Given the world's current financial climate, Rethinking Capitalism couldn't come at a better time. With the government bailing out and taking over banks and other financial institutions, many are wondering what kind of capitalism we will end up with. Every day questions arise about whether the government should more actively regulate these institutions, and many are angered by the compensation and severance packages provided to the managers of failed institutions. What are our alternatives?
Rethinking Capitalism questions the assumptions of a capitalist society, offers a new way to understand capitalism, and prescribes a different role for management. Using classical American pragmatism, Professor Emeritus of Business Ethics Rogene Buchholz analyzes the history of capitalistic thought and proposes that we recast management as a profession akin to law or medicine--with a defined code of ethics, oriented toward the public good as well as profit and maximization of shareholder wealth. Buchholz challenges the way we understand capitalism with its emphasis on the creation of economic wealth and growth to the exclusion of all else, and champion a new approach to the creation of a more sustainable and just functioning of the market system, corporate organization, and governance.
Acknowledgements. Introduction Part 1: The Problem with Contemporary Capitalism 1. Individualism and Rights: The Basis of the Problem 2. Social Responsibility 3. Stakeholder Theory 4. Public Policy 5. Ethics Part 2: A Theoretical Framework for New Directions in Capitalism 6. The Social Self and Community: The Foundation of the Framework 7. The Capitalist System 8. The Market System 9. The Natural Environment Part 3: Implications of the Framework for the Corporation 10. The Corporation and Community 11. Globalization 12. Science and Technology 13. Governance 14. Management. Selected Bibliography. Index
Business ethics is a site of contestation, both in theory and practice. For some it serves as a salve for the worst effects of capitalism, giving businesses the means self-regulate away from entrenched tendencies of malfeasance and exploitation. For others business ethics is a more personal matter, concerning the way that individuals can effectively wade through the moral quagmires that characterise so many dimensions of business life. Business ethics has also been conceived of as a fig leaf designed to allow business-as-usual to continue while covering over the less savoury practices so as to create an appearance of righteousness.
Across these and other approaches, what remains critical is to ensure that the ethics of business is the subject of incisive questioning, critical research, and diverse theoretical development. It is through such scholarly inquiry that the increasingly powerful purview of corporations and business activity can be interrogated, understood and, ultimately, reformulated. This series contributes to that goal by publishing the latest research and thinking across the broad terrain that characterised business ethics.
The series welcomes contributions in areas including: corporate social responsibility; critical approaches to business ethics; ethics and corporate governance; ethics and diversity; feminist ethics; globalization and business ethics; philosophical traditions of business ethics; postcolonialism and the ethics of business; production and supply chain ethics; resistance, political activism and ethics; sustainability, environmentalism and climate change; the ethics of corporate misconduct; the politics of business ethics; and worker’s rights.