“Who cares wins – why good business is better business” by David Jones is a welcome addition to the emerging cohort of literature on the impact of Social Media on 21st Century contemporary life. The book seeks to address one the most pressing questions of our time: how is the internet and more specifically, Social Media, shaping the future of business activity?
David Jones speaks from a wealth of experience in digital marketing, being the CEO of both Hanvas and Euro RSCG Worldwide – two prominent marketing agencies. He also helped in driving Kofi Annan’s ‘tck tck tck’ Campaign for Climate Justice and is also a Co-founder of One Young World, a non-profit organisation that gives a voice to up-and-coming leaders around the globe.
The book starts from the premise that today’s consumers are no longer just consumers, but prosumers – empowered by the vast amount of publicly found online information to make informed, moral decisions about their purchasing intentions. Decisions that are in line with each ‘prosumers’ set of values and beliefs. In this respect David Jones argues that businesses have to change their behaviour if they are to build long-term success in the digitalised marketplace, “Today, consumers, employees and now shareholders expect business to be more socially responsible. They are frustrated with how things are. They want change…Social media is creating what I believe will be a bigger transformation for business than the arrival of television”.
The book is written clearly and concisely, using a straightforward vocabulary that makes it accessible to a wide audience of readers – even those for whom English may not be the first language. Chapters 1 to 3 lay the groundwork in building the case for the advancement socially responsible business. Here David Jones argues that in our ever-changing, globalised marketplace, companies should strive to out-behave the competition, ‘transparency, authenticity and speed are the rules of modern business’. In this environment, a global company that pursues profit for profit’s sake is running a very risky business model. The consequences of unethical practices being exposed online may cause significant financial damage and in some cases, unrepairable reputational damage. Therefore, the most successful businesses in the future will be those that are most socially responsible.
The author continues to build the argument for ‘good business’ throughout the remainder of the book. Chapters 4 through 6 he discusses the idea of the rise of a new breed of entrepreneur, the social entrepreneur. A ‘social entrepreneur’ is an entrepreneur that puts social responsibility at the core of their business model. Yvon Chouinard, founder of Patagonia clothing or Anita Roddick of the Body Shop fall into this category. In this sense the author rightly argues that the key to making social responsibility mainstream is to ensure that it is both sustainable and financially profitable.
David Jones concludes in pressing the idea that today’s social media, data-driven digital world, access to new information is just a few clicks away. Therefore, it is increasingly likely that the most profitable and successful companies will be ones that operate and add value to their business ecosystem in a socially responsible way.
All being said, “Who cares wins – why good business is better business” by David Jones, builds a compelling empirical argument for good business. Critics might argue that it lacks any significant academic or theoretical analysis. However, the highly relevant case studies and practical examples make up for what it may lack in other departments.
A highly recommended read for anyone interested in understanding how the digital age is changing our world – hopefully for the better.
“Who cares wins – why good business is better business” by David Jones was first published in 2013 by Pearson (ISBN, 0273762974, 9780273762973).
Andrei Rogobete is the Associate Director of the Centre for Enterprise, Markets & Ethics. For more information about Andrei please click here.