In a world where trust in politicians, corporations and the
processes that determine our lives continues to dwindle, this
innovative book brings together research, case studies and stories
that begin to answer a central question for society: How we can
create organisations, institutions, groups and societies that can
nurture trusting relationships with one another and among
individuals?Something to Believe In provides a fresh take on the
corporate responsibility debate, based as it is on the work of key
global thinkers on corporate social responsibility, along with a
raft of work developed from collaborations between the New Academy
of Business and the United Nations Volunteers, UK Department for
International Development and TERI-Europe in countries such as
Brazil, Nicaragua, Ghana, India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Lebanon,
Nigeria, the Philippines and South Africa. The focus is on
business, and particularly how deeper, more systemic changes to
current ways of understanding and undertaking business can and have
been enacted in both developed countries and in nations where the
Western concept of CSR means nothing. The market-based model of
economic thinking-the increasingly distrusted globalisation
project-which threatens to sweep all before it is challenged by
many of the contributions to this book.The book tells stories such
as the mobilization of civil society in Ghana to bring business to
account; the reorientation of a business school to focus on values;
the life-cycle of ethical chocolate; the accountability of the
diamond business in a war zone; the need to reinvent codes of
conduct for women workers in the plantations and factories of
Nicaragua; a Philippine initiative to economically empower former
Moslem liberation fighters; and the development of local governance
practices in a South African eco-village.The book is split into
four sections. "Through Some Looking Glasses" contains short,
thought-provoking pieces about the issues of trust, belief and
change from writers including Thabo Mbeki, Malcolm McIntosh and a
reprinted piece from E.M. Forster. Section Two asks how it will be
possible to believe in our corporations and provides new approaches
from around the world on how space is being opened up to found
businesses that are able to create trust. Section Three examines
the role of auditing in fostering trust. Corporations continue to
attempt to engender trust through their activities in philanthropy,
reporting and voluntary programmes. But, post-Enron et al., even
the most highly praised corporate mission statements are tarnished.
Can social and environmental audits of corporate reports, codes and
practices assuage our doubts about boardroom democracy? Section
Four examines alternative forms of accountability, transparency and
governance from around the world and offers some different ways of
thinking about the practice of creating trust in society.Something
to Believe In provides a host of fascinating suggestions about
redefining and renewing the underlying deal between society and its
organizations. It will become a key text for students, thinkers and
practitioners in the field of corporate responsibility.
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