The main question is posed by this book is– Can business approaches, based on markets mechanisms, transform societies or do the merely treat the symptoms of social issues which are often induced by market inequalities. These approaches (development vs. market) seem at odds with each other, although there is some overlap.
The conclusion put forth is that a business can get things (goods and services) to people more efficiently than many development approaches. However, the lack of goods and services is not the only factor contributing to poverty. Many of the reasons that people are poor is because they lack the education, skills, resources ( land, money, connections) and social position within society (which creates marginalized groups) within society. Thus, much of what civil society and NGOs work to address are underlying causes of poverty ( e.g. racism, stigma)- to bring about social transformation such as the civil rights movement. This is not an area that business is well-positioned to address. Thus, it is essential that the core competencies of civil society and business are maximized to effectively address the multi-faceted nature of poverty- no single approach will be successful.