My initial reaction was similar to that of a number of other commentators have: that CSV is nothing new, but rather fresh terminology for a concept which many in the sustainability field have espoused for some time. As the Schumpeter column in The Economist pointed out, there is striking similarity between shared value and Jed Emerson’s concept of blended value, and overlap with what Stuart Hart put forth in “Capitalism at the Crossroads.” For these authors and others, regardless of the term used (e.g. sustainability, CSR, citizenship), the underlying meaning is the same: companies create business and societal value when they take a broader and longer-term view of their business activities.
I also took issue with several other implications, assertions and omissions. For example, Porter and Kramer seem to imply causality between corporations’ embrace of CSR and plummeting levels of trust in business. In reality, the current crisis in trust is about business practices that have clearly not had society in mind (to note one recently reported example, GE has taken a very aggressive approach" to minimizing its taxes).