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The Road to Co-operation: Escaping the Bottom Line

Gordon Pearson



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Ashgate Publishing Limited
28 April 2012
Corporate governance & responsibilities
This critical and informed protest against the absurdity and dishonesty of neoclassical economic theory as it has progressed through the 20th century down to the present, sheds new light on the predicament faced in 2012. In The Road to Co-operation, Pearson highlights the dangers of using unrealistic mathematical models of human, organisational and market behaviour to guide policy prescriptions. He shows the damage done to real economies, markets, firms and people, by the unwarranted trust in unregulated markets, proclaimed by Friedman and colleagues, promulgated by academia and adopted by the financial-political-corporate nexus, now dominant in Anglo-American jurisdictions. Though real markets work better than known alternatives, Pearson makes the crucial distinction between the real and the speculative-financial, where totally different realities apply. Failure to make that distinction has transformed financial sectors from supportive of the real economy, to exploitative and sometimes fraudulent. Pearson provides a comparative analysis of corporate governance theory, law, and practice in different jurisdictions, including the self-destruction of post-mature Anglo-American governance with the more robust custom and practice in the industrial economies of Germany and Japan and emerging economies of China and India, which all exercise care for their real economic strengths and provide object lessons for governance in UK and US. The Road to Co-operation proposes realistic changes in policy and practice, in the context of sustainability, which would be prerequisite to recapturing real long term economic success on a co-operative and non-exploitative foundation. It will be invaluable for today's business faculty, students and practitioners as well as the 'madmen in authority'.
By:   Gordon Pearson
Imprint:   Ashgate Publishing Limited
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Edition:   New edition
Dimensions:   Height: 246mm,  Width: 174mm,  Spine: 18mm
Weight:   454g
ISBN:   9781409448303
ISBN 10:   1409448304
Pages:   276
Publication Date:   28 April 2012
Audience:   College/higher education ,  Primary
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

With a long industrial and academic experience, Gordon Pearson has carved out a distinctive position focusing on the impacts of economic and behavioural theory on the practical realities of business management. His practitioner experience in manufacturing extended to general and strategic management. His PhD focused on innovation and identified strategy and culture as critical. This is his seventh book and follows The Rise and Fall of Management, also published by Gower in 2009. Read his blog at

Reviews for The Road to Co-operation: Escaping the Bottom Line

'I simply loved reading this book. While some of the subject matter was familiar territory (as a former Chief Executive, for eleven years, of the New Economics Foundation), I thought it was wonderfully written with a deft touch and very great authority. The result is something that is a real contemporary classic, in terms of articulating the case for an economy that, as the title echoes, can generate shared and sustainable freedom.' Ed Mayo, Secretary General, Co-operatives-UK 'In an era when management is celebrated and damned in equal measure, it is exciting to find a book which offers sensible but radical suggestions for actually doing something about it. Gordon Pearson's diagnosis of the problems of short term shareholder focus and management greed are spot on, and this is a book I would recommend to anyone who wants to build a collective and fairer future.' Professor Martin Parker, Warwick Business School, Warwick University. 'For anybody who thought that maximising shareholder value is and should be the main focus of our understanding of governance and business, think again! Pearson provides a cogent, entertaining and thoroughly compelling critique of governance and corporate policy while offering practical alternatives for a post credit crisis world'. David Leece, Professor of Financial studies, Manchester Metropolitan University Business School 'Gordon Pearson's The Road to Cooperation is a lucid critique of the cult of neo-liberal economic orthodoxy and its celebration of 'maximising shareholder value'. Particularly telling is the contrast with the view of Adam Smith that self-interest should be gauged over the longer term. I unhesitatingly recommend this book.' Philip Whiteley Subject Matter Expert for the Chartered Management Institute. 'Pearson mounts a convincing critique of the neoclassical economic foundations of management theory and makes a compelling case for a new cooperative economic paradigm. This should be required reading for business academics and practitioners seriously interested in reversing the damage done to business and society by erroneous theory and practice.' Peter Lawrence, Emeritus Professor, Keele Management School 'This fascinating book offers a provocative reappraisal of the role of enterprise management in the worlds advanced and advancing economies. Eschewing economic rhetoric, Gordon Pearson provides a refreshing re-analysis of the theory and practice of management in which, on the one hand, he confronts head-on the nature of greed in corporate life and, on the other, suggests opportunities arising for, and the virtues of, increased cooperation. Characterised by clarity, depth and insight the book should be required reading for those who seek to shape and regulate the economic environment.' John Hassard, Professor of Organizational Analysis, Manchester University

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