《经济学人》:IBM vs 卡耐基基金会
日期:2011-06-15 11:03

(单词翻译:单击)

IBM v Carnegie Corporation

IBM vs 卡耐基基金会

The centenarians square up

迎来百岁生日的IBM和卡耐基基金会一决高下

Both IBM and the Carnegie Corporation will turn 100 this month. Has the multinational business or universal philanthropy done more for society?

本月,IBM和卡耐基基金会都将迎来100岁生日。谁对社会贡献更大呢,是IBM这个跨国集团还是遍布世界的慈善机构卡耐基基金会?

Jun 9th 2011 | NEW YORK | from The Economist the print edition

“ONE simple way to assess the impact of any organisation is to answer the question: how is the world different because it existed?” That is the test set out by Sam Palmisano in the foreword to a new book celebrating the 100th birthday of IBM, the firm he has run since 2002. But another organisation is also turning 100 this month—the Carnegie Corporation of New York, a flagship of American philanthropy. Mr Palmisano’s insight is too good to limit to only one of the centenarians. A better question is: which has done more for the world, one of its leading companies or one of its most influential charities?

“评定任何组织影响力的一种简单的方法就是回答一个问题:由于它的存在,世界有什么不同?”这个测验是IBM的首席执行官彭明盛(Sam Palmisano)在一本庆祝IBM100周岁的新书的前言中提出的,他自2002年起掌管IBM。但是本月还有一个组织也将迎来100岁生日——美国慈善的旗舰、纽约的卡耐基基金会。彭明盛先生的想法非常好,对这两家百年公司和机构都适用。一个更恰当的问题是:作为世界领先公司之一的IBM和世界上最具影响力的慈善机构的卡耐基基金会,哪个对世界的贡献更大?

At first glance, IBM and the Carnegie Corporation seem to be engaged in such different endeavours that comparing them might seem about as sensible as comparing apple orchards and orange groves. Making money has always been the main aim of the company formed in 1911 by the merger of three small producers of mechanical accounting machines, scales and time recorders, and renamed International Business Machines 13 years later. By contrast, the Carnegie Corporation explicitly set out to create a better world by giving away what remained of the great fortune of its industrialist founder, Andrew Carnegie. Yet both can assert that they have made the world a better place during the past century, and it is far from obvious which claim is stronger.

乍一看,IBM和卡耐基基金会从事的是两种如此截然不同的事业,以至于比较它们就好像比较苹果园和橘子林一样不靠谱。1911年,三家生产会计机、磅秤和计时器的小型公司于合并成立了一间新公司,13年后改名为国际商业机器公司(IBM),赚钱一直是这家公司的主要目标。与之形成对比的是,卡耐基基金会在创立伊始就明确要通过捐赠其创始人工业家安德鲁??卡耐基(Andrew Carnegie)巨大财富的剩余来创造一个更好的世界。但是两者都可以自称它们在过去的一个世纪中让世界变得更美好,不过还远远不清楚究竟哪一方的声明会更有力。

The answer matters, and not just in order to award the historical bragging rights. Comparing the records of those giants of 20th-century American capitalism—or “philanthrocapitalism”—can shed light on a question that is keenly debated today: whether philanthropy or business is more effective at “Making the World Work Better”, to borrow the title of the book celebrating IBM’s centenary.

这个问题的答案很重要,不只是为了奖励它们吹嘘自己的历史。比一比20世纪美国资本主义——或“慈善资本主义” ——那些巨头公司的记录,有助于理解一个今天被热烈讨论的问题:慈善事业或企业哪一个在——借用那本庆祝IBM百年生日的书名——“使世界运行得更好”的方面更有效?

The comparison can also help answer an old question about the proper role of business in society. Many people would agree with Milton Friedman’s view that the “only social responsibility of business” is to “increase its profits”. But Michael Porter, a management guru, recently caused a stir by arguing that firms should seek instead to create “shared value” that simultaneously benefits both the firm and society. Andrew Carnegie would have shared Friedman’s view of business, saving the philanthropy until after the money has been made. IBM, at least after Thomas Watson senior took charge in 1914, has arguably been a case study in how to create shared value, both through its formalised giving, which is among the most generous in corporate America, but more fundamentally through its everyday business.

