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A review of World Inc.

from Publishers Weekly

Reviewed March 5, 2007

In his optimistic account, Piasecki, an environmental consultant, identifies a new consumer expectation: that corporations have social obligations. He describes a 21st-century capitalism transformed by a "bloodless revolution" that has added the necessity of "social response" to the basic tenets of technical quality and price. Piasecki's idealistic but perhaps necessary premise is that multinationals "can address the social problems we struggle with, in conjunction with the government, in a way that's good for both society and business." His answer: social response product development, which he illustrates with case studies from such corporations as Toyota and HP. With Toyota's pursuit of a greener car, for example, Piasecki (Environmental Management and Business Strategy) provides some insight into a successful corporation's shift toward social response capitalism through innovation and leadership. While Piasecki's valuable ideas are timely — given the social pressures of climate change and fossil fuel depletion — this guide's flaw is its breadth. Each of its three sections — the initial outline of social response capitalism, the leadership needed for such a corporate strategy, and the question of profitability — is fodder enough for a book.(Apr.)

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