Emily Barman (2016), Caring Capitalism. The Meaning
and Measure of Social Value
Cambridge University Press, New York, 266 pp.
Published online: 19 September 2016
Ó International Society for Third-Sector Research and The Johns Hopkins University 2016
Purpose and Organization of the Book
The purpose of the book is to analyse the effect of the embrace of market-based
solutions to social problems on the meaning and measure of social value.
The book is organized in three parts. The ﬁrst part focuses on the question of
social value for social purpose organizations (nonproﬁt organizations and social
enterprises) outside of the market. The second part deals with ‘‘market monitors’’,
meaning civil society actors who aim to (privately) regulate corporations to hold
them accountable for the (social) consequences of their production processes. In the
third part, the author presents some case studies of ‘‘caring capitalism’’: the
rationale of production of social and shareholder value by corporations is evaluated
using market indicators.
Summary and Statement of Claim(s)
The main thesis is that we are witnessing the emergence of ‘‘caring capitalism’’, a
new version of market where corporations pursue both money and mission. This
new vision implies that ﬁrms while making proﬁts also try to make the world a
better place. This implies the adoption by corporations of ‘‘inclusive business
models’’ and the sale of ‘‘socially beneﬁcial goods’’. Moreover, an increasing
number of social investors evaluate companies not only on the basis of their
shareholder return but also for their capacity to effect social change. The basic idea
Book Review Editor: Silvia Ferreira.
& Andrea Bassi
Department of Sociology and Business Law, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy
Voluntas (2017) 28:2817–2819