July 3, 2018


Social Value Investing, by Buffett and Eimicke
Social Value Investing, by Buffett and Eimicke
Can managers and CEOs accomplish business goals while also advancing society’s goals?
Professors Howard W. Buffett MPA ’08 and William B. Eimicke believe the answer is yes, and they have written a new book illustrating partnership models for doing so.

In Social Value Investing: A Management Framework for Effective Partnerships, the authors outline a five-point management framework inspired by value investing, which they identify as one of history’s most successful investment paradigms.

The model reflects the authors’ experience as instructors in SIPA courses on public management, philanthropy, impact investing, and management innovation. It also draws extensively on Buffett’s research and work across the public, philanthropic, and private sectors as well as case studies developed by Eimicke and SIPA’s Picker Center for Executive Education.

In particular, the authors use examples from the United States, Brazil, India, and Afghanistan to explore real-life examples of the management framework in practice.

“The cases allow us to ground the theory in real world examples that people can also see in the SIPA audiovisual case study collection,” said Buffett. “We have been using these cases for several years in our classes, and illustrating the research through them results in a more meaningful impact with students.”

The book also provides a blueprint for developing successful cross-sector partnerships that serve the public interest.

“Organizations have come to understand that they can achieve much more working across sectors than alone” said Eimicke. “The private sector can’t do it alone, nor can the public sector. Our book outlines successful strategies for making such partnerships work.”

Buffett said that MPA students at SIPA are increasingly interested in courses on partnerships.

Students are seeking training on and exposure to a diverse set of leadership and management tools, as well as frameworks for thinking about how they can best collaborate with others,” he said. “Our hope for Social Value Investing is that it provides an interesting and compelling way for students to think about collaboration, and to learn from the observations, research, and experiences shared throughout its chapters.”

For all the book’s emphasis on the importance of partnership, it’s also very much a product of the partnership between the authors themselves.

“We’ve taught together for several years,” said Eimicke, “and realized that we had a set of core shared values and ideas around how organizations can and should work together.”

“We each believe in the power of partnerships, and their ability to overcome challenges that society has struggled with for some time,” added Buffett. “The successful solutions we describe in the book illustrate the importance of many diverse actors coming together around common goals and measurable objectives.”

The book has been well received, garnering praise from figures such as Bill Gates and topping selected best-seller categories at the Amazon and Barnes & Noble websites.

Social Value Investing was published by Columbia University Press on May 29. Since then the authors have been featured on Bloomberg television and in Harvard Business Review, among other outlets.

For more information about the book, visit sipa.columbia.edu/svi. Audiovisual cases from the collection are available for use by SIPA faculty and scholars from partner institutions; visit sipa.columbia.edu/svi-case-collection.