Book review: Crisis and Recovery

Emma De Vita reviews the new book from the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams

Off the shelf
Off the shelf

Though this isn't, strictly speaking, a management book, it's not often that the Archbishop of Canterbury decides to write about the messy affair that is our economy.

In Crisis and Recovery, the Most Reverend Rowan Williams - with the help of Larry Elliott, a journalist at The Guardian - argues that the system of modern liberal capitalism under which we labour is not conducive to fostering a fair and just society.

The economic recession precipitated by greedy bankers seems to sum up the current state of affairs quite nicely. As Wall Street's Gordon Gekko said: "Greed is good." But it's exactly this individualistic selfishness and obsession with the materialistic that degrades what it is that makes us human: our relationships with others. Families and communities fall apart as we spend our energy competing with our colleagues.

As a charity worker, it's you who deals with the fallout. And never has your effort been needed more. Yet the donations needed to fuel that effort are shrinking. How do you shore up morale in the face of cuts and layoffs? Taking the ethical high ground could be the answer. Never has it been so desirable to work for a charity, so make your staff feel proud.

Emma De Vita is books editor of Management Today

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