My book review of Raj Kumar’s The Business of Changing the World and James O’Toole’s The Enlightened Capitalists has now been published in Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly.
Full text available online. DOI: 10.1177/08997640211022745
Kumar - co-founder of social enterprise and media platform Devex - offers a critical commentary on the current state of the global aid industry, its relative shortcomings, and how it needs to change in order to address the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.
O'Toole - Professor Emeritus of the University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business - investigates how and why business leaders have, over the past few centuries, often tried to pursue social goals alongside profit, and why they typically fail.
Despite covering complementary topics, these two books offer different conclusions. In short, Kumar believes there is a need for more corporate actors to embrace social goals, for governments and other donors to approach their donations as investments, and for aid organisations to provide real-time data about their impact. O'Toole is more pessimistic, arguing that unless investment markets drastically change, they will continue to pressure most businesses to pursue short-term profits over and above any long-term social objectives.
Read the full paper only in Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly.