Moral Mazes: The World of Corporate Managers

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Oxford University Press, 1989 - Political Science - 249 pages
11 Reviews
Robert Jackall's Moral Mazes offers an eye-opening account of how corporate managers think the world works, and how big organizations shape moral consciousness.
Based on extensive interviews with managers at every level of two industrial firms and of a large public relations agency, Moral Mazes takes the reader inside the intricate world of the corporation. Jackall reveals a world where hard work does not necessarily lead to success, but where sharp talk, self-promotion, powerful patrons, and sheer luck might. Cheerfully-bland public faces mask intense competition in this world where people hide their intentions, and accountability often depends on the ability to outrun mistakes.
In this topsy-turvy world, managers must bring often unforgiving technology and always difficult people together to make money, an uncompromising task demanding continual compromises with conventional truths. Moral questions become merely practical concerns and issues of public relations. Sooner or later, managers find themselves wondering how to act in such a world and still maintain a sense of personal integrity.
This brilliant, sometimes disturbing, often wildly funny study of corporate thinking, decision-making, and morality presents compelling real life stories of the men and women charged with running the businesses of America. It will interest anyone concerned with how big organizations actually function, or with the current moral malaise in our public life.
  

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Review: Moral Mazes: The World of Corporate Managers

User Review  - steve ulrich - Goodreads

this man was before his time. the introduction alone is worth the kindle price. everyone knows that bureaucracy creates its own rules, but rarely are they parsed and analyzed by an external party. if ... Read full review

Review: Moral Mazes: The World of Corporate Managers

User Review  - Clayton Lengel-zigich - Goodreads

While dated, the stories outlined in this book are still pretty applicable to everyday corporate life. Lots of interesting anecdotes about the crazy shit normally (or not) rational people do in the ... Read full review

Contents

Business as a Social and Moral Terrain
3
Moral Probations Old and New
7
The Social Structure of Managerial Work
17
The Main Chance
41
Looking Up and Looking Around
75
Drawing Lines
101
Dexterity with Symbols
134
The Magic Lantern
162
Invitations to Jeopardy
191
AUTHORS NOTE
205
NOTES
207
SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER READING
235
INDEX
239
Copyright

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About the author (1989)

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Robert Jackall is Professor of Sociology and Chairman of the Department of Anthropology and Sociology at Williams College. He is the author of Workers in a Labyrinth: Jobs and Survival in a Bank Bureaucracy, and of many essays and reviews in publications such as Harvard Business Review, America, Commonweal, Science, and Contemporary Sociology. He also co-edited Worker Cooperatives in America with Henry M. Levin.

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