The Rise of the Anti-corporate Movement: Corporations and the People who Hate Them

Greenwood Publishing Group
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Against the backdrop of Enron and the other high-profile cases of corporate malfeasance, it is easy to paint today's executives as villains and blame big business, and corporations generally, for a wide array of social ills. Is the criticism warranted? Not quite, says Evan Osborne, as he traces the history of anti-corporate sentiment and assesses the fever-pitch hatred, by some, of all things corporate. While not perfect angels, Osborne argues, corporations confer many more benefits to society than ills. Moreover, they are an essential engine of human progress, and longstanding legal principles are more than adequate to address their flaws. And that makes the rising tide of anti-corporate sentiment dangerous.

Why? Look at the facts: Large corporations inspire both awe and fear. On the one hand, they create jobs, introduce scientific and technological breakthroughs, open up borders through trade, and provide indispensable products and services that make life easier. On the other hand, many think they undermine the will of the people, encourage bribery and corruption, finance oppressive regimes, ruin values and culture, befoul the environment, and encourage economic inequality. It was no accident that the terrorists of September 11 targeted the World Trade Center, an iconic symbol of American financial power. In this provocative book, Evan Osborne pulls back the curtain to illuminate how corporations have evolved as an essential element of society, and how opposition to them has developed out of proportion--a fire fanned by anti-business activists, the media, and other groups. He sets the record straight, explaining how corporations work, how they have evolved in the context of other institutions, the net benefits they provide--and how to deal with their undeniable imperfections. At the same time, he shows how anti-business claims have become more strident and where these arguments fail to stand up to scrutiny.

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About the author

Evan Osborne is Professor of Economics at Wright State University. He has written for such publications as Journal of Legal Studies, Public Choice, Cato Journal, Journal of Sports Economics, and Economic Development and Cultural Change. Among others, the AP, Reuters, Christian Science Monitor, Newsweek (International), Bloomberg Radio, and Forbes.com have featured his views.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Greenwood Publishing Group
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Published on
Dec 31, 2007
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Pages
246
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ISBN
9780275997861
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Language
English
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Genres
Business & Economics / Corporate & Business History
Business & Economics / Government & Business
Business & Economics / Organizational Behavior
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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What can you learn from the most successful companies in the world? The Sephora Story will help you understand and adopt the competitive strategies, workplace culture, and daily business practices that turned the makeup retailer into a paradise for makeup enthusiasts everywhere.

Sephora is a playground for women, chock full of lipstick, eyeshadows, foundations, blushes, and so much more, just waiting to be experienced. It’s where teens learn to apply foundation and adults learn how to create the perfect smoky eye. It’s the cosmetic birthplace for the iconic Kardashian contour. And it’s a dominant brand, taking home a large portion of the $48.3 billion-dollar makeup industry.

The Sephora Story teaches readers how Sephora was born in Paris in 1970 and has exploded since it opened its first North American store in 1997. Now, with at least one store in almost every mall, you may find yourself fighting to navigate the store.

But it’s just makeup, right? Wrong. It’s an experience, and this book will teach entrepreneurs, innovators, marketers, and executives everything they need to know about creating an iconic experience for their customers. Through Sephora’s story, you will learn:

How to lead the evolution of a decades old brand and how to relaunch it in a new market.How to create a customer experience that revolutionizes an industry.How to bring together multiple brands under one roof without compromising their identities.And how to reach a younger audience and ignite a passion for your product.
The goal of Reasonably Simple Economics is, not surprisingly, simple: to help us think like economists. When we do, so much of the world that seemed mysterious or baffling becomes more clear and understandable—improving our lives and providing new tools to succeed in business and career.

In a chatty style, economist Evan Osborne explains the economic foundations behind the things we read about or see in the news everyday:

Why prices for goods and services are what they are How government spending, regulation, and taxation can both hinder and help the economy Why and how some people get fabulously rich How entrepreneurs reorganize society beneficially Why markets sometimes fail and when or if governments should intervene when they do How economics and statistics can explain such things as discrimination in hiring and providing services (and why discriminators are shooting themselves in the foot), why we’re smarter than we’ve ever been, and how technology makes the idea of Earth’s “carrying capacity” meaningless

Along the way, you will learn the basic concepts of economics that well-educated citizens in democratic countries should know, like scarcity, opportunity cost, supply and demand, all the different ways economies are "managed," and more.

In the manner of The Armchair Economist, The Undercover Economist, or Naked Economics, Osborne uses current examples to illustrate the principles that underlie tragedies like the Greek economy or the global market meltdown of 2008, and triumphs like the continuing dominance of Silicon Valley in the tech world or why New York City markets are stuffed with goods despite the difficulty in getting them there.

As Osborne points out, the future, in economic terms, has always been better than the past, and he shows you how to use that knowledge to improve your life both intellectually and materially.

The Challenge
Built to Last, the defining management study of the nineties, showed how great companies triumph over time and how long-term sustained performance can be engineered into the DNA of an enterprise from the verybeginning.

But what about the company that is not born with great DNA? How can good companies, mediocre companies, even bad companies achieve enduring greatness?

The Study
For years, this question preyed on the mind of Jim Collins. Are there companies that defy gravity and convert long-term mediocrity or worse into long-term superiority? And if so, what are the universal distinguishing characteristics that cause a company to go from good to great?

The Standards
Using tough benchmarks, Collins and his research team identified a set of elite companies that made the leap to great results and sustained those results for at least fifteen years. How great? After the leap, the good-to-great companies generated cumulative stock returns that beat the general stock market by an average of seven times in fifteen years, better than twice the results delivered by a composite index of the world's greatest companies, including Coca-Cola, Intel, General Electric, and Merck.

The Comparisons
The research team contrasted the good-to-great companies with a carefully selected set of comparison companies that failed to make the leap from good to great. What was different? Why did one set of companies become truly great performers while the other set remained only good?

Over five years, the team analyzed the histories of all twenty-eight companies in the study. After sifting through mountains of data and thousands of pages of interviews, Collins and his crew discovered the key determinants of greatness -- why some companies make the leap and others don't.

The Findings
The findings of the Good to Great study will surprise many readers and shed light on virtually every area of management strategy and practice. The findings include:

Level 5 Leaders: The research team was shocked to discover the type of leadership required to achieve greatness. The Hedgehog Concept (Simplicity within the Three Circles): To go from good to great requires transcending the curse of competence. A Culture of Discipline: When you combine a culture of discipline with an ethic of entrepreneurship, you get the magical alchemy of great results. Technology Accelerators: Good-to-great companies think differently about the role of technology. The Flywheel and the Doom Loop: Those who launch radical change programs and wrenching restructurings will almost certainly fail to make the leap.

“Some of the key concepts discerned in the study,” comments Jim Collins, "fly in the face of our modern business culture and will, quite frankly, upset some people.”

Perhaps, but who can afford to ignore these findings?

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