这样的比较还能回答一个古老的问题,有关企业在社会中扮演的适当角色。米尔顿??弗里德曼(Milton Friedman)认为“企业唯一的社会责任”是“提高它的利润”,很多人都同意这个看法。但是最近管理大师迈克??波特(Michael Porter)却提出公司应该寻求而不是创造同时对自己和社会都有利的“共享价值”,这一论点引起了一番争议。卡耐基会同意弗里德曼对商业的看法,在挣到钱以后再做慈善。而IBM、至少在老托马斯??沃森(Thomas Watson senior)于1914年掌舵后的IBM是一个可以论证如何创造共享价值的案例,既通过一定形式的捐献个角度看它属于最慷慨的国公司之一——更根本地是通过平时的生意。

And the comparison can shed light on the role of the wealthy in society. Bill Gates, the Andrew Carnegie of today, is busily giving away the fortune he earned in business—a fact that has irked some prominent critics. A few years ago, Robert Barro, an economist, argued in the Wall Street Journal that by switching from making money to giving it away, Mr Gates had failed to appreciate both the good he had done at Microsoft and the waste that he was about to preside over as a philanthropist. “By any reasonable calculation, Microsoft has been a boon for society and the value of its software greatly exceeds the likely value of Mr Gates’s philanthropic efforts,” concluded Mr Barro.

而且这样的对比还能让人们清楚地认识财富在社会中起到的作用。今天的卡耐基比尔??盖茨正忙于将他从生意中赚到的财富捐赠出去——这一事实激怒了一些著名评论者。几年前,经济学家罗伯特??拜伦(Robert Barron)在《华尔街日报》上提出盖茨从挣钱到捐钱的转变证明他没能欣赏到自己对微软的贡献,也没注意到他即将以慈善家的姿态来管理的是废物。“任何合理的计算都会得出微乳对社会是个福利,它软件的价值远远超过盖茨的慈善行为有可能带来的价值。”拜伦这样总结道。

Yet Mr Gates and his partner in philanthropy, Warren Buffett, are not only confident they can improve the world by giving away their money through a charitable foundation much like the Carnegie Corporation (only bigger). They are also trying to persuade other billionaires in America and abroad to pledge publicly to give away at least half of their wealth during their lifetimes.

但是盖茨和他在慈善事业上的伙伴沃伦??巴菲特(Warren Buffett)不仅相信自己能通过一个很像卡耐基基金会的慈善机构捐钱、以此来改善这个世界,而且还试图说服美国国内外其他的亿万富翁公开承诺在他们的一生中把自己至少一半的财产捐出去。

Present at the creation

创新之举

However much their paths diverged, IBM and the Carnegie Corporation were both born at a critical point in the evolution of America’s capitalist democracy. Carnegie had built his fortune during an unprecedented period of large-scale industrialisation, the social costs of which were clear by 1911. The legitimacy of the wave of new big businesses and of the wealthy men who created them was increasingly questioned, as trustbusters challenged “robber barons” such as Carnegie and John D. Rockefeller (who created his charitable foundation in 1913).

不论IBM和卡耐基基金会所走的道路有多不同,它们都诞生在美国资本主义民主进化进程中的关键时刻。卡耐基在一场前所未有的大规模工业化时期建造了自己的财富王国,这一工业化的社会消耗在1911年前清清楚楚。随着反托拉斯检察官挑战卡耐基和约翰??D??洛克菲勒(John D. Rockefeller)(他于1913年创立了自己的慈善组织)这类“橡胶大亨”, 一波波涌起的新的大型商业和创造它们的富人的合法性越来越受到质疑。

At the same time, there was growing excitement about the capacity of expert knowledge to transform not just business but society, too. Carnegie and Rockefeller reflected this in calling their thoughtful, long-term approach to giving “scientific philanthropy” (today’s donors call it “strategic philanthropy”), which they contrasted with the short-term wastefulness of much of the charity of the time.

