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On Value and Values

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On Value and Values

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Description

  • Copyright 2004
  • Edition: 1st
  • Book
  • ISBN-10: 0-13-715513-1
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-13-715513-2

"OnValue and Values by Doug Smith is a radiant, intelligent, wonderfullyreadable book. It is part adventure story in the spirit of RobertPirsig's Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, part guidebook forAmerican leaders like In Search of Excellence by Tom Peters and RobertWaterman. This impressive book will challenge everyone who reads it andgive them a blueprint for changing their lives. Virtually every part ofAmerican life has become a marketplace, with the pursuit of prosperitydriving out an appreciation of principle. Smith explains how ourunderstanding about the relationship between these elementary conceptshas been turned inside out. As a compelling alternative, he shows howthe pursuit of personal values we hold dear allows us to increase allkinds of value in our lives."

--Lincoln Caplan, Editor and President, Legal Affairs magazine
"In the grand tradition of Aristotle's Politics, Alexis deTocqueville's Democracy in America, and Robert Putman's Bowling Alone,Doug Smith's book On Value and Values is a passionately written,ethically informed, and carefully researched social commentary. Like hisillustrious predecessors, Smith demands that we think differently aboutwhat community means in our own times. Yet unlike most writers concernedwith building community, Smith is unburdened by nostalgia orsentimentality--this book looks forward to a challenging tomorrow, notbackwards at a lost yesterday. Based on deep thought and on an equallydeep practical knowledge of how modern organizations really work, DougSmith teaches us why we may hope for a bright future and what we need todo in order to get there. I will recommend this book to my students--as Irecommend it to everyone seeking to conjoin material success and ethicalvalues in the 21st century."

--Professor Josiah Ober, Department ofClassics and Center for Human Values, Princeton University
"Talking heads on both the Right and the Left toss around the word'community' these days without bothering to explain what they mean. NowDoug Smith has really worked through what respect, trust and opencommunication within non-hierarchical settings can deliver in terms ofproductivity, institutional responsiveness, and recovered vitality forthe polis. This is a profoundly democratic essay, written withimagination and verve, from someone who clearly cares about goodmanagement but who cares even more about the democratic promise."

--Rev. Peter Laarman, Senior Minister, Judson Memorial Church, NewYork City, and founder of The Accountability Campaign
Meaning, not just money: Living better lives in a better world

Have we become half human, half dollar?

Our grandparents lived their lives in families, neighborhoods,towns, and nations. We live ours in organizations, markets, networks . .. sharing life with millions of people we know less well, yet dependupon every day. We build value . . . and worry about values.

What is the meaning and direction of our lives in this differentworld? What do we owe each other now? How do we share responsibility fora future that will not shame our children? Writing with courage, andwithout illusion, Doug Smith helps us answer questions like these . . .and offers us a clear path forward.

This book is about bringing value and values back together in ourorganizations, our markets, our networks, our entire lives. It's aboutreinvigorating old values that can still work for us . . . withoutimposing ideologies from a mythical past. It's about leading good,honorable, and fulfilling lives where we are now . . . and building abetter world out of the one we actually live in.

  • Values that work for the 21st century--Personal and organizational ethics for an age of markets in which we act as employees, consumers,investors, and networkers
  • Shared values, paths, roles, status, and fates--What we share, what we don't, and what it means to take responsibility for the fate of our planet
  • Reintegrating our fragmentary lives--How markets and organizations divide value from values--and how we can put them back together
  • Rebuilding democracy: beyond anger, apathy, and proceduralism-- Healing democracy and extending it to where we really live together
Reconnecting money and values . . . in our lives, our work, our world
  • Revitalizing old values for the radically different world we actually live in
  • How money and ethics were driven so far apart--and what we can do about it
  • Living a good life in our organizations, markets, networks, and friends and families
  • Beyond individualism only: reinvigorating both the "we" and the "I" in our societies, institutions, and politics
  • Taking shared responsibility for making our world safer and saner

Our values and our realities have come apart at the seams. It's timeto put them back together. We were taught 19th century values for a lifeof neighborhoods and extended families, but we're living in 21st centuryorganizations, networks, and global markets in a world that measureseverything in money. That's why we struggle to find meaning . . . tolive a good life . . . to make our societies work. This book is aboutrevitalizing our values for our world. It's about building good andhonorable lives, stronger and more courageous relationships where we are. . . not fantasizing a return to some lost golden age. It's aboutfinding a new vision for ourselves and our institutions, so we can goforward, not back . . . and succeed morally, not just financially.

Sample Content

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments.


Preface.



 1. On Value and Values.


 2. A World of Purposes, not Places.


 3. The Split.


 4. Explaining Values.


 5. Shared Paths.


 6. Consumers and Employees.


 7. Investors.


 8. Ideas and Purposes, 1.


 9. Ideas and Purposes, 2.


10. Civil Society.


11. Community.


12. Democracy.


13. Governance and Problem Solving.


14. The Greatest Good and the Common Good.


15. Capital and Caring.


16. So What?


17. Illustrative Suggestions.


Index.

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