1st Edition

The Road to Co-operation
Escaping the Bottom Line

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ISBN 9781409448303
Published April 28, 2012 by Routledge
276 Pages

USD $52.95

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Book Description

This critical and informed protest against the absurdity and dishonesty of neoclassical economic theory as it has progressed through the 20th century down to the present, sheds new light on the predicament faced in 2012. In The Road to Co-operation, Pearson highlights the dangers of using unrealistic mathematical models of human, organisational and market behaviour to guide policy prescriptions. He shows the damage done to real economies, markets, firms and people, by the unwarranted trust in unregulated markets, proclaimed by Friedman and colleagues, promulgated by academia and adopted by the financial-political-corporate nexus, now dominant in Anglo-American jurisdictions. Though real markets work better than known alternatives, Pearson makes the crucial distinction between the real and the speculative-financial, where totally different realities apply. Failure to make that distinction has transformed financial sectors from supportive of the real economy, to exploitative and sometimes fraudulent. Pearson provides a comparative analysis of corporate governance theory, law, and practice in different jurisdictions, including the self-destruction of post-mature Anglo-American governance with the more robust custom and practice in the industrial economies of Germany and Japan and emerging economies of China and India, which all exercise care for their real economic strengths and provide object lessons for governance in UK and US. The Road to Co-operation proposes realistic changes in policy and practice, in the context of sustainability, which would be prerequisite to recapturing real long term economic success on a co-operative and non-exploitative foundation. It will be invaluable for today's business faculty, students and practitioners as well as the 'madmen in authority'.

Table of Contents

Contents: Preface; Part I Coercion by Ideas: Ideas about the economy; Ideas about 'the market'; Ideas about 'the firm'; Ideas about people. Part II The Unsustainable Context; Externalities and sustainability; Part III Corporate Governance and Accountability: Governance in post-industrial economies; Governance in industrial economies; Governance in industrialising economies; Corporate accountability and integrity. Part IV Sustainability and Co-Operation: Towards a sustainable theory; Degrees of co-operation; Enabling co-operation and co-ownership; Bibliography; Index.

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With a long industrial and academic experience, Gordon Pearson has carved out a distinctive position focusing on the impacts of economic and behavioural theory on the practical realities of business management. His practitioner experience in manufacturing extended to general and strategic management. His PhD focused on innovation and identified strategy and culture as critical. This is his seventh book and follows The Rise and Fall of Management, also published by Gower in 2009. Read his blog at www.gordonpearson.co.uk


’I simply loved reading this book. While some of the subject matter was familiar territory (as a former Chief Executive, for eleven years, of the New Economics Foundation), I thought it was wonderfully written with a deft touch and very great authority. The result is something that is a real contemporary classic, in terms of articulating the case for an economy that, as the title echoes, can generate shared and sustainable freedom.’ Ed Mayo, Secretary General, Co-operatives-UK 'In an era when management is celebrated and damned in equal measure, it is exciting to find a book which offers sensible but radical suggestions for actually doing something about it. Gordon Pearson's diagnosis of the problems of short term shareholder focus and management greed are spot on, and this is a book I would recommend to anyone who wants to build a collective and fairer future.' Professor Martin Parker, Warwick Business School, Warwick University. 'For anybody who thought that maximising shareholder value is and should be the main focus of our understanding of governance and business, think again! Pearson provides a cogent, entertaining and thoroughly compelling critique of governance and corporate policy while offering practical alternatives for a post credit crisis world'. David Leece, Professor of Financial studies, Manchester Metropolitan University Business School 'Gordon Pearson's The Road to Cooperation is a lucid critique of the cult of neo-liberal economic orthodoxy and its celebration of 'maximising shareholder value'. Particularly telling is the contrast with the view of Adam Smith that self-interest should be gauged over the longer term. I unhesitatingly recommend this book.' Philip Whiteley Subject Matter Expert for the Chartered Management Institute. 'Pearson mounts a convincing critique of the neoclassical economic foundations of management theory and makes a compelling case for a new cooperative economic paradigm. This should be required reading for business