Book Review: Whole Foods Co-CEO John Mackey's Conscious Capitalism

Author: Christine Bader (Visiting Scholar, Columbia University), Huffington Post blog, Published on: 29 January 2013

Conscious Capitalism speaks some truths that are too often left unsaid. But the book falls prey to the same fatal flaw of other business books and CEO treatises: namely, promotion of an oversimplified framework that ignores the complexities of the real world...[It]...puts forth arguments...that caring for workers, communities, and the environment is not...a distraction from fiduciary duty, but actually "the best way to optimize long-term profits and long-term shareholder value."...Surprisingly, the book ignores two specific actions by Whole Foods that demonstrate how a company can do good with its market power...[Removing] Scharffen Berger chocolate from its shelves following concerns about child labor in its supply chain...[and partnering] with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers to address exploitation of tomato pickers in Florida. Analysis of those two decisions, including the voices of the employees, activists, and communities involved, would have been more valuable to those interested in sustainable business than the well-meaning rhetoric of Conscious Capitalism. [Also refers to Apple, Altria, Google, Hershey's, Philip Morris USA (part of Altria)]

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Related companies: Altria Apple Google (part of Alphabet) Hershey Philip Morris USA (part of Altria) Whole Foods Market (part of Amazon)