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Buddhist Economics: Track 1

Featuring: Audio Audio

In the world of economics, does a person’s well-being really matter? What is more important, social objectives or profit maximisation – or are they even compatible? During a trip to Burma in 1955, Ernest Schumacher pioneered the concept of Buddhist Economics, a set of principles based on the belief that the function of business is to supply goods and services for need and true well-being. Schumacher argued that Buddhist Economics could serve as a vehicle for human development to overcome self centeredness and augment human creativity and knowledge. Presented by Dr Mike Lucas from The Open University Business School and Alan Shipman from the Department of Economics at The Open University.

By: The iTunes U team (Programme and web teams)

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Track 1: The intellectual foundations of the shareholder value model

Dr Mike Lucas of The Open University Business School explains how the experience of working and teaching in accounting and finance has forced him to a fundamental reappraisal of the idea that businesses’ objective is to maximise shareholder wealth.


© The Open University 2010


Tracks in this podcast:

Track   Title Description
1 The intellectual foundations of the shareholder value model    Dr Mike Lucas of The Open University Business School explains how the experience of working and teaching in accounting and finance has forced him to a fundamental reappraisal of the idea that businesses’ objective is to maximise shareholder wealth. Play now The intellectual foundations of the shareholder value model
2 The case for shareholder wealth    Alan Shipman of The Open University Economics Department recalls the origins and optimistic expectations of the shareholder value ‘revolution’, inspired by economic ideas of profit-maximisation and a political turn against profligate management. Play now The case for shareholder wealth
3 The problems with the shareholder value model    Dr Mike Lucas probes the shareholder value model, identifying its adverse effects on employees, consumers, the social and natural environment – and ultimately on shareholders themselves. Play now The problems with the shareholder value model
4 What went wrong with shareholder value?    Alan Shipman examines the unintended fallout from the shareholder value ‘revolution’, and reasons for the rapid rise and fall of value-driven productivity and profits. Play now What went wrong with shareholder value?
5 An alternative framework    Dr Mike Lucas outlines the key aspects of a Buddhist approach to business and economics, and its potential for a fundamental break from the individualism and constant expansionism of conventional economics. Play now An alternative framework
6 The implications of the Eightfold path    Dr Mike Lucas explains the implications of a new business model based on Buddhist economics, and how it could promote a new governance structure re-connecting the corporation with the community. Play now The implications of the Eightfold path
7 The implications of Buddhist Economics for a new business model    Dr Mike Lucas looks at the social implications of a new business model based on Buddhist economics. Play now The implications of Buddhist Economics for a new business model
8 Successful alternatives    Alan Shipman highlights the range of partnership, family, mutual and cooperative enterprises which have successfully resisted pressures to become a ‘public limited company’, and whose market leadership adds to the pressure to reform the shareholder model. Play now Successful alternatives
9 How would conventional accounting change?    Dr Mike Lucas assesses the changes to conventional accounting methods, and management teaching, that would be needed to establish a new business model based on Buddhist economics. Play now How would conventional accounting change?
10 Economics and accounting of the future?    Alan Shipman and Dr Mike Lucas of The Open University discuss the problems of adopting new business models in a world where accounting and business education are still dominated by profit-maximising ‘shareholder value’, and the challenges ahead for those pursuing a Buddhist economics alternative. Play now Economics and accounting of the future?