Category Archives: Business

Ashgate at the KL International Book Fair 2013

Posted by Richard Dowling, Sales Director

Ashgate attended the Kuala Lumpur Book Fair this year for the 9th year in a row. The Fair runs for nine days, and it’s an opportunity for us to meet with our library customers and showcase our new books. The sales reps from the library suppliers we work with bring librarians to our stand to look at the books we have on display and at our catalogues, and to place orders.

Richard at the KL Book Fair 2013We took around 390 books this year which is on a par with previous years. Gower Business & Management titles proved the most popular overall, with Politics coming in second and then Islamic Studies third. Catalogues are still important and around 10% of the total orders were for titles that were not on display.

Popular titles at the Fair:

ARC to International Trade PolicyThe Ashgate Research Companion to International Trade Policy (Edited by Kenneth Heydon and Stephen Woolcock)

Energy Access Poverty and DevelopmentEnergy Access, Poverty, and Development (Benjamin K. Sovacool and Ira Martina Drupady)

Entrepreneurship and Sustainability (Edited by Daphne Halkias and Paul W. Thurman)

Islam and Sustainable Development (Odeh Rashed Al Jayyousi)

University Libraries and Space in the Digital World Personalising Library Services in Higher EducationPersonalising Library Services in Higher Education (Edited by Andy Priestner and Elizabeth Tilley)

Qualitative Research Skills for Social Work (Malcolm Carey)

University Libraries and Space in the Digital World (Edited by Graham Matthews and Graham Walton)

The Ashgate Research Companion to Corporate Social Responsibility

The Ashgate Research Companion to Corporate Social Responsibility is edited by David Crowther, De Montfort University, UK and Nicholas Capaldi, Loyola University New Orleans, USA.

This is an edited extract from the introduction to the book. You can read the full introduction on our website.

One of the implications of the current concern with corporate misbehaviour is that this is a new phenomenon – one which has not been of concern previously. Issues of socially responsible behaviour are not, of course, new and examples can be found from throughout the world and at least from the earliest days of the Industrial Revolution and the concomitant founding of large business entities and the divorce between ownership and management – or the divorcing of risk from rewards.

It was as long ago as 1967 that Marshall McLuhan first stated that we now live in a global village and that technology was connecting everyone together. Marshall McLuhan was prophetic. When he was talking about this global village he also said that war would continue to be a feature of the world but that there would be an increasing emphasis upon economic war rather than physical war.

Physical war has not gone away but it might be argued that the reasons for wars in the present are to do with economic reasons at least as much as they are to do with imperialistic or ideological reasons – at least as far as governments and countries are concerned. But governments, as the epitome of the nation state, are becoming less important.

What is becoming more important than governments and nation states is the multinational company, operating in a global environment. Some of these multinationals are very large indeed – larger than many nation states and a good deal more powerful. Arguably it is here that the economic war for the global village is taking place.

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) has been one of the most debated management issues, with both academics and practitioners trying to give proper meaning to the concept and justifying why corporations should adopt ethical and socially responsible behaviour, yet there is lack of consensus on what the concept means, what it entails, why it should be embraced, how it should be operationalised, what its roles are in achieving organisational effectiveness or performance and many other issues bordering on the concept.

At the same time the development of a theoretical underpinning for CSR has been given increased priority, with a critique of utilitarianism and its antecedent, classical liberalism, featuring prominently.

The purpose of this book is to explore a wide variety of aspects of Corporate Social Responsibility. So all the contributions in this book are concerned with different aspects of CSR but are united through their concern with the effect of corporate activity upon the various stakeholders to that corporation, although all of the contributors consider this issue through differing theoretical lenses and are concerned with different stakeholder groupings.

Part of the intention is to show the diversity of concerns which fall under the umbrella term of corporate social responsibility. It is equally part of the objective of this book to show that a concern with corporate social responsibility is a worldwide issue which is being addressed by scholars in many countries. This volume presents a spectrum of approaches from a variety of scholars from different countries and from different disciplines in order to show the diversity of the debate and the diversity of contributors.

