...In the Wind

"The Answer, my Friend, 
      is Blowin' In the Wind..."

        - Bob Dylan

A Portal to Mainstream and Alternative Articles and Commentary on Issues of Organizational Governance, Business Ethics, Social Justice, Workplace Inclusion, and Enchantment

Articles linked here have been selected because they are thought provoking. They represent a range of opinions and do not necessarily reflect the values and positions of GDI. Many of them are archived articles that are still cogent and informative today. They are presented to provide context and perspective for discussion of the relevant issues. We may from time to time offer commentary, rebuttals or challenges to specific writings.

Robert Reich: The Real Job Killers
Common Dreams, March 1, 2014
There’s also a deeper issue here. Even assuming some of these measures might cause some job losses, does that mean we shouldn’t proceed with them?....It’s important to remember the real source of job creation. Businesses hire more workers only when they have more customers. When they have fewer customers, they lay off workers. So the real job creators are consumers with enough money to buy.

Alan Pike: Income Inequality Hurts Economic Growth, But Fixing It Doesn’t
ThinkProgress, February 27, 2014
A newly released research paper is the first income distribution study to make use of a new set of international data on inequality. The economists generating it find that the conservative policy notion that a rising economic tide will lift even the poorest people’s boats is not supported by the data.

BP Outlook Energy Demand to Rise 41% by 2035
Energy Manager Today, January 17, 2014
Oil, natural gas, and coal are each expected to make up around 27 percent of the total mix by 2035 with the remaining share coming from nuclear, hydroelectricity and renewables.

Joseph E. Stiglitz: In No One We Trust
New York Times, December 21, 2013
Trust is what makes contracts, plans and everyday transactions possible; it facilitates the democratic process, from voting to law creation, and is necessary for social stability. It is essential for our lives. It is trust, more than money, that makes the world go round. We do not measure trust in our national income accounts, but investments in trust are no less important than those in human capital or machines.

BPIR.com: 2013 Business Excellence Awards around the world
Business Performance Improvement Resource, December 4, 2013
A list of some of the business excellence award winners of 2013.

Joseph E. Stiglitz: The Insanity of our Food Policy
New York Times November 16, 2013
...We spend billions every year on farm subsidies, many of which help wealthy commercial operations to plant more crops than we need. The glut depresses world crop prices,...while, millions of Americans live tenuously close to hunger,...

Greg Ray: The Ocean is Broken
The Newcastle Herald October 22, 2013
It was the silence that made this voyage different from all of those before it. Not the absence of sound, exactly....What was missing was the cries of the seabirds which, on all previous similar voyages, had surrounded the boat. The birds were missing because the fish were missing. Exactly 10 years before, when Newcastle yachtsman Ivan Macfadyen had sailed exactly the same course from Melbourne to Osaka, all he'd had to do to catch a fish from the ocean between Brisbane and Japan was throw out a baited line...

e! Science News: The true raw material footprint of nations
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, September 2, 2013
A new  study conducted by the University of New South Wales, CSIRO, the University of Sydney, and the University of California, Santa Barbara, reveals the amount of raw materials needed to sustain the economies of developed countries is significantly greater than presently used indicators suggest.

Market Watch: Great Recession cost each household between $50k and $120k
Economic Letter, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, September 2013
...or the equivalent of 40% to 90% of one year’s economic output, according to a study released by the Dallas Fed.
A confluence of factors produced the December 2007–June 2009 Great Recession—bad bank loans, improper credit ratings, lax regulatory policies and misguided government incentives that encouraged reckless borrowing and lending.

US Lags in Sustainability Reporting Assurance
Environmental & Energy Management News, April 8, 2013
Companies in the US are less likely to obtain third-party assurance than their global peers, according to a report by the Global Reporting Initiative.

Teddy Roosevelt IV: Making Sense of Natural Capital
Corporate Knights, April 5, 2013
We are beginning to understand that aligning value with values makes, in fact, for a very sound business case. Being smart enough to understand the return on decency requires a cultural shift that is just getting underway.

Schumpeter: Of Businessmen and Ballerinas
The Economist. February 9 2013
A quick glance around any office suggests that dark passions lurk everywhere. Gossip and back-stabbing are rife...three modern trends are making these evergreen problems worse.

At Banks, the Balance Shifts to Shareholders
Bloomberg Business Week January 7 2013
Bank Shareholders Benefit From Wall Street's Shift. Executives are reining in pay to boost returns for investors; pay cuts upset workers but reward investors.

John Mackey: The Kind of Capitalist You Want to Be
Harvard Business Review. January-February 2013
Helping people see that building a business can be good — even heroic.

Schumpeter: Corporate burlesque
The Economist. November 3, 2012
The case for stripping away the secrecy surrounding firms' finance.

The mighty middle
The Economist. October 20, 2012
Medium size firms are the unsung heroes of America's recovery

History: As you were
From "Special Report: World Economy, The Economist. October 13, 2012
After a period on the wane, inequality is waxing again...technology is undermining some of the 20th century's equalising institutions...Many social transformations are also making inequality worse...The history of inequality suggests that it need not be, and offers two lessons.

