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Ding's Latest Book Aims to Change Sustainability Dialogue by Adding Dose of Fairness

Instead of sustainability and social responsibility, companies should instead focus on fair development, according to Penn State Smeal College of Business Professor Min Ding, author of the recent book, The Bubble Theory.
October 18, 2013

Instead of sustainability and social responsibility, companies should instead focus on fair development, according to Penn State Smeal College of Business Professor Min Ding, author of the recent book, The Bubble Theory.

Ding points out in The Bubble Theory that there is no consensus among scientists, academics, and businesspeople on what sustainable development should look like or how it should be implemented. This is largely because the word “sustainability” is a vague concept and has not been a subject of scholarly work.

“If we can make sure we’re being fair to all stakeholders, broadly defined, the right type of sustainability will come naturally.”

Instead of sustainable development, Ding says, firms should instead focus on the concept of fair development.

“Many scientific disciplines study fairness that is a fundamental principle that has been driving human development in history; fair can be judged,” he said. “If we can make sure we’re being fair to all stakeholders, broadly defined, the right type of sustainability will come naturally.”

He continued, “Sustainable development that is not fair cannot be sustained.”

The Bubble Theory was released on July 15 from Springer, a global publishing company focusing on topics in science, technology, and medicine.

Ding is the Smeal Professor of Marketing and Innovation and holds doctorates in marketing from the University of Pennsylvania and in molecular, cellular, and developmental biology from the Ohio State University. A Smeal faculty member since 2000, his research expertise includes fair development, new product and service development, data collection method design, video and audio data, and business in China.

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