同时,人们还越来越兴奋于不仅能重塑商业还能改变社会的专业知识的神通。卡耐基和洛克菲勒在“科学性慈善”(今天的慈善家称其为“战略性慈善”)方式中反映了这一点,那是经过它们深思熟虑并长期执行的,他们把它与当时很多慈善的短期浪费相对比。

In a way, therefore, IBM and the Carnegie Corporation had similar missions. The Carnegie Corporation’s explicit goal was to “promote the advancement and diffusion of knowledge and understanding”. Thomas Watson senior, who ran IBM for over 40 years, made “Think” its motto and built the business around “the idea that information was going to be the big thing in the 20th century”, according to Richard Tedlow, author of “The Watson Dynasty”. He established a research arm in 1917, which went on to generate world-class, blue-sky research as well as more patents than any other corporate laboratory.

因此从某种角度看IBM和卡耐基基金会有类似的使命。后者明确的目标是“推动知识和理解的进步和交流”。根据《沃森王朝》的作者理查德??泰德罗(Richard S.Tedlow)所讲,执掌IBM达40多年之久的老托马斯??沃森确立“思考”为该公司的座右铭,围绕“信息是20世纪的大事这一想法”建立商业运作。他于1917年设立研究部门,这个部门既制造出的专利比其他任何一家公司实验室的都多,也进行了一些国际一流水平、不符合实际的研究。

By 1911 Carnegie was near the end of his career, whereas Watson’s was only starting. But both men were fired by idealism to such an extent that their peers thought them strange. To some wealthy Americans, Carnegie’s 1889 essay, “The Gospel of Wealth”, with its assertion that the “man who dies thus rich dies disgraced”, smacked of socialism. (Ironically, founding the Carnegie Corporation was an implicit admission that Carnegie would indeed fail to give away all his fortune before his death, and thus need an institution to continue his philanthropic work.) Watson senior “struck his contemporaries as a nut and a crank with his policy that ‘People who perform are my partners’,” according to the late management guru, Peter Drucker.

到了1911年,卡耐基已经接近他事业的终点,而沃森才刚刚开始。但是这两个人都被理想主义的火焰点燃,甚至于他们的同行都视之为怪物。对于一些美国富人来说,卡耐基1889年的散文《财富的福音》宣称带有社会主义的味道,在里面他宣称“富有地死去的人,死得耻辱”。(讽刺的是,建立卡耐基基金会隐晦地承认卡耐基其实并未在去世前捐掉所有的财富,于是才需要一个机构继续他的慈善事业。)已故管理大师彼得??德鲁克(Peter Drucker)说沃森“给人的印象是一个思想奇怪的怪人,他的政策是‘凡表演的人都是我的搭档’”。

Idealism was sharpened by feelings of guilt over earlier ethical lapses. Carnegie regretted the brutal breaking of a strike by his workers at Homestead in 1892, which cost ten lives. Watson was chastened by his conviction for antitrust offences at his previous firm, NCR—though the conviction was later overturned.

对之前背弃道德的悔恨感加深了理想主义。卡耐基后悔1892年对他的工人举行的一次罢工的残酷镇压,那一次有10人丧生。沃森之前工作的公司是NCR,他因为对其进行反垄断的违法行为而被定罪,因此饱受折磨——尽管这项罪名后来被推翻了。

Both men brought about huge change by building institutions that became role models. The initial endowment of the Carnegie Corporation, at $125m ($3 billion in today’s money), exceeded the total value of all American foundations at the time. Over the following 20 years, spanning America’s first golden age of philanthropy, rich donors endowed around 250 new foundations with combined assets of $32 billion in today’s money, according to Philanthropy Magazine. Many of them tried to imitate the scientific philanthropy of the Carnegie and Rockefeller foundations. At IBM, Watson introduced employment practices that became the norm in big business decades later. In 1915 he gave a speech known as “the Man Proposition” declaring all employees equal. That was later expanded to include women, who from 1935 received equal pay for equal work. From 1945, all IBM workers received pensions.