True progressivism
The Economist. October 13, 2012
A new form of radical centrist politics is needed to tackle inequality without hurting economic growth.

Schumpeter: Fixing the Capitalist Machine
The Economist. September 29th 2012
Some sensible ideas for reviving America's entrepreneurial spirit.

Schumpeter: In praise of misfits
The Economist, June 2, 2012
Why business needs people with Asperger's syndrome, attention-deficit disorder and dyslexia

Schumpeter: The wheel of fortune 
The Economist,  May 24, 2012
The latest crop of bosses will have short and troubled tenures.

Schumpeter: Too Much Information
The Economist, July 2 2011
How to cope with data overload

Cleaning the Augean tables
The Economist June 25 2011
Corporate governance in continental Europe is improving rapidly

Schumpeter: The bottom of the pyramid
The Economist, June 25 2011
Real income decline brings visibility to markets at "the bottom of the pyramid" in developed countries

John Howley: Warren Buffett, Sustainable Energy, and American Competitiveness,
Green Energy Blog, March 5 2011
By focusing on where to allocate our society's capital over the long term, we can make wiser decisions

Ann Charles: Opinion: Traditional Philanthropy Gives Way to a New Power
Business Ethics
October 15, 2010
While catching up with old episodes of "Mad Men," I was brought up short by a show-stopping quote from Roger Sterling. Sterling, the senior partner at the Sterling Cooper Agency, tells Creative Director Don Draper that he's been invited to join an arts foundation board. Looking puzzled, Don asks "What does that mean?"
Without skipping a beat, Roger says "Philanthropy is the gateway to power."

Onwards and Upward
The Economist
December 17th, 2009
Why is the modern view of progress so impoverished? The idea of progress forms the backdrop to a society. In the extreme, without the possibility of progress of any sort, your gain is someone else's loss. If human behaviour is unreformable, social policy can only ever be about trying to cage the ape within. Society must in principle be able to move towards its ideals, such as equality and freedom, or they are no more than cant and self-delusion. So it matters if people lose their faith in progress. And it is worth thinking about how to restore it.            

The System Implodes: The 10 Worst Corporations of 2008
The Multinational Monitor. May/Jun 2009 Vol 30 No. 3
The Monitor introduced the 20th anniversary publication of their annual list of the 10 Worst Corporations of the year with the words, "In the 20 years that we’ve published our annual list, we’ve covered corporate villains, scoundrels, criminals and miscreants. We’ve reported on some really bad stuff — ...But we’ve never had a year like 2008."

Scott James: Is the Eco Index a Good Way to Measure Sustainability?
Forbes. May/Jun 2009 Vol 30 No. 3

 Capitalism At Bay
The Economist, October 18, 2008
The cover leader from an issue published shortly after the start of the 2008 financial collapse.

Bagehot: In defence of the young
The Economist. October 26th, 2006
Paying too much attention to the demands of the elderly is dangerous for society.

Lexington: Poison Ivy
The Economist. September 23rd, 2006
Not so much palaces of learning as bastions of privilege and hypocrisy.

The brains business
The Economist. September 8th, 2005
Mass higher education is forcing universities to become more diverse, more global and much more competitive, says Adrian Wooldridge.

Art Kliener: Diversity and Its Discontents
strategy+business. Spring 2004
Diverse workplaces require emotional maturity, and that means confronting "rankism." CHECKED 1/1/13

John Seely Brown: Innovation, Information, & Organizational Culture
ethix. October 1, 2001
Knowledge management doesn’t understand very well why knowledge sticks and why it flows. We can store information in machines but this is not really storing knowledge. We can store some of the artifacts that knowledge has produced and we can build linkages between people who can reconstruct the knowledge but a simplistic notion of knowledge storage and retrieval doesn’t work.         ...Knowledge lives in people. The real challenge is to accelerate the ability to dynamically construct shared frames between communities that will allow knowledge to flow more readily. It is not a formulaic game. NEW 1/6/13

Lynnette McIntire: The reputational threat that just might be under your nose, October 1, 2001
Center for Corporate Culture  ...it’s easy to forget the one stakeholder group right under your nose – employees.   That audience alone has the potential to have by far the greatest influence on your reputation as a corporate citizen. Every day they have access to your customers – either delivering or undermining the messages that you have so carefully constructed. ...It doesn’t matter if you have five employees or 400,000. Every single one has the ability to publicly challenge your status as a good employer, a generous community contributor, an environmental steward, and a corruption-free company.       NEW 1/6/13

Edward O. Wilson: Back from Chaos (excerpt)
The Atlantic Monthly.
Enlightenment thinkers knew a lot about everything, today's specialists know a lot about a little, and postmodernists doubt that we can know anything at all. One of the century's most important scientists argues, against fashion, that we can know what we need to know, and that we will discover underlying all forms of knowledge a fundamental unit.
For complete article, Click Here 

Editorial: The Next Step for CSR: Economic Democracy
Business Ethics. May 2004
Through it all -- as ethical decision-making was taught to MBAs, good companies were sought out for stock portfolios, or descriptions were compiled of best practices -- the underlying assumption was that managers had genuine freedom to be socially responsible. We believed CSR was about separating the good guys from the bad guys, and that good guys could be spotted by their exemplary policies and programs and sustainability reports. But the lessons of the perfect storm tell a different story.

