The current essay is a review of the article written by M. Porter and M. Kramer ‘Creating Shared Value: How to Reinvent Capitalism and Unleash a Wave of Innovation and Growth’. The article concentrates on the new possible ways of organizations’ development. The authors emphasize on the importance of values shared by the community and organizations, as the necessary core of organization activity. The crucial elements of implementing shared values are provided, as well as the ways of their implementation. The review is an attempt at identifying the key notions and strategies of the article and evaluating them as viable ways of the successful future development of organizations.
The corporate strategy used by many companies is aiming at short-term profits with little regard to social needs and interests. The society is usually viewed by organizations as a number of consumers for their goods and services through whom they earn money. Companies make certain attempts to suit social needs only as a way of creating a positive image in the eyes of the customers, not to solve social issues. But the authors of the article view social needs as a means of profiting both the public and the company, creating not short-term but long-term sustainable benefits. The article seems very timely, as despite the dramatic efforts the companies made to overcome the recent financial crisis, not all of them have embarked on a successful course, the article identifies social needs, provides a possible solution to their, as well as societies problems.
The article starts by identifying the problems that the traditional ways of conducting business have encountered. The stated reason for this is that companies do not try to stop overlooking the needs of the society in which they function. Capitalism is a promising model but it possibly will not make a new step to advance. Shared values are defined as a policy or a practice which emphasized the importance of both the competitiveness of a company and improving economic and social conditions in which it operates. Authors point out reinterpreting markets and products, redetermining productivity in the value chain, as well as creating supportive industry clusters at the company locations, as crucial ways of implementing shared values in the organization’s operational strategy. Reinterpreting markets and products deals with assessment of the needs society has and making attempts at meeting them. There are many aspects of this issue which include employee safety, health and training, a more effective usage of water and energy resources, the impact the company makes on the environment. For example, by proving safe working conditions and health insurance, the company saves costs which would be lost when the worker is absent from work due to health conditions. Redetermining the value chain productivity refers to including social issues among the most important values of the organization. This refers to energy and resource use, procurement, distribution and location. Here, the emphasis lies on gaining advantage of local suppliers by supporting and giving them opportunities to increase their quality and help local communities prosper; this also saves companies the huge costs for transportation paid if the companies divisions are far from each other. Enabling local cluster development refers to the supporting companies and the infrastructure in the location of the company. Companies support the local community by improving clusters and helping their supportive businesses and local suppliers. In conclusion, the authors emphasize on the crucial role of share values in the development of capitalism.
The article is of high interest as it casts a fresh and original look on the functioning of organizations concentrating on shared values. The authors give ample evidence in support of their arguments which are further strengthened by the provided famous and successful organizations which have implemented shared values in their operation. The authors do not simply state general and vague ideas on the topic of the article, but show in-depth understanding of the issue and provide necessary steps on the way of implementing shared values in organization, the importance of these steps, which are illustrated by practical examples of real companies. All in all, the article is well constructed and convincing; it makes it seem that shared values are a brilliant tool for achieving corporate success. Despite all the strengths of the argument put forth by M. Porter and M. Kramer, the ideas of the articles should be carefully considered. Their idea is liked to gain wide support as it emphasized the importance of simple people for organizational success, but shared values are not a magical cure for all the problems and their implementation should be carefully planned when it comes to the practical experience.
To conclude, the article puts forth a very interesting notion of shared values which is likely to gain wide support. The article is well organized the authors’ point of view is clearly stated and well supported by strong convincing arguments and examples, most of which come from the practical experience of big and famous companies. Further study of the importance of implementing shared values in corporate strategies seems a viable way of discovering of the new ways of benefiting both companies and the general public, as the authors state that by implementing them companies gain long-term sustainable income while making the world a better place.
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