In Search of a Reconciliation between Business and Society
The "Centre des Jeunes Dirigeants d'entreprise"1 (CJD, France) has just released a study. According to its National President, Didier Livio, this is the brainchild of an anger born from the divorce between business and society.
"For twenty years", D. Livio explains, "business has consumed society in the quest for profits". In his preface, he denounces "the unbearable contradiction between our economic performance and our social fractures". "We have driven ourselves into a corner," he adds. For enterprises will be unable to thrive for long in a society menaced by an erosion of social links and increasing inequalities in a State which is impoverished by loss of meaning, standards and collective goals".
The CJD rejects the idea that new economic growth could re-absorb unemployment and allow us to go back to the "trente glorieuses". In fact the CJD is lobbying for a new social contract, going much further than the prevalent discourse on "citizen-enterprises". It wants to pave the way to a new circle of virtue, to management of the economy for the benefit of man.
We reproduce here chapter 2 of the CJD study (put together, I stress, by business leaders). It starts by a description of the four fundamental mutations faced by business (mutations in consumption markets, information technology and communication).
The authors then attempt to explain the challenge of globalisation and its indispensable corollary, the respect for diversity, starting with the forms of activity and the spaces of socialisation.
They conclude with a vibrant plea for autonomy and responsability, laying out very concretely what this means in terms of organisation and management of enterprises, as well as types of work, ways of life and the functioning of the city.