01 Mar 2005


Ideas: Books


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Social Partnering in Latin America

Social Partnering in Latin America
by James Austin, Ezequiel Reficco, Gabriel Berger, Rosa María Fischer, Roberto Gutierrez, Mladen Koljatic, Gerardo Lozano, Enrique Ogliastri, and the SEKN Team
(Harvard University Press)

Professor Austin and his coauthors (a Social Enterprise Knowledge Network research team) examine 24 cases of collaboration between businesses and nonprofit organizations in Mexico (a food bank and an American supermarket), Colombia, Chile (a pharmacy chain and an elder-care home), Argentina (a newspaper and a solidarity network), Brazil, Nicaragua, and Peru. The authors analyze why such partnerships occur and show how they are improving social conditions across Latin America as well as creating value for businesses. The Social Enterprise Knowledge Network is a collaboration among HBS, the AVINA Foundation, and leading business schools in Latin America and Spain.


Bananas and Business

Bananas and Business
by Marcelo Bucheli
(New York University Press)

Based on research in the archives of the United Fruit Company in Colombia, Bucheli, a Newcomen Fellow in Business History at HBS, disproves the idea that the firm was always a powerful corporation that exploited its host countries. He finds that while before 1930 the Colombian government granted United Fruit generous concessions and helped repress labor unionism, after 1930 the company, responding to growing nationalism, a stronger labor movement, and increasing demands from local leaders for a share in its profits, sold its plantations to local growers, transforming itself into a marketing company. The firm’s shareholders opted for lower risks but also lower profits.


Multinationals and Global Capitalism

Multinationals and Global Capitalism
by Geoffrey Jones
(Oxford University Press)

Professor Jones surveys the growth and role of multinational corporations over the last 200 years: how they pursued resources and markets across borders in the 19th century, coped with the global economy’s collapse between the two world wars, and are driving the world economy as the colossal enterprises of today. Jones discusses the political, ethical, cultural, and organizational challenges multinational managers have met while doing business across borders. An appendix lists the top fifty nonfinancial multinationals in 2001, ranked by their foreign assets.

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