Michael Porter at WBF 2012: From CSR to CSV

Michael Porter is arguably the biggest business thinker of our time, who introduced radically new business concepts, such as five forces framework, competitive advantage, corporate strategy, core competence, and economical clusters. In his 1996 article „What is strategy?“, which offered a brilliant overview of how a strategy differs from mere operational effectiveness, he stated that „competitive strategy is about being different“. When he moved on to study corporate social responsibility and how it relates to strategy and competitive advantage, he fell out of favour with a significant part of business community. The whole concept of a company being made socially responsible, the talks about somebody having to do something extra smelled of state regulation and re-distribution of wealth, and it is therefore not a big surprise that the related concepts of stakeholder value and the end of shareholder value irritated a lot of avowed neoclassical economists. I was very much looking forward to him speaking at the World Business Forum in New York yesterday, to see how he continues to develop his argumentation and the concept of shared value, and how optimistic he is about the reinvention of capitalism he is calling for. Keep Reading »


On a priori trust

In what is probably partially culturally (in both broad and narrow sense) determined, trust can either be gradually earned, or it is can be given a priori, and potentially lost when broken. In the Nordic Viking society, among the warring and trading companies sailing the whole world together, they bestowed each other with full trust a priori, they stoke their lives into the hands of their band of companions. He who broke the trust became on outcast. Keep Reading »


Effective Punishment in Organizations

Corporate reward system works well as a learning mechanism – in terms of a classical study on punishment (Solomon, 1964, p. 239), you are teaching your employees „what to do“, so called „active avoidance learning“. In that situation, the employee does not really know which behavior is required, and learns to adopt the right behavior pattern by avoiding the negative consequences. In most situations, the punishment does not need to be applied, but it is anticipated. In a second situation, the employee knows „what to do“, but is not doing it. Instead, he opts to do something else, and you are trying to show him that this behavior is not acceptable, showing his „what not to do“. This is called „punishment procedure“ and in general it is very hard to be successfully administered. Keep Reading »


The Nature of Online Learning

When considering the effectiveness of individual online learning compared to collective learning in a traditional setting, we are typically trying to assess a match between the individual learning style and the characteristics of learning environment. Online learning is characterized by asynchronous communication allowing the learner to ponder the response to presented material and thus providing more time flexibility (Ladkin et al., 2009, p. 204). Some authors (p. 193) argue that learning via technology offers more freedom in the way learners interact with the material, and that it promotes active processing of the material as opposed to mere transmission in a collective education environment. Keep Reading »


How Can Leadership be Learned

Leadership can certainly be learned and those who have what it takes to become effective leaders can grow and develop through combination of engagement in a challenging practice and reflection offered by constructive feedback of experienced tutors, advanced education, and leadership theory. Goslin and Mintzberg (2003) stated that a leader „must appreciate the past if [she] wish[es] to use the present to get to a better future“ (p. 57), and that is exactly how I see the potential of accumulated wisdom of the past to interact with the present in order to develop the more rewarding future. Keep Reading »

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Gold Phoenix Co.

Jerry Taylor

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