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Corporate Responsibility for Wealth Creation and Human Rights
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  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Expected online publication date: December 2020
  • Print publication year: 2020
  • Online ISBN: 9781108913966
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Book description

Georges Enderle proposes a radically new understanding of corporate responsibility in the global and pluralistic context. This book introduces a framework that integrates the ideas of wealth creation and human rights, which is illustrated by multiple corporate examples, and provides a sharp critique of the maximizing shareholder value ideology. By defining the purpose of business enterprises as creating wealth in a comprehensive sense, encompassing natural, economic, human and social capital while respecting human rights, Enderle draws attention to the fundamental importance of public wealth, without which private wealth cannot be created. This framework further identifies the limitations of the market institution and self-regarding motivations by demonstrating that the creation of public wealth requires collective actors and other-regarding motivations. In line with the UN's Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, this book provides clear ethical guidance for businesses around the world and a strong voice against human right violations, especially in repressive and authoritarian regimes and populist and discriminatory environments.


‘Enderle builds important bridges for a comprehensive understanding of corporate responsibility for companies operating in China and worldwide, illustrated with numerous case studies. Although written before the COVID-19 pandemic, the book proposes a comprehensive framework for wealth creation and human rights that is even more relevant after the crisis.'

Xiaohe Lu - Professor, Institute of Philosophy, Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences

‘Scholars for years have tried to untangle the gnarly Gordian Knot of business profit and human values. In this remarkable book, Georges Enderle welds a powerful axe balanced by human rights and wealth creation in order to cut the knot. His ingenious interpretation of ‘wealth creation' is one of the book's striking achievements. Other scholars have toyed with mixing wealth creation and values,  but none has achieved Ederle's level of sophistication.'

Thomas Donaldson - The Mark O. Winkelman Endowed Professor, The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania

‘A lucid, comprehensive analysis of the meaning of wealth and the relationships between human rights and wealth creation. The detailed case analyses provide practical insight into the challenges arising when corporations seek to generate wealth while protecting rights. The book is especially timely as nations, institutions, and individuals rethink wealth inequality in a post-pandemic world.'

Daryl Koehn - Professor and Wicklander Chair in Professional Ethics at DePaul University

‘Finally – the book we have all be waiting for. Professor Enderle has moved the field of business ethics exponentially forward by pushing our thinking beyond wealth creation to imagining commerce as a global interconnected phenomenon that takes into account extensive human and organizational value creation. He then links the globalization of commerce to a rights-based framework that Enderle summarizes as ‘corporate responsibility for creating wealth and respecting human rights'. In the 21st century dialogue this book brings together both the globalization of commerce and its ethical challenges in a refreshing innovative manner that will change the conversation in business ethics profoundly. ‘

Patricia Werhane - Professor Emeritus, Darden School of Business

‘Corporate Responsibility for Wealth Creation and Human Rights is pathbreaking book arriving at just the right time. George Enderle has written a book that integrates decades of work in business ethics, human rights, economics, and corporate responsibility. In elegant and easy to read prose, Enderle smashes the scholarly barriers separating these fields. The book offers an unabashedly global perspective just when many national leaders are preaching isolation and turning inward. Enderle's highly original and exciting ideas about wealth creation and public wealth will set the agenda for debates about the role and purpose of business for years to come. Many scholars, politicians, and policy wonks these days talk about ‘reinventing capitalism', but by describing many real-world examples, Enderle shows us what an ethical and sustainable economy might actually look like. It is a Utopian book in the finest sense of the word – imagining a future that is within our grasp if only we learn how to align our economic institutions with justice and human rights.'

Michael A. Santoro - Professor, Santa Clara University, and Co-Editor, Business and Human Rights Journal

‘Enderle challenges corporations to put respecting and remedying human rights in the front and center of corporate responsibility along with creating wealth in a comprehensive sense. By providing an expanded definition of wealth to include natural, human and social capital in addition to economic capital, Enderle meticulously explains how corporate responsibility contributes further to the common good by producing both private and public goods. The book gives a comprehensive, nuanced, occasionally surprising and at the end a convincing analysis that the purpose of corporations goes beyond meeting the needs of shareholders and stakeholders. I recommend it to anyone who seeks a comprehensive understanding of corporate responsibility in this pluralistic and globally connected world where humanity's existence is under threat. Business leaders, students and scholars will find nuggets of wisdom throughout the book. It provides not only food for thought for the curious-minded but actional ideas to business leaders who aspire to contribute to a just and sustainable world for both now and future generations.'

Anne S. Tsui - Motorola Professor Emerita of International Management, Arizona State University

‘Enderle promises a radically new understanding of corporate responsibility in the global context – and he delivers. He combines a comprehensive notion of wealth creation with the normative urgency of human rights to form an innovative new yardstick to understand and assess the role of corporations in a globalized world. A relevant and passionate book!'

Florian Wettstein - Professor and Director, Institute for Business Ethics University of St Gallen


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