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Shared value

Dr Barbara Jamieson, Senior Teaching Fellow

Faculty Blog

Money Scales

Money Scales (Photo credit: Images_of_Money)

Recently the Chartered Institute of Marketing sponsored a debate at the House of Commons; the motion: “Social responsibility claims by businesses amount to little more than posturing to gain competitive advantage”.

This debate comes in the aftermath of some widely publicised scandals in the UK in which, despite claims of fair-handedness and altruistic ambition, several “socially minded” businesses have apparently been exploiting legal loopholes to pay less tax in the UK.

No better time then to revisit Michael Porter and Mark Kramer’s principle of shared value  – the creation of economic value in a way that also creates value for society.

Of course none of this is new. It was back in 1951 that Frank Abrams, Chairman of the Board Standard Oil (now Exxon) famously declared:

“Business managers can more effectively contribute to the solution of the many complex social problems of our time. There is no higher responsibility, there is no higher duty of professional management.”

Plus ça change.