二人都建立了后来成为模范的组织,引起了巨大改变。卡耐基基金会最初的一笔捐赠为1.25亿美元(在今天价值30亿美元)超过了当时全美所有基金会总共的价值。根据《慈善杂志》的报道在之后的20年中,跨越美国第一个黄金慈善年代,,富有的捐赠者对 250个新的基金会捐出的总额按今天的货币算为320亿美元。他们中的很多人都试图模仿卡耐基和洛克菲勒基金会的科学慈善模式。在IBM,沃森引进了雇佣惯例,这在数十年后成为大公司的规范。1915年,他进行了名为《人的主张》的演讲,宣称所有员工都是平等的。之后经过扩展,妇女也包括进去,自1935年起实施男女同工同酬。从1945年开始,所有IBM员工都享受养老金。

Still, in the first 50 years, the impact of the Carnegie Corporation on society dwarfed that of IBM. When it was created, the corporation’s power in some respects equalled or exceeded that of the state. One of Carnegie’s goals was to keep things that way, by building a model of society that differed from what he saw as dreadful, big-government socialism that was taking over in Europe. He succeeded only up to a point: the Carnegie Corporation’s initial endowment was 27 times bigger than the annual federal government education budget; the much larger endowment of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is about double the annual education budget of New York City.

在头一个50年里,卡耐基基金会在社会的影响力让IBM相形见绌。建立之时,这个基金会在某些方面的力量可以与国家一较高下、甚至更强。卡耐基的目标之一是通过建造一个不同于他所看到的控制当时欧洲的糟糕的大政府的社会主义的社会模式来使各种事物保持原样。他只获得了一点点成功:卡耐基基金会最初的捐赠比联邦政府年教育预算多27倍;比尔&梅琳达??盖茨基金会的更大一笔捐赠是纽约市年教育预算的大约两倍。

With its benefactor as its head for the first eight years, the Carnegie Corporation operated largely as a treasury and headquarters for a host of other institutions and philanthropic initiatives that he had started earlier—including his most famous programme, which ended up building some 2,509 libraries, most in America.

卡耐基基金会建立的最初八年里,它的捐助者也是它的领导者,它像一个财政部和管理其他之前建立的组织和慈善的总部——包括他最著名的项目,即建立2509个图书馆,列全美之首。

After Carnegie’s death in 1919 the foundation continued his strategy. It seeded or supported a broad range of strong private institutions, many of which carry his name. Institutions that benefited from his money range from the Carnegie Institute of Technology (now part of Carnegie-Mellon university) and the Brookings Institution to the National Academy of Sciences and the pension fund for university teachers now known as TIAA-Cref. The foundation and sister organisations commissioned research that would help shape entire professions. The Flexner Report of 1910 led to the overhaul of medical education, inspiring similar efforts focused on the law and on teaching.

1919年卡耐基去世后,基金会继续执行他的策略。它培养支持了很多强大的私人组织,它们中的很多都带有卡耐基的名字。因他的资金受益的组织既有卡耐基科技学院(现在是卡内基梅隆大学的一部分)和布鲁克林学院,也有国家科学院以及为大学教师设立的养老基金,现在叫做美国教师退休基金(TIAA-Cref)。该基金会及其兄弟组织赞助研究帮助塑造整个行业。1910年的弗莱克斯纳报告(Flexner Report)报告引领了医学教育的全面改革,启迪了在法律和教学上做出类似的努力。

The Carnegie Corporation also paid for two reports that fundamentally changed America’s conception of itself. The first, in 1944, was “An American Dilemma: The Negro Problem and Modern Democracy”, by Gunnar Myrdal, a Swedish economist. It showed that African-Americans were being held back by widespread and institutionalised white racism. The second, published in 1959, was “The American High School Today”, by James Conant. It played a big part in establishing the idea that large schools are the best way to give students a comprehensive education. John Gardner, president of the Carnegie Corporation from 1955, was also important in developing the Elementary and Secondary Education act of 1965, which provided the first large slug of federal funding for public schools. Carnegie money also financed the discovery of insulin, sparing millions of people with diabetes from an early death.

