ECONOMICS

Better, Not Perfect: A Realist’s Guide to Maximum Sustainable Goodness

Harper Business: HarperCollins. Sept. 2020. 256p. ISBN 9780063002708. $29.99. BUS
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Bazerman (business administration, Harvard Business Sch.) has written a book he hopes will improve readers’ capacity to make ethical business decisions in order to create more value in the world and thus make the world a better place. He writes that people can act more ethically, often without making great sacrifices. However, he also thinks that improving one’s behavior requires attention and effort even if one eschews, as he recommends, the goal of perfection. He uses the philosophy of utilitarianism in order to identify some goals he considers to be important and uses behavioral social sciences research to identify what keeps human beings from optimal behavior. He recommends some practical ways to improve human behavior by making us be more deliberative and less susceptible to our instincts. He also offers examples of organizations and individuals improving their behavior. This mixture of identifying what he considers worthwhile improvements and suggestions of how this might be done gives the book a potpourri feel.
VERDICT This will appeal to those seeking practical suggestions for improving business and philanthropic behavior.

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