Public goods

Book Review of “Public Goods, Sustainable Development and the Contribution of Business” written by Bardy R, Rubens A, Saner R, & Yiu L (2021) by Prof. Markus Gmür, University of Fribourg, Switzerland, NPO-Management, Human Resource Management, Leadership, Associations and Co-operatives, Third Sector Research, 1/2022.

Public goods are indispensable elements of social interaction, and many of these goods play a central role in the ongoing discussion about sustainable development: clean air, pollution-free drinking water, accessible landscapes, public safety, and many others. Providing and maintaining them is primarily a task for the state, but private actors are involved nolens volens: On the one hand, there are interest groups geared towards the common good and other private third-sector organizations that support or complement the state’s efforts, especially when the state appears blind and deaf or too weak to carry out its mission. On the other hand, there are private individuals or private companies who use public goods to achieve their own goals and do so in an opportunistic and often ruthless manner, which the state and non-profit organizations in turn try to restrict.

By Roland Bardy, Arthur Rubens, Raymond Saner & Lichia Yiu

An excerpt from Public Goods, Sustainable Development and the Contribution of Business reconsiders the public goods concept and puts forth models for business and the public sectors to respond to the global challenges that our post-COVID-19 world is facing.