Higher Ground: How Business Can Do the Right Thing in a Turbulent World

Higher Ground book cover

By Alison Taylor

Today's headlines are full of employee unrest over racial injustice, communities infuriated by corporate environmental impacts, staff anxiety over surveillance, and discoveries of child labor in supply chains. We’ve traveled far and fast from the old world of business ethics, where black-and-white concerns about bribery and fraud could be addressed with rules and processes. Simply maximizing shareholder value while not breaking the law is no longer an option, but we've never been so confused about what it means to do the right thing.

In this eye-opening, indispensable book, NYU Stern Professor Alison Taylor argues that amid stakeholder demands and transparency pressures, we can no longer treat ethics as a legal and reputational defense mechanism. Leaders at Davos and the Business Roundtable have called for a new corporate responsibility paradigm, but how to implement their ideas remains an open question as organizations struggle in an atmosphere of heightened expectations and intense suspicion. Offering vivid stories and examples, Taylor brings this complex, risky environment alive to provide a blueprint for how leaders should rethink and reshape their practices. How can CEOs cut through the noise to set robust environmental and social priorities? When should they speak out on contentious social and political issues—and how? What does it really take to build a healthy organizational culture? How are we to approach corporate values when society is so divided?

Higher Ground will show leaders how business can navigate this messy paradigm shift, build trust, and achieve long-term strategic advantage in a turbulent world.

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