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Values-Centered Entrepreneurs and Their Companies [Paperback]

David Y. Choi , Edmund Gray

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Book Description

30 Jun 2010 0415997615 978-0415997614

A new brand of entrepreneurs has arrived on the business scene, carrying with them a whole new set of values. They possess a sense of mission – to be socially responsible, protect the planet, and do the right thing for all of their stakeholders. Rather than focus exclusively on financial gain, they aim to achieve a balance between profits and one or more causes of their choosing. In fact, they view for-profit entrepreneurship as a vehicle for social change. The authors call these pioneers "values-centered" entrepreneurs.

Some of the values-centered entrepreneurs have been around a few decades. In recent years, however, the numbers have proliferated and the nascent movement has started to make a true impact. These entrepreneurs’ approach to management questions our basic assumptions about how businesses should be run and what their role should be in society.

Several of these entrepreneurs have attained high visibility. Yvon Chouinard of sportswear manufacturer Patagoina has been a role model for integrating environmental protection to every aspect of Patagonia’s business operation. Howard Schultz of Starbucks has been able to build one of the strongest brands in the world while being the first retailer to offer comprehensive health benefits and stock options to its part-time employees. Paul Newman, legendary actor and racecar driver as well as a leading maker of salad dressings, gives 100% of Newman’s Own brand’s profits to charity.

This book explores how these highly unorthodox leaders have built their profitable and socially responsible business enterprises, and what lessons can be learned for the next generation of entrepreneurs. The authors examine a group of over 40 entrepreneurial companies and how each balanced the profit objective with social responsibility in key aspects of their business operation – from their initial company formation, through growth, to exit – to build successful triple bottom-line companies. Choi and Gray particularly focus on how these firms’ commitment to values affected their company missions, hiring and organizational policies, marketing strategies, financial practices, exit options, and giving programs, and vice versa. In some cases, the authors find that the entrepreneurs’ social objectives have actually strengthened, not weakened, their business enterprises. Based on their extensive studies of these companies, he authors have distilled a set of commonalities. The book presents ten of the most dominant and interesting of these commonalities with a focus on those policies and decisions that appeared to depart from conventional business practice.

In addition to devoting chapters to each of the core principles learned from these companies, the authors also include in-depth case studies of four of the ventures featured in their study.

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About the Author

David Y Choi, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of Management and Entrepreneurship and an Associate Director of the Hilton Center for Entrepreneurship at Loyola Marymount University.

Edmund R. Gray is Professor of Management at Loyola Marymount University.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 5.0 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must-read book for all entrepreneurs and business students!! 6 Feb 2011
By james - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
As an entrepreneur and a professional manager, I always have noticed that the corporate strategy based on corporate culture has become the strongest competitive strategy over the competitors in many practical reasons. However, it was not easy to find examples or management theories supporting the idea. Rather, many people have an illusion that making a shared value-oriented company may not be consistent with the traditional goal of a business pursuing profit. This book shows the importance and practical value of the concepts such as business ethics, shared value, integrity, and social responsibility, and it further teaches how to integrate those concepts with your business from the business plan to realize a better business with a strong organizational fundamental, also enhancing financial performance. I believe you will also find examples you can introduce instantly to your business, impacting your company and market.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All entrepremeurs should have this book!! 19 Dec 2010
By monica park - Published on
An excellent book that talks about what all entrepreneurs want and should know about being socially and environmentally responsible. It will enlighten you on a new breed of entrepreneurs that are up and coming. How they did it and what they did to make it happen. An awesome guide on how to build your company and follow your passion to make a positive impact in this world and still make money.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Brilliant Piece of Work for Enabling Organizational Alignment 31 Dec 2010
By mcarrol9 - Published on
Many people think of Social Responsibility as corporations giving to some organization like or some small charity. However, this book brilliantly illustrates that there are thousands of ways that organizations small and large can systemically utilize the resources of the firm to give back in a synergistic manner that actually enables the mission of the firm.

It's an easy read, has loads of examples, and is informative. This book constantly igniting new ideas as I went through it - most of which are in the process of being implemented at the company. One of the first initiatives that we undertook was diverting a % of revenue into a fund that is managed by the employees. Our team is predominately women & middle-aged who aren't the best at technology. We needed to implement a new accounting tool to track profitability / account. However, we wanted clients to know that their expenses are going to help a charity, so the team ACTUALLY adopted the technology solution because they WANTED to tell the clients how much time & how many $$ we gave to this particular charity.

This book was the genesis for this new initiative and we are giving copies to clients. We have talked about terminating existing relationships with clients who are not at least talking about ways to be socially responsible at some level in their businesses.

Incredible Read.
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