Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Does Finance have a PR problem or a callousness problem? And Strategy?

In this piece for the Guardian (UK), Kenneth Amaeshi laments that the core of mainstream business education is
"firmly anchored on a worldview that prioritises the pursuit of self-interest above public interests, that prioritises organisational performance over societal performance and that is built on the false premise that organisational performance automatically translates to societal benefits. In other words the grand fallacy of "trickle-down effects". In my view, both fields of academic enquiry [Finance and Strategic Management] are the silent but deadly barrier to the sustainability agenda."

He states that other fields such as engineering, medicine, and the law, prioritize the society in their endeavours, and it is awkward that business / management education does not.

"...political lobbying and distortion of democracy by powerful businesses, for instance, has been positively framed by some strategic management scholars as corporate strategic competence." 

"...For the sustainability agenda to gain ground and be embedded in organisations, the dominant orientation of strategic management fixated on economic performance needs to change. The biased endless and futile debate about the relationship between corporate social performance and corporate financial performance needs to be dropped. Strategic management scholars need to bring back society into the core of their scholarship. They should think of the societal and sustainability implications of their theories, tools, and techniques in practice instead of trying aimlessly to force the sustainability agenda through its economic performance prism."
http://www.ocw.ed.ac.uk/2011/lecture5.html
KA, Prof. at Edinburgh
Kenneth Amaeshi is the director of the Sustainable Business Initiative, and an associate professor (Reader) in strategy and international business, at the University of Edinburgh and a visiting fellow at Cranfield School of Management and Lagos Business School.

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It would be great to get further intelligent reactions to his essay (see it here: Business schools: the silent but fatal barrier to the sustainability agenda) .
Nowadays I am learning the opposite view -
about financial 'innovation' along the path of rationality and progress in Financial Markets Yale+Coursera by R. Schiller,
about Western 'godlessness' despite its pitfalls creating better 'performance' than societies explicitly based on religious goodness in Muslim World Copenhagen+Coursera by E. Afsah,
and now with thinking about education (and teachers) being typically underfunded (or underrewarded) esp as the parties that pay for edu are usually kids, parents or governments (who have no money, no money, or no money)
I'm wondering if corporates should not be explicitly burdened with the funding of education since the rewards go disproportionately to companies after everything anyway, and why should we subsidize that,
and so on with all these ideas,
so this is a great time for you to tell me what to think :)  

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