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Earth EEs/EHEs; Planetary Consciousness
Record Type: Review   ID: 58

The Fourth Wave: Business in the 21st Century

Maynard, Herman Bryant, Jr., & Mehrtens, Susan E.

 The authors present a vision of the role of business today and in the future based on five years of research interviewing leaders in business. They observed a turning away from traditional business practices toward more enlightened ways but also some who were cynical about the future. In this book they define "a new set of goalposts, which we refer to as the Fourth Wave: They reflect leading-edge thinking on the needed role for business in the world" (p. xii). Following Alvin Toffler, they envisage the Fourth Wave as "the integration of all dimensions of life and responsibility for the whole [as]...the central foci of our society. The recognition of the identity of all living systems will give rise to new ways of relating and interacting that nourishes both humans and nonhumans" (p. xiv). They necessarily must begin with the world changes that require the Fourth Wave. The first chapter presents "Hallmarks of a Changing World" and signs of an emerging Fourth Wave are chronicled in the next chapter. The keystone for chapters 4-10 is described in chapter 3, in which a new role is outlined for business—covered in the remaining chapters, entitled "Corporate Wealth Redefined," "Evolving Forms of Corporate Structure," "The Corporation as Community," "Ecology and Economics: Towards a Common Cause," Use of Appropriate Technology," "Leadership in the Area of Biopolitics," and "Business in the Twentieth Century." In addition to the bibliography there is a list of suggested readings. This visionary work is also a practical guide to a sustainable future—enabling people to fulfill their true business as humans beings of the planet Earth.
Publisher Information:San Francisco, CA: Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 1993. 218p. Bibl: 177-204; 6 figs; Index: 205-217; Suggested readings: 171-176; 18 tables
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