Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Article Type: Editor’s note From: Journal of Business Strategy, Volume 32, Issue 4
JBS has a notable track record in exploring the connection between art and business. We have published several special issues on how an involvement in and understanding of art can broaden the view of people in the business world. Our readers responded by downloading these special issues in unusually large numbers. JBS has also published individual papers on such topics as poetry in the boardroom. With this issue we include a paper on a highly controversial artist, Jeff Koons (www.jeffkoons.com), an American artist whose “sculptures” of ordinary objects such as balloon animals produced in stainless steel with mirror finish surfaces have sold for astronomical amounts. In 2001, one of his three Michael Jackson and Bubbles porcelain sculptures sold for $5.6 million. On November 14, 2007, a magenta Hanging Heart, one of five produced by Koons in different colors, sold at Sotheby’s New York for $23.6 million, at the time the most expensive art work by a living artist ever auctioned. The paper “Made in heaven – produced on earth: creative leadership as art of projection” is, according to the authors, about the concept of projection in the context of leadership. The JBS paper suggests that Koons’s use of storytelling presents powerful lessons for executives on managing their own leadership projection, establishing credibility and creating consensus.
From Koons to Rhineland leadership is a long stretch, but it reflects the broad reach of JBS. We are interested in almost anything that has to do with business strategy. Rhineland organizations, as explained in the paper on sustainable leadership at Siam Cement Company, sound like wonderful places to work. They also sound too good to be true. The authors claim that the “Anglo/US” way of conducting business emphasizes the short term and shareholder value above all else. This is probably true, but it does not mean that US and British companies value these goals to the exclusion of all others. Many of the values that define Rhineland organizations are also part of the corporate culture at thousands of US and British firms. Values such as ethical behavior, innovation, staff retention and quality are as much a part of the latter as they are in so-called Rhineland firms. Possibly the major difference between the two business models lies in the short-term focus of Anglo/US firms, an emphasis criticized by many experts, policy makers and observers in those two countries, even while the model often performs very well. The solution to an ideal business model may lie, not surprisingly, in a combination of the two approaches. Business education and business models, we should recall, continuously evolve and now they are better able than ever to adapt best practices from anywhere in the world.
We hope our readers find the diversity in this issue of JBS interesting and expansive. We value comments, suggestions and submissions from our readers.