Ch 2. The Ethical Economy is Already Here:
This chapter analyses a number of pertinent contemporary phenomena, like knowledge and brand management, the problem of ‘intangibles’ and the increasing recourse to user led innovation and other forms of Open Business, to argue that, at least in this cutting edge manifestations, the contemporary information economy is no longer ‘capitalist’ in the strict sense of that term . Instead corporations depend ever more on a different economy, an ‘ethical economy’ that depends on a different value logic. In this ‘ethical economy’ what creates value is not primarily investments of scarce productive resources (like labour and machines) but the ability to construct durable and significant social relations: strong links in a world of abundant weak links. Ethics in this sense creates value in three ways: by reducing the complexity of hyper-complex global value chains; by attracting ‘free labour’ from actors external to the firm, like consumers and other stakeholders and by offering an immaterial extra that sets of products form competitors with virtually indistinguishable offers of price and quality. In conclusion, the chapter suggests that the current financial crisis can be traced to an inability to correctly value the presence of such ethical values within the monetary economy.
Download it at www.ethicaleconomy.com