4 min read
Aug 2022

Chinese Edition of ‘Putting Purpose into Practice’ Published

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August 2022

With China set to become the world’s largest economy by the end of this decade, there is an opportunity (and even a duty perhaps) for its economy to leapfrog the outdated neoliberal profit-maximization doctrine birthed in the west in the 1970s — a model that has created unprecedented levels of financial wealth, but also alarming environmental degradation and devastating inequalities in society — and to take the lead in implementing a new responsible approach to value creation.

For this to happen, the teaching and practice of management and investment must be reformed and a breakthrough innovation must emerge – one that repositions business and investment to profit by creating scalable solutions to the problems of society and the environment, not to profit from creating problems.

This vision has been at the core of the Economics of Mutuality, a new school of thought and management innovation based on in-depth academic research, management education, and intense business practice led by the Economics of Mutuality team, Mars and Oxford University’s Saïd Business School since 2007.

The 2021 Oxford University book Putting Purpose Into Practice: the Economics of Mutuality, co-edited by Oxford Professor Colin Mayer and former Mars Chief Economist Bruno Roche, is an important milestone in this endeavour. It includes breakthrough theoretical developments and practical case studies across geographies and business situations. It was translated into Chinese and published by China Translation and Publishing House 中国中译出版社 in mid-2022.

The results described in the book are stunning. For business to significantly outperform, it must integrate impact as a driver of value creation, not as a variable that measures collateral damages. In other words, successful business leaders and investors must no longer focus exclusively on short-term profit maximization within the boundaries of their firms (which is not even within their interests) but instead on creating mutual value for multiple stakeholders outside the firm and across financial and non-financial forms of capital – the so-called ESG space.

At the heart of this breakthrough emerges new modes of profit construction (i.e., the notion of True Profit Maximization vs. Financial Profit) and a new relationship between business, society, the environment, and work.

The co-editors hope that this book will trigger a great interest among Chinese-speaking leaders committed to the Common Prosperity agenda —  and encourage them to join, contribute, and further develop the Economics of Mutuality movement with Chinese characteristics.

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