It is necessary to treat the various issues under discussion in separate chapters, each contributed by different experts in various locations throughout the world. One implication of this is that these are discrete topics whereas there is considerable overlap in the topics. Thus many topics are referred to in the context of various chapters about seemingly diverse subjects. For example, sustainability is such an important concept, and so central to any discussion of corporate social responsibility, that it features extensively in the various contributions to this volume. So too are concepts such as accountability and governance.

It is important to recognise that this volume is not encyclopaedic in the coverage of corporate social responsibility – such a task would be impossible – but it seeks to highlight a number of important debates which are taking place in the arena. The choice of topics is, of course, that of the editors; in making this choice we recognise, of course, that many readers will disagree with what has been included or, more significantly, what has been excluded.

More about the Ashgate Research Companion to Corporate Social Responsibility

How can sustainable recovery of the global financial system be established? How can its resilience be improved?

The recent financial crisis has made it paramount for the financial services industry to find new perspectives to look at their industry and, most importantly, to gain a better understanding of how the global financial system can be made less vulnerable and more resilient.

Governance and Control of Financial Systems: A Resilience Engineering Perspective illustrates how the safety science of Resilience Engineering can help to gain a better understanding of what the financial services system is and how to improve governance and control of financial services systems by leveraging some of its key concepts.

Resilience is the intrinsic ability of a system to adjust its functioning prior to, during, or following changes and disturbances, so that it can sustain required operations under both expected and unexpected conditions. This definition is focused on the ability to function, rather than just to be impervious to failure, and thereby bridges the traditional conflict between productivity and safety.

Governance and Control of Financial Systems: A Resilience Engineering Perspective is edited by Gunilla Sundström, Deutsche Bank, Germany and Erik Hollnagel, Institute of Public Health, University of Southern Denmark.

Robert Hewison taking part in ‘Theatre, Art and the 1960s’ panel discussion at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre

Robert Hewison is going to be taking part in a panel discussion at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford upon Avon on Saturday 16th July at 10am. The topic is “Theatre, Art and the 1960’s”, and is part of the RSC’s 50th birthday season. Hewison’s new book, co-authored with John Holden, is The Cultural Leadership Handbook: How to run a Creative Organization. It is published this month by Gower.

The Cultural Leadership Handbook

Robert Hewison is Professor of Cultural Policy and Leadership Studies at City University London and an Associate of the think tank Demos. As a cultural consultant he has worked with the South Bank Centre, the Greater London Authority, Arts Council England and the North West Cultural Consortium.

Review of Finance and Modernization: A Transnational and Transcontinental Perspective for the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries

Geoffrey Wood recently reviewed Finance and Modernization: A Transnational and Transcontinental Perspective for the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries for H-Soz-u-Cult, and you can read the full review on their website.

This is a fascinating book… it contains much of interest to monetary and banking historians and will stimulate much further research; and it contains invaluable lessons for contemporary central bankers.

Finance and Modernization

Finance and Modernization is edited by Gerald D Feldman and Peter Hertner. The volume is based on papers given at the 2005 conference of the European Association for Banking and Financial History in Vienna, hosted by the Bank Austria Creditanstalt, successor institution to the Österreichische Creditanstalt.

The contributions centre on a set of historical developments and problems typified by the long history of the Österreichische Creditanstalt and its successor organizations, and open the way to compare and contrast experiences throughout Central and Western Europe and also on other continents.

The structure of this volume reflects the changing role and nature of banks as economies become industrialized and modernized. Although banks adapt to the needs of an industrializing economy, at the same time, industrialization influences the manner in which banking systems grow and the structures which they adopt.

