory that is described in Chapters 1 and 2. Some remarkable shifts in focus in the theory of economic growth are pointed out. In the second section the main arguments and lessons of the book are summarized on a topic-by-topic base. It highlights some important connections between chapters.
Knowledge, Social Institutions and the Division of Labour edited by Pier Luigi Porta, Roberto Scazzieri, Andrew S. Skinner (Edward Elgar) gives rise to a new and richer institutional analysis of the economy centered on the analysis of language, the division of labor and social knowledge. It is in this perspective that the economic analysis of institutions comes to be associated with the study of civil society, or with the broad framework of communication and coordination behind the interaction of individuals in economic and non-economic spheres. This well-conceived book is divided into three parts (Part I: Rationality, Communication and Connecting Principles; Part II: Social Interaction and Moral Sentiments; Part III: Division of Labour, Patterns of Interdependence and Social Institutions9, beginning with the issue of the development of science as an aspect of the division of labor, starting from methodological problems on the communication of scientific knowledge. The volume goes on to explore issues on the moral bases of social interaction and, more particularly, of commercial society before ending with in depth analyses of questions on the division of labor, social institutions and the diffusion of knowledge in society.
Economics of the Apprenticeship System by Wendy Smits and Thorsten
Stromback (Edward Elgar) The past ten years have witnessed a renewed interest in
the apprenticeship system of industrial training. Employers have been shown to
carry a large part of the cost of essentially general training with little
apparent return to the firm - a problem which has generated a wide range of
literature that explores new theoretical models, comparative systems, and recent
developments in systems of youth training and the economic theory of contracts.
Using contract theory as the common underlying framework, this book brings together recent contributions to this literature, providing a complete and coherent economic analysis of the apprenticeship system. The authors begin with a comparative-historical perspective, and then go on to review a number of recent models of the training decision of firms, before offering a unique insight into the current debate on the future of the apprenticeship system.
Well-written and well researched, this book succeeds in achieving a perfect blend of theory, evidence, and history. It will appeal to scholars in the fields of labor economics and human resource management, as well as those in private and public sectors working on policy development and planning of vocational education and training.
The origin of this book can be traced to a series of case studies and surveys of employers of apprentices undertaken a few years ago. This work had a very concrete aim, to determine the effect of government subsidies on the number of apprentices being trained. This question, however, is really part of a larger question: why do employers train apprentices in the first place? These case studies and surveys uncovered ample evidence that employers pay for the general training of apprentices. Many pragmatic explanations as to why they do so were offered. However, several of the explanations were difficult to reconcile with what was the received theory. The standard proposition, due to Becker, is that the trainee, not the employer, pays for general training. The only explanation consistent with this view was to argue that apprentice training has a significant specific component.
During the past decade, however, a number of researchers have developed formal models that show how labor market imperfections can explain why employers would pay for general training. These models are special cases of a wider research agenda that is commonly subsumed under the heading of contract theory. These developments make it opportune to review how economic theory can account for the empirical facts about apprenticeship training. Rather than restricting the focus to the present situation in one country, we adopt a historical and comparative perspective. Thus, the facts are drawn from a wide range of countries and span the known history of the apprenticeship system. The apprenticeship system is timeless and international in character. It is, or has been, the major form of entry‑level training in a large number of countries in Europe, America and Australia. The institutional arrangements may differ over time and space but the common factors are more important than the differences.In presenting a synthesis of theory and facts we are very conscious that the economic perspective is largely absent from policy debates about vocational education and training. As in many other fields of economics, part of the reason is the high degree of formalism of contemporary economic analysis. We take the view that the main ideas can be communicated to persons without formal training in the discipline and have done our best to ensure that this is the case. Thus, we hope that the book will be accessible to a wide readership and contribute towards an understanding of the usefulness of the economic perspective.
Unseen Power by Adam Harmes (Stoddart). Why did currency crises ‑ from Europe to Mexico to Asia ‑ suddenly become less predictable and more damaging in the 1990s? What forces are driving the recent trends of soaring executive salaries and mass layoffs within our major corporations? What is causing the pressures on governments to cut spending on social programs? And how can we explain the unprecedented bull market of the last decade and today's escalating stockmarket volatility?
Part economic and political analysis, part journalistic expose, Unseen Power shows how the explosion in mass investment through mutual funds and pension funds represents far more than the growth of a particular industry. Rather, it represents a sea change in the power of the financial markets and an economic, political, and cultural phenomenon that lies behind many of the trends in the new global economy.
Many pundits of globalization have focused on the growing power of large multinational corporations. Political economist Adam Harmes takes a different tack, explaining how fund managers, and not CEOs, have come to wield the greatest clout in the global economy. In economic terms, this clout has made our financial markets much less efficient and much more prone to booms, busts, and financial crises. In political terms, it has led to a massive shift in the balance of power between Wall Street and Main Street ‑ in favour of the former.
Unseen Power is a sharp warning to countries that wish to prosper economically ‑ but not at the cost of losing their economic and cultural identities.
