Private Management and Public Policy is a landmark work at the intersection of business and society. First published in 1975, it focuses on the management processes that companies use to respond to social issues. The text develops the "principle of public responsibility" as an alternative to the notion that firms have unlimited accountability. And, it presents one of the first systems-based approaches to corporate responsibility, providing theoretical support for business involvement in public policy. Arguably, the book's major contribution is its broad outline of an alternative theory of the firm in society—one that offers the possibility of overcoming traditional public and private dichotomies.
About the authors
Lee E. Preston passed away in 2011 after a long and distinguished career. He was Professor Emeritus in the Department of Logistics, Business, and Public Policy at the University of Maryland, and author or editor of over 200 scholarly publications. Dr. Preston was a Fellow of the Academy of Management.
James E. Post is the John F. Smith, Jr. Professor in Management at the School of Management at Boston University. Post is the author of more than 100 publications on business, public policy, and public affairs. He received the Aspen Institute's 2010 Faculty Pioneer Award for Lifetime Achievement.
"Private Management and Public Policy is truly a pathbreaking book. Its message is universal and it continues to be timely; it should be required reading for any leaders or would-be leaders who hope to see their businesses thrive in today's complex and chaotic environment."
—Sandra Waddock, Boston College and author of The Difference Makers
"Preston and Post's Private Management and Public Policy is a seminal contribution to the field of the business and society. It should be read by all thoughtful persons who seek a deeper understanding of the interplay between business and its myriad stakeholders. Their interpenetrating systems model provides an exceptional framework for understanding the changing role of society, as expressed through the public policy process. I am so pleased that this classic book is now available to a whole new generation of readers."
—Archie B. Carroll, Professor Emeritus and Director, Nonprofit Management & Community Service Program, University of Georgia