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Future of Capitalism

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''The public trust in business and its leaders has never been lower. To restore trust, it is time for business leaders to embrace their own version of the doctor’s Hippocratic Oath, which shapes a common understanding of the role of business in society and the conduct expected of business leaders,'' wrote Nitin Nohria ( who has been named to take over as the Dean of the prestigious Harvard Business School) recently after critiquing the failure of leadership in the recent economic and corporate turmoil.

''Developing, adopting, and institutionalizing such an oath is not going to be easy. But there is no better or more important moment to try—because at stake is the very legitimacy of business leaders and the future of capitalism,'' he warned. His passion for the idea led to HBS students adopting a voluntary MBA oath.

For the full report in the TOI, click here

Capitalism will always re-invent itself (of course, in a democratic set up) to bring about the necessary checks and balances. The very fact that Mr Nohria, who has propounded such views, has been named for this most prestigeous post is indicative of that. And, that's why I find it more acceptable than Socialism, which invariably lands up as 'statism', which is synonimous with decay.

Muralidhar Rao



nanda_ramesh's picture

What is the Oath?

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Do we have a sample of the proposed Oath? That is needed first before any discussion can be had.

I believe any Oath that they come up with will have a number of contradictions with what Capitalism espouses! :)


Naveen's picture

India - The Lame Duck Democracy

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Capitalism will always re-invent itself (of course, in a democratic set up) to bring about the necessary checks and balances.

Generally true, but will this ever happen in India, I wonder. The indications are not encouraging - not by what has been occurring here far more routinely & frequently than anywhere else.

First, in the early 1990s, it was Harshad Mehta of Growmore that signalled the entry of the many multi-thousand crore scams. Several scams & spinoffs later, we have recently had the Satyam scam & the latest is the IPL fiasco - many more will follow, & for each that is exposed, there might be several more that lie hidden beneath the surface & out of public view.

With an overwhelming majority of our businessmen, politicians, bureaucrats & citizens that do not flinch at misappropriation, bribery, graft, misrepresentation & view these as something quite normal & routine in life, when & how will this country ever re-invent itself ?

Added to this, we have a "democratically elected" govt, that is almost almighty since it gets away without ever being held accountable for any wrong doing (Bofors is but one glaring example).

All this occurs because we, as a people are unworthy & do not deserve the freedom that we have through our democracy.


Take the case of Singapore or Malaysia or Thailand - these nations have not strictly been democratic - much of the freedom that we have & misuse were curtailed to people of these nations. However, their almost totalitarian leadership/s cared for their people. Their nations are far more prosperous than ours today, though the region had been referred to as the "backwaters" of Asia, & had been well behind India less than fifty years ago.

Take China - not democratic, but businesses are thriving there & western business heavyweights have been lining up for building roads, ports, dams, bridges, airports to building whole new cities to establishing new-age technologies for the country's long-term future.

Where do we stand today ? & what is in store for us ahead ? comment guidelines

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