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The Hungry Spirit : Beyond Capitalism - A Quest for Purpose in the Modern World

Charles Handy

Retail Price: $19.00
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Format: Paperback, 267pp.
ISBN: 9780767901888
Publisher: Broadway Books
Pub. Date: Reprint edition (January 1999)

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Description and Reviews
From The Publisher:

In The Hungry Spirit, one of the most visionary business thinkers of our age offers a powerful argument for reexamining the role of work in our lives and discovering what we are truly meant to do and to be. Calling on individuals and organizations to find purpose in the journey we take rather than focusing on money and profits, which are simply the means to keep us going, Handy shows how we can all better ourselves and our companies while also contributing to a decent society. As an oil executive, world-renowned economist, consultant, and professor at the London Business School, Handy himself was once no stranger to the trappings and fortunes of capitalism. But several years ago, Handy realized that he, like many of us, had placed too much significance on job titles and career success to the exclusion of his family, friends, and, especially, the fulfillment of his need to become a complete person, not just a worker slaving away in corporate machinery. He set about looking for what he calls his "white stone" - a symbol of the higher self that represents our true destiny, what you can become when you don't let titles and money and societal pressures get in the way. Just as Handy urges all of us to seek our "white stone" and take greater responsibility for shaping our lives, he also entreats companies and organizations to push themselves to new heights by sticking to a clear-cut purpose. Companies, like individuals, can only grow if they embrace risk and break rules and attract people looking to turn dreams and new ideas into businesses that consumers and investors are excited about. Rather than trying to rally coworkers around a quarterly profit goal, companies must treat employees as citizens, as well as behaving as corporate citizens within the wider community. Handy calls for corporations to take a greater role in upholding the moral structure of society and to use their power to distribute knowledge and wealth to those who need the opportunity to develop.

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About the Author

Widely recognized as one of Britain's top-tier management writers, Charles Handy is the author of six highly acclaimed business books, including The Age of Unreason, The Age of Paradox, and Beyond Certainty. Educated at Oxford and MIT, he has been an executive of the Shell Oil Company and a professor at the London Business School, where he was one of the early faculty. He and his wife divide their time among London and Norfolk, England, and Tuscany, Italy.

Table of Contents
A Personal Preface
PART AA Creaking Capitalism
1. The Limits of Markets
Too much was expected of them
2. When Efficiency Is Ineffective
When too much of a good thing is bad
3. The Baby in the Bathwater
The essentials of capitalism
PART BA Life of Our Own
4. The Age of Personal Sovereignty
We are all on our own now
5. Proper Selfishness
Individualism can be responsible
6. The Search for Meaning
Life as a journey of self-discovery
7. The Necessity of Others
"I" needs "we" to be "I"
PART CTowards a Decent Society
8. A Better Capitalism
Re-inventing capitalism
9. The Citizen Company
A different sort of business
10. A Proper Education
Education for personal responsibility
11. A Part for Government
Government as servant
An Epilogue

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