CSR and leadership: can China lead a new paradigm shift? [Book Review]

Globally, corporate social responsibility (CSR) needs to find its sustainable development via the recognition of tangible benefits that CSR will bring to organizations and their stakeholders. The less tangible but likely most important benefit lies in the continual improved leadership and management quality emerging from organizations investing in CSR. Companies’ failure to act in a CSR way and the lack of wise leadership and quality management is a dominant root factor in the past scandals and financial crisis. Looking at current interactions between Chinese companies and their various influencing environmental, society and government (ESG) factors, many of the motivational drivers for Western companies to invest in CSR are today still being challenged here based on China’s market specifics. More rapid development of the regulatory framework with adequate enforcement resources, as well as incorporation of CSR “value” education at universities can accelerate this needed development. In the short term, foreign companies as “guests” of China should also be a catalyst as role models. Apart from a foreign investor’s actions, it is equally important to acknowledge and address local China challenges remaining to provide the right climate for a foreign company’s CSR programs to be successfully executed here. The world is at a cross roads of a new value-based leadership paradigm. With global interdependence accelerating and hence, management and leadership complexity expanding, there is a need for a new leadership model, bringing “common wisdom” more pronounced to the forefront, arising from a renewed focus and strengthening of an aligned set of values between family, society, and corporate life. China’s unique demographic challenges and economic progress provide a fertile environment to lead the world in this development
Keywords CSR  Leadership  Wisdom  CSR drivers  China challenges  Regulatory development  Paradigm shift  Society values
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DOI 10.1007/s13520-011-0007-z
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