Beginning with studies of the Austrian banks, their development and their crises, the volume then moves on to look at case studies of important aspects of financial activity – German stock markets, railroad investment, and information networks. This is followed by a section on country studies of banking modernization in Sweden, the Netherlands and Greece. Finally, the collection concludes with two chapters, one on banking in China and the other on banking in India, certainly both of intrinsic interest and of importance in an era of globalization. Professor Teichova, one of the great scholars in the field, concludes with reflections on the individual contributions and the general problems addressed in this book.

‘Principles of Strategic Management’, and the benefits of planning ahead

Tony Morden, author of Principles of Strategic Management, says that this year in particular businesses need to plan ahead, to cope with challenges to come. And he knows just the book to help!

There won’t be many fresh home-grown plums in the UK this Autumn. There will be severe water shortages here. Food prices will rocket (and I mean rocket) before Christmas 2011. And there is nothing that I personally can do about it. But others can at least plan ahead. Are they doing that right now? If not, ask them whether they have bought and read my “Principles of Strategic Management” published by Ashgate.

And if not, why not?

But if not, don’t moan about the hosepipe bans, or the lack of plums in your supermarket, or complain about the air miles associated with importing fruit from somewhere else in the world. And don’t mutter about the high water bills or food prices. By that time it will be too late.

Principles of Strategic Management

Now published in its Third Edition, Principles of Strategic Management is a proven textbook that offers a comprehensive introduction to the study and practice of strategic management.

This new edition covers the fundamentals of strategic analysis and planning, strategy formulation, strategic choice, and strategy implementation. It contains new material on leadership and corporate governance, and on the strategic management of time, risk, and performance. There is a new chapter on the key issue of crisis and business continuity management. The book retains the strong international flavour of its predecessors.

Full information about Principles of Strategic Management is on the Ashgate website

Visit Tony Morden’s Principles of Management website

Crisis and continuity management – how to be prepared

Now that the dust, or ash, is settling following the shutdown brought about by Volcano Eyjafjallajokull, many organizations will want to reflect on the experience and see how they can be better prepared if or when such a calamity happens again.

We’ve set up a new page on our website with a selection of relevant books, which we hope will be a good starting point. The books cover crisis and continuity management, systems and operations management for aviation, media handling, customer relations, tourism and how to develop robust yet complex systems.

Why not take a look?

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Do virtual worlds have potential for the corporate environment? The business case.

From the preface of  Working through Synthetic Worlds

Over the past several years, a number of new Internet based immersive worlds (virtual worlds) have grown in popularity. Second Life logs millions of simultaneous users on a daily basis. Massively Multi-User Online Games (MMOGs) such as World of Warcraft are becoming ubiquitous. It is clear that games and social interaction are greatly facilitated by virtual worlds but we believe that the time is right to start taking a serious look at the future potential of these environments beyond games and social networks. We need to ask questions like: Just what are virtual worlds good for? What value is there in these virtual communities and what potential value could there be for doing real work? Where might one strategically invest in research with these technologies to influence their development to make people more productive?

So by “working” we mean: How could virtual world technologies be used as a tool to assist in transforming the traditional workplace? How can we use them to facilitate information sharing and collaboration across a diverse workforce that might be geographically and temporally separated? What does a virtual environment afford that offers a favorable value proposition compared to the real world?

Working Through Synthetic Worlds is edited by C.A.P. Smith, Colorado State University, USA, Jeffrey G. Morrison, Ph.D, Program Manager, Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center – Pacific, USA and Kenneth W. Kisiel, Principal Research Engineer, Lockheed Martin Corporation, USA

For more information about the book, visit Ashgate’s website

Corporate Social Responsibility

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is one of the most debated management issues, with both academics and practitioners trying to give proper meaning to the concept and justifying why corporations should adopt ethical and socially responsible behaviour, yet there is a lack of consensus on what CSR means. The Ashgate Research Companion to Corporate Social Responsibility, edited by David Crowther and Nicholas Capaldi, brings together an international team of scholars and highlights a number of important debates taking place in the CSR arena. The introduction, full contents and index are available on the Ashgate website.