Profit with Honor


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The New Stage of Market Capitalism

Daniel Yankelovich

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This wise and optimistic book examines the rampant scandals that plague American corporations today and shows how companies can reverse the resulting climate of mistrust. By seizing the opportunity to address some of the nation’s—and the world’s—most serious problems, business can strengthen its reputation for integrity and service and advance to a new stage of ethical legitimacy. Daniel Yankelovich, a social scientist and an experienced member of the corporate boardroom, describes the toxic convergence of cultural and business trends that has led inexorably to corporate scandals. Yet he offers reassurance that opportunity exists for positive change. Creative business leaders can advance market capitalism to its next stage of evolution, building upon business norms that simultaneously emphasize the legitimacy of profit making and the importance of the care that companies give to employees, customers, and the larger society.
The book asserts that American culture has abandoned its old tradition of enlightened self-interest, of “doing well by doing good.” A narrow legalism has taken over (“I didn’t break the law; therefore I didn’t do anything wrong”). Yankelovich argues that attempts to deal with such flawed ethical norms by means of more laws and regulations cannot succeed. He offers a series of case histories to show how and why stewardship ethics can strengthen individuals, corporations, the nation, and the world economy.

Daniel Yankelovich is chairman of Viewpoint Learning, of Public Agenda, and of DYG, Inc. He is best known for his work in the field of social values and public opinion and has served on the boards of numerous corporations, including CBS, Educational Testing Service, Meredith Publishing, Loral Space & Communications, and USWest.  He is also the coeditor, with Norton Garfinkle, of Uniting America: Restoring the Vital Center to American Democracy, published by Yale University Press.

"Now and then a new book comes along in which nearly every sentence deserves underlining. . . . Profit with Honor is such a book."—Rushworth Kidder, Christian Science Monitor

"Profit with Honor is a refreshing antidote to the Enronic plague. It charts a path to a restored confidence in the American business ethic."—Daniel Schorr, Senior News Analyst, National Public Radio

"Warning that trust in business cannot be restored by regulations alone, Dan Yankelovich proposes an alternative well suited to both realistic executives and concerned citizens."—David Mathews, Kettering Foundation

"Based on insights gained from decades of in-depth public opinion studies, Yankelovich has marshaled compelling data documenting the decline in public trust in major institutions such as government, business, medicine, and the media. In an effort to reverse this dangerous decline, he focuses on corporations that he believes must take the lead in advocating 'stewardship ethics' as the next phase in the evolution of the corporation for the well being of both business and society."—Dorothy Zinberg, Harvard University

"This is the one book that every Chairman and CEO must read this year. With an extraordinary background as social scientist and board member, Dan Yankelovich lays out what we must do to address public mistrust of the corporation."—Ged Davis, World Economic Forum

"Profit with Honor is an extraordinary book. Dan Yankelovich not only identifies the reasons why some of America's best known corporations went wrong, but more importantly provides a road map for all corporations to help society, improve their image, and avoid the sins of the past. Must reading for all CEOs and Boards of Directors."—Jack D. Rehm, Chairman (retired), Meredith Corporation

“In Profit With Honor Daniel Yankelovich takes us to the future frontiers of global capitalism, showing how companies can regain the trust of society while enhancing their earnings at the same time. He has written a short, engaging book with a very big and important idea. It should be widely read and debated by business leaders and the shareholders, employees, customers, regulators and other constituencies with whom they interact.”—Jeffrey E. Garten, Juan Trippe Professor of International Trade, Finance and Business, Yale School of Management, and author of The Politics of Fortune: A New Agenda for Business Leaders

"Yankelovich highlights the lessons business leaders can draw from and shows how combining good products and solid returns with socially responsible corporate reputations can be the recipe for success. A thoughtful and analytical view of ethics as a business fundamental and how corporate leaders can still do well for themselves and their shareholders and do good for their workers and communities."—Mack McLarty, Kissinger McLarty Associates

“As positive and perspicacious as ever, noted public intellectual Daniel Yankelovich urges American corporations to transcend the recent scandals. In crystalline prose, he argues that a higher standard of stewardship ethics will serve the interests not only of big business but also an increasingly market-driven world.”—Paul W. Drake, University of California San Diego

"Yankelovich gives us a vivid account of what has gone wrong in corporate America and argues that firms will succeed by including all the stakeholders—investors, employees, units in the supply chain, customers, community—together with a strong sense of ethics. A superb, well-crafted book, certain to stir debate."—Peter Gourevitch, University of California, San Diego

"Yankelovich as always is a seasoned observer and participant in the American business culture. His focus on improving ethical values in the commercial world is important and wise."—Pierson M. "Sandy" Grieve, Retired CEO, Ecolab Inc. 

"Another brilliant diagnosis and a thoughtful, productive recommendation to deal with a major problem. This creative approach offers real potential for better corporate governance."—Robert A. Burnett, Chairman and CEO, Retired, Meredith Corporation

"Executives often argue that, in a large corporation, it is impossible to be everywhere. A few bad apples, they suggest, can ruin it for all the good people. Daniel Yankelovich contradicts that false view. Once embraced, stewardship ethics effectively places the CEO and all management everywhere—all the time. The book reviews and reveals the process—and the key."—Sidney Harman, Executive Chairman, Harman International, and author of Mind Your Own Business

"Not since Peter Drucker identified the shift from the traditional money capitalism of plants and equipment to the volatile capitalism of knowledge work has anyone marked a change so fundamental as Daniel Yankelovich now reports in Profit with Honor:  The New Stage of Market Capitalism.  Nor could anyone else weave together this book's original sources—a world class researcher's unique knowledge of basic value trends that drive markets and many years of pragmatic experience as director of many corporations and consultant for many more. Dan's best book, and best written, brings compelling evidence that the flawed ethical norms of recent years will not lock multinationals into a permanent moral depression."—T. George Harris,, Psychologie Heute, Spirituality & Health Magazine 

"This volume is an informed, pragmatic and urgent wake-up call to the business, political and civic leaders of America. Its powerful and persuasive message is too vital to be ignored."—William F. Winter, Former Governor of Mississippi

"Yankelovich may be on to something."—San Diego Union-Tribune

"Profit with Honor is one man’s exhortation for U.S. business to get on the side of the angels. Provocative and passionately argued, and deserves a wide audience."—Jeffrey Marshall, Financial Executive

ISBN: 9780300122602
Publication Date: June 19, 2007
208 pages, 5 1/2 x 8 1/4
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