卡耐基基金会也支付了两个从根本上改变美国对自己定位的报告。第一个是1944年瑞典经济学家纲纳??缪达尔(Gunnar Myrdal)的报告《进退维谷的美国:黑人问题和现代民主》。它证明非洲裔美国人被普遍的、制度化的白人种族主义所压制。第二个是发表于1959年的《当今美国高中》。它在确立大型学校是给予学生全面教育的最好方式之一这一思想方面起到重要作用。从1955年起担任卡耐基基金会总裁的约翰??加德纳(John Gardner)也在1965年的有关发展基础和中级教育法案方面起到重要作用,该法案为公立学校提供了第一大笔联邦基金。卡耐基基金会也资助了胰岛素的发明,使得上百万患有糖尿病的人摆脱了早逝的命运。

Even Carnegie’s failures say something about the scope of his ambition. The philanthropist built a Peace Palace in The Hague, and funded the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. That he could not prevent the first world war plunged the septuagenarian steel tycoon into a depression. Still, whether or not the Carnegie Corporation really kept socialism out of America, it is easy to imagine that by the middle of the 20th century, the country would have been a different—and probably worse—place without it.

即使卡耐基的失败也或多或少证明了他的远大雄心。这位慈善家在海牙捐助建立了和平宫,资助建立了卡耐基国际和平基金会。自己没能阻止第一次世界大战发生使得这位七旬的钢铁业大亨陷入忧郁。无论卡耐基基金会是否真的把社会主义阻挡在美国外面,很容易想象的是20世纪中期,如果没有它,美国会大不一样——也许更糟。

Big-hearted Blue

心胸宽广的蓝巨人IBM

Not until its second quarter-century did IBM count for much. But by its 50th birthday IBM was one of America’s leading firms, earning profits of $254m on revenues of $2.2 billion and employing 116,000 people. Those jobs, as well as profits are in themselves a measure of IBM’s achievement. Because firms sell something that people want, they make the world a better place in ways charities do not. In particular, companies create what is known as “consumer surplus”—the difference between the market price and what a consumer would be willing to pay. This surplus benefits society, not shareholders.

25岁以前的IBM没什么分量。但是当它迎来50岁周年的时候,已经是美国最领先的公司之一,收入为22亿美元,盈利2.54亿美元,旗下有116000名员工。那些工作岗位、利润本身就见证了IBM的成就。因为公司出售人们想要的东西,所以它们以慈善无法做到的方式让世界变得更好。特别是,公司创造出“消费过剩”——市场价格和消费者愿意支付的之间的差异。这种过剩造福的是社会而不是股东。

As well as making an important commercial entry into the public arena, by providing the backbone of a new social-security system introduced by Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1935, IBM also spent a lot of money on research. By 1935 it employed 300 engineers and, Watson reckoned, some 95% of its profits were generated by innovations introduced since 1917. This effort soon expanded through partnerships with universities and embraced pure research as well as the more applied, commercially driven sort. At one extreme, for instance, the benefits to society include the bar code, IBM’s version of which became the standard. The firm also took part in such crucial national initiatives as America’s space programme (a newly installed IBM system helped save the stricken Apollo 13). And at the other extreme it also helped form the minds of such future Nobel laureates as Beno??t Mandelbrot, the pioneer of fractal geometry, and Gerd Binnig and Heinrich Rohrer, inventors of the scanning tunnelling microscope which let scientists see individual atoms.

