THE CORPORATION - The pathological Pursuit of Profit and Power ....
Release date: 2003
Canada (Penguin), US (Free Press, Simon and Schuster) and UK (Random House)

 

Order "The Corporation" at (Canada) Amazon.ca , (US) Simon & Schuster, (UK) Amazon.co.uk

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THE BOOK

Joel Bakan's book is a brilliantly argued account of the corporation's pathological pursuit of profit and power. An eminent law professor and legal theorist, Bakan contends that the corporation is created by law to function much like a psychopathic personality whose destructive behavior, if left unchecked, leads to scandal and ruin.

In the most revolutionary assessment of the corporation as a legal and economic institution since Peter Drucker's early works, Bakan backs his premise with the following claims:

• The corporation's legally defined mandate is to pursue relentlessly and without exception its own economic self-interest, regardless of the harmful consequences it might cause to others—a concept endorsed by no less a luminary than the Nobel Prize-winning economist Milton Friedman.
• The corporation's unbridled self-interest victimizes individuals, society, and, when it goes awry, even shareholders and can cause corporations to self-destruct, as recent Wall Street scandals reveal.
• While corporate social responsibility in some instances does much good, it is often merely a token gesture, serving to mask the corporation's true character.
• Governments have abdicated much of their control over the corporation, despite its flawed character, by freeing it from legal constraints through deregulation and by granting it ever greater authority over society through privatization.

Despite the structural failings found in the corporation, Bakan believes change is possible and outlines a far-reaching program of concrete, pragmatic, and realistic reforms through legal regulation and democratic control.

Backed by extensive research, The Corporation draws on in-depth interviews with such wide-ranging figures as CEO Hank McKinnell of Pfizer, Nobel Prize-winner Milton Friedman, business guru Peter Drucker, and critic Noam Chomsky of MIT.

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PRAISE

"Cool, rational, devastating…. As a manifesto for change, it could be the most important book written in decades."
Sunday Star-Times (New Zealand)

"Devastating…crystalline, cant-clearing…Many readers will do what I did upon finishing the book: reach for the phone, call a friend, and say, 'This is the book we've been waiting for.'"
Seattle Weekly

"Bakan's brief is as well-ordered, concise and sober as its accusation is grave…[The Corporation is] lucid and urgent…cool and authoritative."
The Observer (United Kingdom)

"A powerful and elegant critique, which is both clear and accessible…a significant challenge to the way we think about business."
International Journal of Management Concepts and Philosophy

"Bakan does such a good job of creating awareness that it can't help but be a call to action."
USA Today

"Bakan... takes a powerful stab at the most influential institution of our time, the corporation. ... [An] eye-opening look at a system 'programmed to exploit others for profit.'"
Booklist - starred review

"Bakan's analysis is strong on pinpointing problems with current business."
Harvard Business Review

"His prose is soothing, free of scholarly clottedness and leftist stridency. The reader is impressed - thrilled even - to watch him coolly denude the corporate person until it stands naked and vulnerable."
Vancouver Sun

"All senior business executives should find the time to read this well-researched and well-written book....The Corporation will force you to reflect on what really matters, both in one's life and in one's company."
The Globe and Mail

 
 
  © Joel Bakan