The partnership economy
By 2030, we want the economy to be guided by a new social partnership: between
responsible businesses, a smart and accountable state, strong trade unions and a
vibrant civil society. In 2030, most successful businesses will recognise that they
have obligations to their employees, stakeholders and communities, and not just
to their shareholders. The focus on short-term ‘shareholder value’ will have been
replaced by a commitment to investment and long-term success. Employers and
employees will acknowledge their mutual responsibilities, where the recognition
of workers’ rights, voice and creativity is rewarded by greater productivity and
pride in work. The public are no longer considered solely as passive ‘consumers’
but rather as ‘economic citizens’ endowed with rights to share in ownership and
public decision-making, meaningful opportunities to create their own businesses,
and responsibilities to contribute to the economy’s success. As a result, the UK
has one of the widest range of business forms in the world, including socially
owned, mutual and cooperative enterprises of various kinds.
If all of this did make businesses more productive then businesses organised in this manner would already have outcompeted those that are not so organised.
They haven’t – so, what’s wrong with the idea then?