IBM是罗斯福1935年采用的新社会保险体系的中流砥柱,借此它踏足公共生活领域,发挥重要的商业作用,它还在研究方面投入大笔金钱。到1935年止,它聘用了300名工程师,沃森估计自1917年开始,其利润的大概95%都是由发明产生的。这种努力很快通过与大学的合作关系扩展开来,既容纳应用性更强的、由商业推动的研究,也包容纯粹的研究。举一个极端的例子,对社会的贡献包括条形码,IBM的条形码后来成为标准。公司还参与一些关键性的国家计划,如美国空间项目(一个新安装的IBM系统帮助挽救了受损的阿波罗13号)。从另一个极端来说,它还帮助培养了未来的诺贝尔得主,如分形几何的先驱伯努瓦??B??曼德尔布罗特(Benoit B.Mandelbrot),还有发明扫描隧道显微镜的格尔德??宾宁(Gerd Binnig)和海因里希??罗勒(Heinrich Rohrer),借助这项发明科学家可以看到单个原子。

IBM, like Carnegie, also did its bit for civil rights. In 1953 Thomas Watson junior, a similarly idealistic soon-to-be successor to his father, threatened to cancel plans for plants in Kentucky and North Carolina if they could not be fully racially integrated. After a stand-off, the state governors backed down, and the plants opened three years later.

IBM,就像卡耐基一样也在人权领域作出自己的贡献。1953年,即将继承其父事业、同父亲一样也是一个理想主义者的小托马斯??沃森(Thomas Watson junior)威胁如果肯塔基州和北卡罗莱纳州不能在人种问题上达到完全的平等旧要取消在这两个州的建厂计划。在经历意见分歧之后,两州州长退步,三年后工厂开张。

A game of two halves

一场比赛,两个半场

Still, not all of their contributions in their first 50 years were positive. Watson senior, as public as Carnegie in his enthusiasm for world peace, believed that this cause was best advanced through trade between nations, including Nazi Germany. In 1937 Hitler personally convinced him he did not want war. As soon as Germany invaded France in 1940 Watson realised his mistake, and tried to distance IBM from the Nazis, but the company’s German subsidiary provided a machine that was used in the Dachau concentration camp. (Lesson learned, IBM was among the first international companies to pull out of South Africa in the late 1970s in protest against apartheid.) The Carnegie name was also linked indirectly with the Nazis, through the Carnegie Institution’s funding of research into eugenics in the early 20th century that was later taken up by Germany.

不过,在最初的50年里并非所有贡献都是积极的。就像卡耐基公开自己对世界和平的远大理想一样,大家也都知道沃森相信这项事业最好能通过国家间的交易得到推动,包括纳粹德国。1937年,希特勒亲自让沃森相信他并不想要战争。1940年德国一侵占法国,沃森就意识到自己的错误了,他努力使IBM远离纳粹,但是公司在德国的分公司向达豪集中营提供了一种机器。(IBM从这件事中得到了教训,70年代末南非爆发反对种族隔离的抗议后,IBM是第一批撤离南非的国际公司。)卡耐基的名号也间接地与纳粹联系在一起,因为卡耐基学院资助了20世纪初有关优生学的研究,这项研究后来被德国人占据。

In their second 50 years the two institutions’ impact has arguably been reversed. Carnegie had a couple of triumphs in the 1960s, helping the launch of public broadcasting in America and the creation (for educational reasons) of “Sesame Street”, the most popular children’s television show ever. But since then, Carnegie has seen its influence decline. Among other things, it has suffered from philosophical self-doubt (a report it commissioned in the 1970s in effect urged America to embrace European-style socialism) and the emergence of newer, bigger philanthropies (by assets, it now barely scrapes into America’s top 20 foundations). Although Carnegie still does important work, such as its efforts to understand Islam, championed by Vartan Gregorian, its current president, the corporation is showing its age.

在第二个50年里,这两家机构的影响力都扭转过来,有事实可以证明。卡耐基在60年代胜利连连,帮助在美国建立了公共广播和创造《芝麻街》(出于教育目的),这是迄今为止最受欢迎的儿童电视秀。但是自那以后,卡耐基基金会就开始目睹自己影响力日渐衰落。别的不说,它遭遇了哲学上的自我怀疑(70年代它发布的一个报告事实上督促美国要接受欧洲式的社会主义)而且还有更新的、规模更大的慈善机构涌现(以资产计算,现在它刚刚挤进美国20大基金会之列)。尽管卡耐基基金会仍然从事着重要的工作,比如由现任总裁瓦谭??格里格瑞恩(Vartan Gregorian)领导的理解伊斯兰的行动,但是这个基金会的确垂垂老矣。

