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Book Review-Corporate Social Responsibility October 23, 2010

Posted by Jack Macholl in Brand building, Brand personality, Branding, Corporate Social Responsibility, Environment, Recycling.

I just finished reading What Matters Most: How a Small Group of Pioneers Is Teaching Social Responsibility to Big Business and Why Big Business is Listening.  The book was written back in 2004 by Jeffrey Hollender and Stephen Fenichell right on the heels of the Enron scandal.  This work is a very interesting foundation for anyone that wishes to learn about the early pioneers of CSR (like Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream, Mc Donald’s, Starbuck’s, Shell Oil and others ) and the extremes they went to for human rights /social, environmental  impact while struggling with the bottom line.

There are several interesting case studies that walk you through the school of “hard knocks” many of these companies went through to make change happen. He also covers the challenges socially responsible companies face to please shareholders once a CSR company is sold to a conglomerate (best example is Ben & Jerry’s after the sale to Unilever).

Although the authors deliver a fair amount of criticism to these companies, this book is an excellent foundation to understand the social responsibility premise and also provides some hope for reduced burden on future generations. We can only hope that they may face less environmental mess if companies continue to build upon the work done by these pioneers who reduced environmental waste and improved many lives while raising customer satisfaction (and profit).

I was left with the question will the smaller local markets win out here in the “new-post recession world” or will the “giants” continue to change quickly enough to maintain their lock on the global market?

This book is available on Amazon and of course , if you want to use and recycle, your local public library.



1. Jack Macholl - October 23, 2010

Jason, thank you. This book is well worth the time and sets the foundation for future study on CSR.

2. #WeeklyMarketingGems and #MyWeeklyRecap « Marketing Matters | Jason Sokol - October 23, 2010

[…] Book Review: Corporate Social Responsibility – Jack Macholl share a review of a great book called “What Matters Most: How a Small Group of Pioneers Is Teaching Social Responsibility to Big Business and Why Big Business is Listening.” It sounds like an interesting book. I’ll be adding it to my Amazon wish list among the many other books that I want to read. I love Jack’s writing and he asks some fantastic questions. […]

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