Michael Porter on Corporate Social Responsibility

Michael Porter seeks to redefine capitalism.

Porter, whose theory has shaped much of what business schools teach about competitive advantage and business strategy, is a cornerstone in B-schools as well as the boardroom. His work simply cannot go unnoticed.

Even if Porter’s work could go unnoticed, current events like hedge fund manager John Paulson earning a $5 billion profitĀ are tough to ignore. Society is asking if business people are responsible with their profits.

In response, Porter is now asserting that business must seek to build “shared value” as an alternative to maximizing SHAREHOLDER value. He believes there is a missing link between a company’s success and social progress, making statements like:

“Companies are widely perceived to be prospering at the expense of the broader community.”

Because Porter is such a widely renowned and widely accepted thinker in business, this message from Porter in an era where such strong political tension lies between the left & right will lead to a violent split in business theory.

Two outcomes seem possible:

-Traditional businesspeople will categorically reject Porter’s “shared value” and defend profit.

-Progressive businesspeople will embrace “shared value” and levy it in to regulate profit.

Read Porter for yourself and find out where you stand:

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