Value Shift: Why Companies Must Merge Social and Financial Imperatives to Achieve Superior Performance

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9780071427333: Value Shift: Why Companies Must Merge Social and Financial Imperatives to Achieve Superior Performance

Chosen by Library Journal as one of the Best Business Books of 2002

"Lynn Paine has an optimistic analysis of the need for--and the value of--bringing ethical values into business decisionmaking."--Paul A. Volcker

"This book presents a way of broadening the role of the corporation in our society, an interesting and exciting role." --John C. Whitehead, former chairman, Goldman Sachs

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From the Back Cover:

Do values and social responsibility have any place in the profit-driven corporate world? Just ask the employees and stockholders of Enron. Even before the Enron disaster, however, the business sections of newspapers were filled with stories about companies such as Bridgestone, Sotheby's, and Microsoft, whose reckless or irresponsible practices and standards had jeopardized both their profits and their futures.

In Value Shift, renowned Harvard Business School Professor Lynn Sharp Paine reveals that corporate social responsibility makes for more than good public relations; it is a powerful tool for achieving superior performance and generating greater profits. She takes a realistic look at the new role that private industry will play in public service in the years ahead and explores the increasing importance of corporate values in maintaining the long-term profitability of companies.

Professor Paine describes how, recent news reports notwithstanding, many companies in the United States and around the world have already placed increased emphasis on values and corporate citizenship. She explains the motivations behind this turn to values, analyzes its impact on management practice, and presents guidelines for developing a "corporate conscience."

The most striking feature of this eye-opening exposé is its hardheaded appraisal of the growing body of evidence showing that a values-based orientation is very good for business. It also offers pointers on how managers can anticipate and avoid "gray area" dilemmas, formulate conscientious responses to incidents that will also serve the organization's goals and interests, and take a more active role in strengthening their company's public image.

Companies that adhere to basic values benefit from more effective risk management, more efficient organizational functioning, increased market attractiveness, and greater investor confidence. Value Shift provides the tools and techniques needed to instill the values that create more responsible, more accountable, and more profitable organizations. It is the ultimate resource for corporate managers who want their companies to do well while doing good.

"Lynn Paine has an optimistic analysis of the need for--and the value of--bringing ethical values into business decision-making. The 'meltdown' of so many high-flyers reecntly suggests that lesson had been lost on too many companies during the boom years. The time has come to take account of what she writes."--Paul A. Volcker

"This book presents a way of broadening the role of the corporation in our society, an interesting and exciting role. It's a good read for young leaders in all walks of life."--John C. Whitehead, former Chairman, Goldman Sachs

"Value Shift provides a timely and compelling argument for why companies must incorporate values into their strategies--that no one in business can afford to ignore."--Daniel Vasella, Chairman + CEO /Novartis AG

A breakthrough look at the new value of values

To survive and thrive, the modern corporation must be more than a profit machine. A growing body of evidence indicates that corporate citizenship, responsibility, and accountability are becoming as vital to the bottom line as an effective business model. Value Shift makes a strong case for the financial merits of social responsibility and explores the increasing importance of corporate values in maintaining the long-term profitability of companies. It also offers strategies for implementing an enterprise-wide value system and demonstrates ways in which a value-positive corporate culture can actually increase profits through better risk management, improved organizational functioning, increased shareholder confidence, and an enhanced public image.

About the Author:

Lynn Sharp Paine, Ph.D., J.D. is a John G. McLean Professor at the Harvard Business School and is a member of The Conference Board's Blue-Ribbon Commission on Public Trust and Private Enterprise.

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