Download The Enlightened Capitalists: Cautionary Tales of Business Pioneers Who Tried to Do Well by Doing Good Audiobook

The Enlightened Capitalists: Cautionary Tales of Business Pioneers Who Tried to Do Well by Doing Good Audiobook, by James O’Toole Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: James O’Toole, James O'Toole Narrator: David Marantz Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: February 2019 ISBN: 9780062896582
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An expert on ethical leadership analyzes the complicated history of business people who tried to marry the pursuit of profits with virtuous organizational practices—from British industrialist Robert Owen to American retailer John Cash Penney and jeans maker Levi Strauss to such modern-day entrepreneurs Anita Roddick and Tom Chappell.

Today’s business leaders are increasingly pressured by citizens, consumers, and government officials to address urgent social and environmental issues. Although some corporate executives remain deaf to such calls, over the last two centuries, a handful of business leaders in America and Britain have attempted to create business organizations that were both profitable and socially responsible.

In The Enlightened Capitalists, James O’Toole tells the largely forgotten stories of men and women who adopted forward-thinking business practices designed to serve the needs of their employees, customers, communities, and the natural environment. They wanted to prove that executives didn’t have to make trade-offs between profit and virtue.

Combining a wealth of research and vivid storytelling, O’Toole brings life to historical figures like William Lever, the inventor of bar soap who created the most profitable company in Britain and used his money to greatly improve the lives of his workers and their families. Eventually, he lost control of the company to creditors who promptly terminated the enlightened practices he had initiated—the fate of many idealistic capitalists.

As a new generation attempts to address social problems through enlightened organizational leadership, O’Toole explores a major question being posed today in Britain and America: Are virtuous corporate practices compatible with shareholder capitalism?

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A meticulous and captivating study of business leaders throughout history…This comprehensive and thoughtful study of the often troubled relationship between business and benevolence will provide readers unexpected food for thought.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “A tapestry of remarkable characters, high drama, and entertaining story arcs for leaders of businesses large and small.”

    Kirkus Reviews

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About the Author

James O’Toole was chairman of the task force that created Work in America. He is Research Professor in the Center for Effective Organizations at USC. Formerly Executive VP of the Aspen Institute, he has published thirteen books and over seventy articles. He lives in San Francisco and Malibu.

About the Narrator

David Marantz is a voice talent and Earphones Award–winning narrator.