Daniel Lazare: Diversity and Its Discontents
The Nation. May 27th, 2004
In Who Are We? The Challenges to America's National Identity, Samuel Huntington, professor of government at Harvard, contends that if Americans want their country to hold together in the coming decades, they must rededicate themselves not only to a set of founding political beliefs but to a founding culture. NLA

Ira Chernus: Colonialism Creates Multicultural Society - Like It or Not
It is the inevitable blowback of empire. One country tries to solve its problems by scooping up others, only to find it has inadvertently opened its doors to those others, creating more problems. Then it's time for a big debate about cultural diversity and "the immigration problem"...
CHECKED 1/1/13

Paul Krugman: The Death of Horatio Alger
The Nation. January 4th, 2004
The other day I found myself reading a leftist rag that made outrageous claims about America. It said that we are becoming a society in which the poor tend to stay poor, no matter how hard they work; in which sons are much more likely to inherit the socioeconomic status of their father than they were a generation ago. The name of the leftist rag? Business Week...

Karen Armstong: When God Goes To War
Religions Usually Espouse Peace and Goodwill, So Why Have they Sparked So Many Conflicts?...Religion, like any human activity, can be abused. You can have bad religion, as you can have bad cooking, bad art and bad sex. From the very beginning, religion got sucked into conflicts that were originally secular. 

Martin Luther King, Jr.: Letter from Birmingham Jail
A powerful and eloquent statement of the legitimacy of the struggle for justice and equity, the demoralization of marginalization, the obstinance of privilege, and the insidious impediments of complacency. This transcription is from Dr. King's original notes. CHECKED 1/1/13

John Gray: September 11 - THE END OF GLOBALIZATION
A Diverse World Would Be a Safer World

The atrocities of 11th September have planted a question mark over the very idea of modernity. Is it really the case that all societies are bound, sooner or later, to converge on the same values and view of the world? This may seem a rather academic question but it is actually of some practical importance.
PDF Version Click Here


Karen Armstrong: Fundamentalism as a reaction against modernity (from The Battle for God)
One of the most startling developments of the late twentieth century has been the emergence within every major religious tradition of a militant piety popularly known as "fundamentalism." Its manifestations are sometimes shocking. ... It is only a small minority of fundamentalists who commit such acts of terror, but even the most peaceful and law-abiding are perplexing, because they seem so adamantly opposed to many of the most positive values of modern society...

Michael J. Bamshad and Steve E. Olson: Does Race Exist?
Scientific American. November 10th, 2003
The problem is hard in part because the implicit definition of what makes a person a member of a particular race differs from region to region across the globe. Someone classified as "black" in the U.S., for instance, might be considered "white" in Brazil and "colored" (a category distinguished from both "black" and "white") in South Africa.             NLA

George Soros: The Capitalist Threat
The Atlantic Monthly
There has been an ongoing conflict between market values and other, more traditional value systems, which has aroused strong passions and antagonisms... Unsure of what they stand for, people increasingly rely on money as the criterion of value...What used to be a medium of exchange has usurped the place of fundamental values, reversing the relationship postulated by economic theory. What used to be professions have turned into businesses. The cult of success has replaced a belief in principles. Society has lost its anchor.

A Review by WILLIAM GREIDER - The Crisis Of Global Capitalism: Open Society Endangered by George Soros
The Nation I think this approach is entirely plausible...It will succeed, however, only if social reality is fully integrated with the rules and mechanisms of a reformed economic system. As Soros himself emphasizes, the two realms of market and society are now treated as separate entities, one based upon raw, unregulated, self-interested energies of commerce and finance, the other on our collective responsibilities to community and one another. Fusion is the great uncharted challenge of our time...

Manuel Castells: End of Millennium (excerpts)
The whirlwind of globalization is triggering defensive reaction around the world, often organized around the principles of national and territorial identity...This insecurity is enhanced by the growing multi-ethnicity and multiculturalism of European societies, which trigger racism and xenophobia as people affirm their identity both against a supranational state and against cultural diversification...The reconstruction of society's institutions by cultural social movements, bringing technology under the control of people's needs and desires, seems to require a long march from the communes built around resistance identity to the heights of new project identities...

Caught in the Cycle of Overwork

Why is the idea of working less such a heresy to Americans?
Published first in Business Ethics, September/October 1994
This analysis was written in 1994. It raises many issues, just as relevant today, that have direct pertinence to enchantment and disenchantment in the workplace and the question of an environment where people seek and recognize the best from each other. NLA

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