Conscious, Caring, Creative, Compassionate: The New Face of Capitalism in the 21st Century
At this time of economic dislocation, we have the opportunity to re-think the role and purpose of business in society. In order to emerge stronger and more sustainable, business needs a strategy for change, not a return to the status quo. A broad change may be underway in the nature of the economy and capitalism itself. Companies that practice conscious capitalism embody the idea that profit and prosperity go hand in hand with social justice and environmental stewardship. They tap into deeper sources of positive energy by operating with a higher purpose, and create greater value for all stakeholders. They utilize creative business models that are both transformational and inspirational, and can help solve the world’s social and environmental problems. Bio Dr. Rajendra S. Sisodia is Professor of Marketing at Bentley University, and was previously Trustee Professor of Marketing and the Founding Director of the Center for Marketing Technology. Dr. Sisodia has an MBA in Marketing from the Bajaj Institute of Management Studies in Bombay, and a Ph. D. in Marketing & Business Policy from Columbia University, where he was the Booz Allen Hamilton Fellow. His current research focuses on conscious capitalism, marketing ethics and improving marketing productivity. In 2007, he was honored with the Award for Excellence in Scholarship by Bentley University. His book Firms of Endearment: How World Class Companies Profit from Passion and Purpose was named one of the best business books of 2007 by several organizations, including Amazon.com. Dr. Sisodia writes frequently for the Wall Street Journal, and his work has been featured in The New York Times, Fortune, Financial Times, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, and numerous other publications, radio shows and television networks such as CNN, CBC and Fox.
Competitive Enterprise Institute
The notes and cards we exchange on Valentine’s Day cover a wide range of emotions-from intimate love letters for that special someone to the simple tokens of friendship exchanged among schoolchildren. The more ambitious among us may craft Valentines by hand, but while such handicrafts are appreciated, most of us purchase and send the Hallmark-style card. Valentine cards are exchanged because we enjoy giving and receiving gifts. Which best deepens our friendship will vary depending upon our culinary skill, our enjoyment of the process and many other factors. Both options can foster human relationships which then blossom in unexpected ways. To these miracles which manifest themselves in Nature an even more extraordinary miracle has been added: the configuration of creative human energies-millions of tiny know-hows configurating naturally and spontaneously in response to human necessity and desire and in the absence of any human master-minding! Many products, from a simple pencil to a Valentine card, requires ingredients sourced from around the world. To bring together these ingredients into a final product requires continuous interaction of buyers and sellers, strangers who absent a market might never have met. Valentines strengthen friendships between current friends but commerce goes further making friends of strangers. Friendships are common among those trading and working together-often their enthusiasms and interests entice us. On Valentine’s Day, we should celebrate capitalism not only for the prosperity it creates, but for the many ways in which it fosters and validates friendships, enriching the vast array of connections that bind us together in civil society. Send a card to your sweetheart, but also think about the friendships that your purchase made possible among the printers, designers, and copy writers who produced that card.
In the Name of Love
Low-wage work is what ever more Americans do and will be doing. Elevating certain types of professions to something worthy of love necessarily denigrates the labor of those who do unglamorous work that keeps society functioning, especially the crucial work of caregivers. Emotionally satisfying work is still work, and acknowledging it as such doesn’t undermine it in any way. Refusing to acknowledge it, on the other hand, opens the door to the most vicious exploitation and harms all workers. Ironically, DWYL reinforces exploitation even within the so-called lovable professions where off-the-clock, underpaid, or unpaid labor is the new norm: reporters required to do the work of their laid-off photographers, publicists expected to Pin and Tweet on weekends, the 46 percent of the workforce expected to check their work email on sick days. Nothing makes exploitation go down easier than convincing workers that they are doing what they love. The latter is worker exploitation taken to its most extreme, and as an ongoing Pro Publica investigation reveals, the unpaid intern is an ever larger presence in the American workforce. These industries have long been accustomed to masses of employees willing to work for social currency instead of actual wages, all in the name of love. Excluded from these opportunities, of course, is the overwhelming majority of the population: those who need to work for wages. Another damaging consequence of DWYL is how ruthlessly it works to extract female labor for little or no compensation. Women comprise the majority of the low-wage or unpaid workforce; as care workers, adjunct faculty, and unpaid interns, they outnumber men. Women are supposed to do work because they are natural nurturers and are eager to please; after all they’ve been doing uncompensated childcare, elder care, and housework since time immemorial.