Said One Executive:
“Why should my conscience bother me?”
Here are dramatic true stories of executives whose desire for profit leads them into shameful decisions.
Naming actual executive of major American companies, the authors portray corporate irresponsibility in human term. One executive is shown as he orders his subordinates to fake a lab report, even though the result might be loss of life. Others are shown as they bribe a city official, as they knowingly sell a dangerous drug, as they enrich themselves by betraying their stockholders.
These men are not the familiar fast-buck artists, the petty cheats who can be dismissed as “bad apples.” The authors reveal themselves as solid citizens, educated and well-respected. Yet in the course of business they easily yield to ambition, avarice or the corporate culture. And almost always, after they are exposed, they are promoted by their companies.
Together these profiles, all of them written especially for this book, give life to questions raised by books such as America, Inc. and The Greening of America:
· What kind of men run some super-corporations?
· How can “good men” behave so badly”
· Does working for a corporation mean violating one’s conscience?
After all the stories are told, the brilliant economist and social critic Robert L. Heilbroner offers a chapter of perspective. First he confronts the various positions on corporate responsibility—at one extreme, breaking up the big corporations; at the other, leaving executive entirely free to maximize profits. And then he cuts through to the realities if the matter, showing us where the best chance of remedy lies.