An Ecosystem and a Sharing Philosophy
Edited by Joanne B. Ciulla and Tobey K. Scharding
Joanne B. Ciulla and Tobey K. Scharding
These are troubling times on both sides of the Atlantic. Immigration, Brexit, terrorism, the financial crisis, the election of Donald Trump, and the emergence of nationalism in the US and Europe have created ethical challenges for business leaders as well as most others. Populist political leaders have tapped into the feelings of voters who have been ignored by leaders, left behind during globalization, replaced at work by new technologies, and disheartened by social legislation in areas such as gay marriage and abortion. While some citizens in the US and Europe believed that the world was getting better, others silently watched in dismay. Meanwhile, we also see an increase in xenophobia, racism, antisemitism, and Islamophobia. The increasingly polarized political environment has made it difficult for leaders to reach a consensus about how to best tackle pressing questions about immigration, human rights, the environment, and the regulation of business and new technologies. This is a challenging environment, one where business leaders may sometimes be called upon to decide where they stand. In a speech, Apple CEO Tim Cook said, “The reality is that government, for a long period of time, has for whatever set of reasons become less functional and isn’t working at the speed that it once was. And so it does fall, I think, not just on business but on all other areas of society to step up” (Sorkin, 2017). His comment raises a cluster of foundational questions about Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and the role of business in turbulent times: Who should be responsible for what in a society? What are the responsibilities of businesses and business leadership to society? Moreover, do the responsibilities of businesses increase when there are social and political problems? And finally, what does it mean for a business to “step up”?
In the past two decades, social capital in its various forms and contexts has emerged as one of the most salient concepts in social sciences. While much excitement has been generated, divergent views, perspectives, and expectations have also raised the serious question: is it fad or does it have enduring qualities that will herald a new intellectual enterprise? The purpose of this chapter is to review social capital as discussed in the literature, identify controversies and debates, consider some critical issues, and propose conceptual and research strategies for building a theory.
Nan Lin and Yanjie Bian
This article argues that structural segmentation is a universal phenomenon in all complex societies and across political economies. Each political economy uses specific criteria in delineating segments of its economic and work organizations. Furthermore, it is argued that segmentation identification constitutes a critical destination status for individuals engaged in the status-attainment process.
Edited by Ronald S. Burt, Yanjie Bian, Lijun Song and Nan Lin
There are moments in the order of things during which scholarly thinking takes a turn. What was a productive way of looking at things is put aside in transition to something new. The transition is occasionally based on solid evidence, sometimes an escape from boredom, perhaps too often it is a group of scholars hoping to find identity by institutionalizing new words. Whatever the reason for it, the transition puts a spotlight on individual character. The conservative hangs onto the old, peeled away eventually at death’s door. The faddish jumps on the new, nervously eyeing the horizon for the next something new. Thankfully there are also people - in some circles known as entrepreneurs, or creatives, or network brokers - for whom transition is an opportunity to mix bits of the old and new to better understand the world.
After I successfully defended my dissertation, my committee members congratulated me. One of them said, “Nan, you should feel good. This is probably the high point of your knowledge!” I was shocked because I was impatient to finish the dissertation so that I could move on to a number of projects. I felt that there was so much more to be learned, and I was eager to learn it. His remarks taught me a great lesson: while respecting and learning from senior scholars and authorities, never accept their wisdom in their entirety. For the next five decades I followed this lesson and continued to benefit from it. In this reminiscent chapter, I recount some of the highlights of my lifelong learning and share this pleasure with the readers.