Camarillo, Calif., March 18, 2014 – CSU Channel Islands (CI) Professor Andrea Grove and Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs Gary Berg have published the first academic text to focus on the fast-growing and understudied field of social business. Social Business: Theory, Practice and Critical Perspectives, released this month by Springer, explores the creation, practice and evaluation of the concept of social business in a series of cutting-edge and comprehensive articles and case studies.
Often called “enlightened capitalism,” social business is a form of social entrepreneurship that addresses some of the world's most pressing issues. This innovative model conceptualized and put into practice by Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient Dr. Muhammad Yunus seeks to make social businesses sustainable – instead of relying on fundraising and donor support. Social businesses generate profits to tackle challenges – such as alleviating poverty, hunger, sickness, education gaps, or environmental problems – that are equally as important as financial goals. All profits are then reinvested into the company to further its social impact, instead of being distributed as dividends.
“The generation now in college consistently expresses interest in meaningful and socially-relevant work,” said Berg. “Social business approaches suggest a new way of confronting social problems utilizing some business methods that may be more sustainable than the efforts of charities dependent on gifts.”
“We hope there is both a practical and academic use for the book,” added Grove. “Practically, we hope that reading about the possibility of social business creation and the issues involved in designing one will inspire budding entrepreneurs to engage in this pursuit. On the academic side, we hope that other researchers will pick up where we left off in terms of developing and applying measures of success to extant and new social businesses.”
Grove and Berg partnered on the book as colleagues developing the pioneering California Institute for Social Business (CISB) at CI. Formed in 2010 in collaboration with Yunus and support from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, CISB is the first program of its kind in the U.S. to grant an undergraduate degree in social business and to involve academia in research on the field. Part of the Martin V. Smith School of Business & Economics, the CISB offers a Minor and Certificate in Social Business. The CISB also conducts research, helps community businesses and organizations convert to self-sustaining social business-style models, creates outreach and educational programs, and provides consulting and incubation services for new social businesses.
As CI’s team of faculty and administrators developed curriculum for the social business courses, they found it was largely untouched as a subject for student learning.
“As I traveled to the annual Global Social Business Summits, I realized how great the need for academic work really was,” Grove said. “There was very little research and academic text available that is specific to social business. Besides the two books of Prof. Yunus, most work is about the broader field of social entrepreneurship. We hoped this book would be a major contribution to courses on social business, beginning with our own program here.”
What emerged is the first comprehensive collection of theory and research on social businesses, including examinations of their planning, marketing, and success. In addition to serving as editors, Grove and Berg wrote the introduction and several chapters. The book also features a foreward by Yunus and articles and case studies written by social business practitioners and experts from around the world. CI faculty members Antonio Jimenez-Jimenez, Maria Ballesteros-Sola, and CISB Director Martin Loeffler are among the book’s contributors.
“I hope that many kinds of people will read this book – students, professors, leaders, entrepreneurs – and learn about the idea of social business,” Yunus said. “All of the work that we are doing together moves us closer to the eradication of poverty. The message to young people at university and all around the world is to believe that each one of them can make a big difference.”
With the book’s publication, a new infusion of support from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, and the recent arrival of Loeffler as director, the CISB is poised to expand its impact on students, businesses, schools, nonprofits and the community.
Social Business: Theory, Practice and Critical Perspectives is available for purchase through the publisher and online retailers, including Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Copies may be ordered from Springer at http://www.springer.com/new+%26+forthcoming+titles+%28default%29/book/978-3-642-45274-1.
About the editors
Grove is the founding Faculty Director of the CISB and Professor of Political Science at CI. She received a Ph.D. in Political Science from Ohio State University, an M.A. in International Relations and Strategic Studies from the U.K.’s Lancaster University, and a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Georgia. She primarily teaches in the area of international relations and came to the field of social business through her interest in economic development in the Global South.
Berg is Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs, Extended University & International Programs at CI. He’s also the author of numerous articles on current issues in higher education, public policy and distance learning, as well as many books, including Low-Income Students and the Perpetuation of Inequality: Higher Education in America, published in 2011. In addition to a doctoral degree in Higher Education from Claremont Graduate University, he has an MFA in Film and Television from UCLA.
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About California State University Channel Islands
CSU Channel Islands (CI) is the only four-year, public university in Ventura County and is known for its interdisciplinary, multicultural and international perspectives, and its emphasis on experiential and service learning. CI’s strong academic programs focus on business, sciences, liberal studies, teaching credentials, and innovative master’s degrees. Students benefit from individual attention, up-to-date technology, and classroom instruction augmented by outstanding faculty research. CI has been designated by the U.S. Department of Education as a Hispanic-Serving Institution and is committed to serving students of all backgrounds from the region and beyond. Connect with and learn more by visiting CI's Social Media.