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School Hosts Celebrated Author and Harvard Professor Rosabeth Moss Kanter

October 12, 2009
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Tough economic times should promote new ways of economic thinking.  That’s the message in Rosabeth Moss Kanter’s new book Supercorp: How Vanguard Companies Create Innovation.

On October 9, the celebrated author and Harvard professor visited the School of Business to speak about her book and host a book signing for students, faculty and alumni. Kanter, who holds the Ernest L. Arbuckle Professorship at Harvard Business School, has written 18 books. In her newest book, Kanter shows how companies that project humanistic values and promote social responsibility come out on top of their peers, findings she discussed in her presentation at the School.

“If at the heart of business strategy there is a sense of purpose and the greater good and the view that society ought to be thought of everyday in the business, it will make businesses more innovative and more profitable and at the same time make them better for the world,” said Kanter.  “Right now is the perfect time to think differently because of the global financial crisis.”

In her book, Kanter promotes the idea of socially conscious business by pointing to businesses that are helping society through their everyday practices.  Kanter listed a number of socially responsible and successful companies, including IBM, which has worked closely with schools and emerging businesses in South Africa, and Procter and Gamble, which has helped raise the quality of life in India and other developing nations.

“It makes sense when you think about it because the entire purpose of businesses is fulfilling other people’s needs, so helping society through your business would be good business practice,” said one student.

“This event symbolizes what [the School of Business] is doing as we work with socially responsible companies to promote social responsibility and social entrepreneurship,” said Dean Barbara Kahn.

After speaking, Kanter took time to answer questions, talk with people individually, and sign copies of Supercorp.

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