IBM, by contrast, is now as influential as it has ever been, with a stockmarket value of around $200 billion and nearly 427,000 employees, many of them in the developing world. It has sponsored—and ultimately benefited from—a continuous series of innovations, from the mainframe to the personal computer, services and cloud computing. Its corporate philanthropy has grown steadily, so that its annual grants now exceed those of the Carnegie Corporation. It has also tackled policy challenges in a head-on, Carnegie-esque way. In 1996 it became the first company to convene a summit meeting on American education. Out of that came a commitment to find ways to measure school performance, which IBM helped to develop.

反观IBM,现在它的影响力一如既往,其股票价值约为2000亿美元,拥有近427000名员工,很多都是在发展中国家。它赞助了——并最终从中得益——一系列持续性的发明,从大型计算机到个人电脑、服务与计算。它的公司慈善稳步增长,年拨款已超卡耐基基金会的了。它还以一种正面的、卡耐基式的方式应对政策上的挑战。1996年它成为第一个就美国教育问题召开峰会的公司。此峰会的成果是承诺寻找方法来衡量学校表现,由IBM帮助开发。

Judged on the past 50 years, there is a strong case for saying IBM has had more impact than Carnegie—especially if you count its accidental contribution to philanthropy by incompetently failing to stop Mr Gates from creating Microsoft. In part this is because its business, the management of information, has unusually large social benefits, and causes relatively few social or environmental costs.

从过去的50年看,有充分的理由表明IBM比卡耐基的影响力更大——特别是如果你算上它偶尔对慈善做出的贡献,原因是它没能阻止盖茨创立微软。部分看这是因为它的业务,信息管,拥有无比巨大的社会利益,而且引起相对比较少的社会或环境消耗。

In future, IBM expects to play an even greater role in profitably solving social problems by working with governments. “Everybody says they’re unsolvable—safe borders, clean water, energy. But the application of technology can solve a lot of these things we wrestle with,” points out Mr Palmisano. Firms in other, dirtier industries may not compare against philanthropy so well.

在未来,IBM预计会通过与政府合作在切实解决社会问题上发挥更加强大的作用。“每个人都说那些问题是无法解决的——安全的边界,干净的水和能源。但是应用科技能解决很多棘手的问题,”彭明盛先生指出。其他污染更严重的公司在慈善上也许无法与之相比。

IBM has also been unusual in keeping up its significant investment in relatively pure research, which can have large social benefits. They were seen most recently in the development of Watson, a computer capable of beating human champions at the game “Jeopardy!” just as its Deep Blue computer earlier saw off several human chess grandmasters. In this respect, IBM may be a model for Mr Porter’s idea of shared value. But is its approach replicable or is it just an exception? AT&T’s Bell Labs and Xerox PARC have left their glorious histories behind them, yet somehow IBM’s research culture has survived. What differentiated IBM seems to have been a decision in the late 1970s to create a series of joint projects between product developers and IBM researchers.

IBM还与众不同地对纯粹的研究持续地大笔投资,那些研究可以很好地造福社会。最近的例子是电脑沃森的开发,它能在“危险”游戏中击败人类冠军,就像之前的深蓝电脑击败了几位人类的国际象棋大师一样。从这方面看,IBM也许就是波特先生所说的共享价值的代表。但是它的方法是可以复制的还是只是一个例外呢?美国电报电话公司的贝尔实验室和施乐帕洛阿尔托研究中心(Xerox PARC)的辉煌历史已经过去了,但是不知怎的IBM的研究文化却幸存下来。让IBM不同的似乎是70年代末的一个决定,即在产品开发者和IBM研究者之间创立一系列共同参与的项目。

Why, by contrast, has the Carnegie Corporation seen its influence decline? There are many possible explanations. While it has stayed the same during the past 50 years, governments and private companies have grown far bigger. Alan Pifer, the foundation’s president after Gardner, has likened traditional foundations such as his to the dodo, saying that they now need to develop “slim bodies and well-developed wings”. This meant focusing on “critical points of leverage”, where a foundation’s grants could have a disproportionately large effect by influencing the money and power of other institutions, not least government. Today’s leading philanthropists, from Bill Gates down, also talk the language of leverage—but there are grounds to think they are doing better at it than the Carnegie Corporation is.