Not For Sale: In Defense of Public Goods edited by Anatole Anton, Milton Fisk, Nancy Holstrom (Westview) contains a variety of essays aimed at developing a timely philosophical defense of public goods against neo-liberal criticisms. The defense proceeds on both a conceptual level with essays treating such concepts as collective action, collective provision, common property, intellectual property and a substantive level with essays treating issues such as health, education, welfare, environment, media, cities, and the prison industrial complex. The scope of the book is broad-- aiming to encompass the main questions that crop up in contemporary controversies about public goods-- and should be of interest to both scholars and students of philosophy, the social sciences, law, policy studies. The anthology, which includes new essays by authors such as Richard Rorty, Iris Young, Angela Davis, Robert McChesney, Subcommadante Marcos, and Nancy Folbre, is suitable for upper division courses in any of these areas and is designed to be student friendly as well as current.
the Global Economy: The Battle Against the Work Bank and the International
by Kevin Danaher (Common Courage Press) dozens of top-notch activists and educators examine the mounting protests against the World Bank and IMF, why these lenders have finally generated such heated opposition, and what the global justice movement proposes replacing them with in order to build a democratic global economy. For half a century the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank-two of the most powerful institutions on Earth-operated in near-total secrecy. Now, an international grassroots movement is exposing these elite operations to the uncomfortably bright light of public scrutiny.
Democratizing the Global Economy is a clarion call to action by grassroots activists seeking to expose two of the most powerful financial institutions in the world, The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. Both of which work in near total secrecy, often to the detriment of ordinary people of the working class and citizens of third-world nations. Included among the contributors are Fidel Castro on the need for poor nations to unite against corporate rule; Carol Welch on how economic lending institutions are used for corporate welfare; Robert Weisman on how most debt relief programs have been little more than public relations distractions; Terry Allen on police brutality and recent government efforts to suppress activism; Naomi Klein on how criticism of protestors' alleged "lack of vision" has often been misleading; Deborah James on twelve effective ways to democratize the global economy; and many more articulate and experienced commentators. Democratizing The Global Economy is a much needed and very welcome contribution to personal and academic economic studies reading lists and reference collections.
The Invisible Heart: Economics and Family Values by Nancy Folbre (The New Press) A brilliant new approach to the economics of caregiving, from the MacArthur Award-winning economist. There has been much talk about family values in recent years, but little examination of the economic forces that are exploding family life and limiting the caregiving that families can provide. As Folbre points out in her provocative and insightful new book, every society must confront the problem of balancing self-interested pursuits with care for others—including children, the elderly, and the infirm. Historically, most societies enjoyed an increased supply of care by maintaining strict limits on women's freedom. But as these limits happily and inevitably give way, there are many consequences for those who still need care. Using the image of "the invisible heart" to evoke the forces of compassion that must temper the forces of self-interest, Folbre argues that if we don't establish a new set of rules defining our mutual responsibilities for caregiving, the penalties suffered by the needy—our very families—will increase. Intensified economic competition may drive altruism and families out of business. A leading feminist economist, Nancy Folbre writes in a lively, personal style—Molly Ivins cheek-to-cheek with John Kenneth Galbraith—and develops a distinctive approach to the economics of care. Unlike others who praise family values, Folbre acknowledges the complicated relationship between women and altruism. Her book offers new interpretations of such policy issues as welfare reform, school finance, and progressive taxation, and it confronts the challenges of globalization, outlining strategies for developing an economic system that rewards both individual achievement and care for others.
Chapters include: The Milk of Human Kindness; The Care Penalty; Measuring Success; The Nanny State; Children as Pets; Robin Hood School; The Golden Eggs; CorporNation; Dancing in the Dark
In this readable, well-documented, and thought-provoking work, she discusses the invisible heart of caring labor, which is not easily put in terms of dollars. She explains how this concept relates to Adam Smith's notion of the invisible hand with regard to supply and demand and the pursuit of self-interests. For centuries, women provided care for free in the home. Now, with more of them working outside the home, what used to be a priority for them is in the hands of institutions that do not obtain the funding priorities other endeavors have in the global economy. The ability to provide personal and loving care is being eroded. Folbre discusses how government, society, and employers can look at economic theory and practice to prioritize what individuals and institutions can do for the care of children, the sick, and the elderly.
Economics professor Folbre brings the dismal science to bear on the overused political concept of family values. Specifically, she looks at how the financial market values, or doesn't value, caregiving, which women often provide free of charge. She draws a parallel between Adam Smith's invisible hand of the market (the pursuit of self-interest that promotes economic growth) and a posited invisible heart, encompassing the family values of love, obligation, and reciprocity. Folbre argues for looking beyond the old economic conflict between socialism and capitalism to explore ways of balancing freedom and obligation at a time when global competition has intensified economic debate by "now sending the message that nice countries finish last, too." Each chapter focuses on an aspect of economics and family values, and each section examines economic theory, social and economic policy, and strategies for the future. Folbre leavens the economics with personal recollections, so that this is a very accessible book for nonspecialist readers interested in economics and social policy.
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