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American culture, corporate culture, and the transformation of business practice: the role of social foresight in a restorative economy

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Abstract:

PurposeThe purpose of this paper is to clarify the role of American culture in social foresight as practiced by American futurists. It also seeks to describe how American culture has been expropriated by corporate culture, which is global. Finally, the paper seeks to depict various scenarios of the future of the USA and to consider an imperative of the futurist to reform the role of the professional futurist consultant in the capacity of social foresight that sets as its chief aim the transformation of business practice towards a sustainable, restorative economy. Design/methodology/approachThe paper is a critical approach to American and corporate culture by exposing major assumptions behind business ideology and practice. It also applies the same critical approach to the way futures has been practiced within the capitalist paradigm during the past 50 years. It is a civilisational critique that also points towards an integral solution for sustainable, restorative business practice. FindingsIt was found that superficial efforts at sustainable solutions will not be enough to manage the impending collapse of industrial civilization. What is required is a wholesale transformation that is indicative of a paradigm shift towards a natural capitalism in which business practice is totally guided by sustainability and restoration of the natural systems rather than mere, narrowly focused "bottom line" ideology. It finds that social foresight can play a positive role in directing this transition and crisis of humanity. Originality/valueHopefully, the paper will contribute to the progress of futures towards a more specifically focused matter of social foresight. It should help futurists to recognize their leadership role, which should guide business entrepreneurs and social innovation towards the realization of sustainability and restoration. At the same time, it emphasizes the need to embrace rather than shun activism, to link with other progressives who seek to redefine the relationship of government and business through democratic means. The paper emphasizes the need to protect and restore a future that is being systematically undermined and destroyed.

Keywords: Adaptability; Capitalist systems; Corporate governance; Economic reform

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1108/14636680810908028

Publication date: 2008-07-18

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