Higher Education's Role in "Fixing Capitalism"

February 16, 2011

New York Stock Exchange

Yesterday’s On Point with Tom Ashbrook on Boston’s WBUR featured a lively discussion on “fixing capitalism” between Michael Porter, Bishop William Lawrence University Professor at Harvard University, and former Labor secretary Robert Reich.

Porter’s argument for reforming the traditional US business paradigm includes the view that business education must evolve to become more interdisciplinary in order to turn out leaders who understand that, for corporate, social, and health reasons, corporate profit must not come at the expense of its community.

In an article in the January-February issue of the Harvard Business Review, Porter and his co-author Mark Kramer write:

“Because of the traditional divide between economic concerns and social ones, people in the public and private sectors have often followed very different educational and career paths. As a result, few managers have the understanding of social and environmental issues required to move beyond today’s [corporate social responsibility] approaches, and few social sector leaders have the managerial training and entrepreneurial mind-set needed to design and implement shared value models. Most business schools still teach the narrow view of capitalism, even though more and more of their graduates hunger for a greater sense of purpose and a growing number are drawn to social entrepreneurship.

Read an excerpt of the HBR article here (subscription or purchase required for full article). List to the a recording of the lively On Point discussion here.

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