为什么与之相比卡耐基基金会的影响力却下降了呢?可能的解释有很多。虽然它在过去的50年里几乎没怎么变,但是政府和私人公司却扩大了很多。加德纳的继任者阿兰??派弗(Alan Pifer)把传统基金会和渡渡鸟联系在一起,说称基金会现在需要锻炼“苗条的身体和发达的翅膀”。这意味着集中精神于“杠杆的关节点”,一个基金会的资金可以通过影响其他机构的资金和力量、特别是政府的,来达到不成比例的巨大效果。今天的慈善领头羊从比尔盖茨算起也谈到了杠杆的作用——但是有理由相信他们现在做的比卡耐基基金会做的更好。

Another reason for Carnegie’s relative decline may be that 100 years is too old for a philanthropic foundation. The absence of an existential threat may have made it too comfortable. IBM transformed itself under Lou Gerstner when it nearly ran out of cash in the early 1990s, and again more recently under Mr Palmisano when Indian rivals threatened to steal its business. By contrast, it is not clear what, if anything, keeps the people in charge of the Carnegie Corporation awake at night. The passage of time saps a foundation of the unique energy of its founder. Carnegie said of the unknown future leaders of his foundation that “they shall best conform to my wishes by using their own judgment.” That much they have done, but he would probably have fared better.

卡耐基相对下降的另一个原因可能是100岁对于一个慈善机构来说太老了。没有威胁存在也许使它太舒坦了。90年代初IBM在几乎用尽现金的情况下,在郭士纳(Lou Gerstner)的管理下改变,最近又在印度竞争者威胁到要夺取它的业务时在彭明盛先生领导下转变。与之相比,还不清楚到底什么让领导卡耐基基金会的人一直保持清醒。时间的流逝使一个基金会创始人独特的能量逐渐消逝。卡耐基提到未知的他的基金会的未来领导人时说“他们最好利用自己的判断遵循我的遗嘱。”他们确实做了很多,但是他可能做的更好。

No wonder many of today’s philanthropists aim, as Carnegie did, to give away all their money by the time they die, or at least put a time limit on the lifespan of their foundation after their death. The Gates Foundation will have to be wound down 50 years after the second of Bill and Melinda Gates dies.

难怪今天很多慈善家像卡耐基那样立志在离开人世前散尽家财,或者至少为他们死后其基金会的寿命画上一个时间界限。在比尔和梅琳达盖茨都离开人世后,盖茨基金会将继续50年。

The achievements of IBM and the Carnegie Corporation are impossible to quantify mathematically. What seems clear, though, is that as it enters its second century, IBM can plausibly hope that its best years lie ahead. Alas, that seems most unlikely for Carnegie.

IBM和卡耐基基金会的成就无法用数字衡量。不过比较明确的是随着IBM进入第二个百年,它可以希望未来会更好。哎,对于卡耐基基金会来说这似乎不太可能了。

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重点单词
  • jointadj. 联合的,共同的,合资的,连带的 n. 关节,接
  • ambitionn. 雄心,野心,抱负,精力 vt. 有 ... 野心,
  • effectiveadj. 有效的,有影响的
  • continuousadj. 连续的,继续的,连绵不断的
  • coden. 码,密码,法规,准则 vt. 把 ... 编码,制
  • impactn. 冲击(力), 冲突,影响(力) vt. 挤入,压紧
  • boonn. 恩惠 adj. 愉快的
  • capableadj. 有能力的,足以胜任的,有 ... 倾向的
  • comprehensiveadj. 综合的,广泛的,理解的
  • uniqueadj. 独一无二的,独特的,稀罕的