The Corporation: The Pathological Pursuit of Profit and Power

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Simon and Schuster, 2005 - Business & Economics - 240 pages
5 Reviews
The inspiration for the film that won the 2004 Sundance Film Festival Audience Award for Best Documentary, The Corporation contends that the corporation is created by law to function much like a psychopathic personality, whose destructive behavior, if unchecked, leads to scandal and ruin.

Over the last 150 years the corporation has risen from relative obscurity to become the world’s dominant economic institution. Eminent Canadian law professor and legal theorist Joel Bakan contends that today's corporation is a pathological institution, a dangerous possessor of the great power it wields over people and societies.

In this revolutionary assessment of the history, character, and globalization of the modern business corporation, Bakan backs his premise with the following observations:

-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.
-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.
-Governments have freed the corporation, despite its flawed character, from legal constraints through deregulation and granted it ever greater authority over society through privatization.

But Bakan believes change is possible and he outlines a far-reaching program of achievable reforms through legal regulation and democratic control.

Featuring in-depth interviews with such wide-ranging figures as Nobel Prize winner Milton Friedman, business guru Peter Drucker, and cultural critic Noam Chomsky, The Corporation is an extraordinary work that will educate and enlighten students, CEOs, whistle-blowers, power brokers, pawns, pundits, and politicians alike.

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The corporation: the pathological pursuit of profit and power

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

At first blush, a book characterizing the modern corporation as an"institutional psychopath" might feel like an exercise in hyperbole, but legal scholar Bakan (Just Words: Constitutional Rights and ... Read full review

User Review - Flag as inappropriate

Celui ci est captivant, hyper documenté, et génial car écrit par un avocat, pas par un businness man justement. On a donc une observation globale et historique des corporations et ce grand écart entre l'intérêt général et le bénéfice (bottom line) pour la société et ses actionnaires. Le bénéfice semble l'emporter...
Mais il y a un peu d'espoir... lisez ce livre.


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About the author (2005)

Joel Bakan is professor of law at the University of British Columbia.

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