What Happened to Goldman Sachs: An Insider's Story of Organizational Drift and its Unintended Consequences

What Happened to Goldman Sachs: An Insider's Story of Organizational Drift and its Unintended Consequences

Hardback

By (author) Steven G. Mandis

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  • Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press
  • Format: Hardback | 400 pages
  • Dimensions: 155mm x 236mm x 36mm | 612g
  • Publication date: 15 October 2013
  • ISBN 10: 1422194191
  • ISBN 13: 9781422194195
  • Illustrations note: black & white tables
  • Sales rank: 123,884

Product description

This is the story of the slow evolution of Goldman Sachs--addressing why and how the firm changed from an ethical standard to a legal one as it grew to be a leading global corporation. In What Happened to Goldman Sachs, Steven G. Mandis uncovers the forces behind what he calls Goldman's "organizational drift." Drawing from his firsthand experience; sociological research; analysis of SEC, congressional, and other filings; and a wide array of interviews with former clients, detractors, and current and former partners, Mandis uncovers the pressures that forced Goldman to slowly drift away from the very principles on which its reputation was built. Mandis evaluates what made Goldman Sachs so successful in the first place, how it responded to pressures to grow, why it moved away from the values and partnership culture that sustained it for so many years, what forces accelerated this drift, and why insiders can't--or won't--recognize this crucial change. Combining insightful analysis with engaging storytelling, Mandis has written an insider's history that offers invaluable perspectives to business leaders interested in understanding and managing organizational drift in their own firms.

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Author information

Steven G. Mandis worked at Goldman Sachs from 1992 to 2004 in its investment banking, private equity, and proprietary trading areas. He assisted Hank Paulson and other senior executives on special projects and eventually became a portfolio manager in one of the largest and most successful proprietary trading areas at Goldman Sachs. Post-Goldman, he cofounded a multibillion-dollar global alternative asset management firm that was a trading and investment banking client of Goldman Sachs. During the financial crisis, Mandis was a senior adviser to McKinsey & Company before accepting a senior executive position at Citigroup. Currently, he is an adjunct professor at Columbia Business School and a PhD candidate in the sociology department at Columbia University. He holds an AB from the University of Chicago and an MA and MPhil from Columbia University.

Review quote

"Forget Greg Smith and those muppets. What Happened to Goldman Sachs by Steven Mandis is the book to read." -- [as tweeted by] Andrew Palmer, Finance Editor at The Economist "an accessible, clearly written book. Those interested in all things Goldman will find it useful for its appendixes, which include a timeline of the bank's history and biographical sketches of its top leaders" -- The New York Times "...a remarkable new book..." -- The Economist "...an informative and interesting book. People who don't know what life in a big Wall Street firm is like will find the book enlightening." -- Fortune "In this riveting debut, Columbia Business School professor and former Goldman Sachs executive Mandis examines the factors that tarnished the firm's reputation in recent years. "...a must-read for anyone interested in the world of business and finance, history, or organizational dynamics." -- Publisher's Weekly "... fascinating... for its sympathetic yet unflinching study of a firm and an industry that has come to epitomize what is problematic about Western capitalism, What Happened to Goldman Sachs is hard to beat." -- strategy+business magazine "... entertaining and informative... a welcome addition to the literature on the rise and fall of corporations." -- Seeking Alpha (seekingalpha.com) "... a profound tale." -- The Financial Times "Several authors have tackled the question of how Goldman's culture changed post-1999 but none so deftly as Steven G. Mandis..." -- The Wall Street Journal "Mandis's book describes changes at the bank and across the industry that have contributed to the unflattering portrait of Wall Street that has taken hold since the financial crisis." -- Politico (politico.com) "... a more somber, studied look at the bank's culture... His book, [What Happened to Goldman Sachs] has the added gravitas of being the basis for Mandis's PhD dissertation on his former employer at Columbia University." -- Bloomberg Businessweek "... 'organizational drift' can erode the core values that make any company successful. Steven G. Mandis, a former Goldman Sachs investment banker, explains how that happened to the Wall Street firm and offers prescriptions for combating the problem in this insightful volume." -- Fort-Worth StarTelegram "If you've lost patience (or interest) with the oodles of books that have been churned out about the financial crisis (many of them excellent), reignite your curiosity enough to pick up What Happened to Goldman Sachs?" -- 800 CEO READ "Mandis uses a sociological theory he calls "organizational drift" to explain why and how the culture of his former employer changed over the course of the past three decades. His analysis contributes to an understanding of the inadvertent yet profound consequences that can result from growth with any large organization." -- Business Digest ADVANCE PRAISE for What Happened to Goldman Sachs: Bethany McLean, coauthor, The Smartest Guys in the Room: The Amazing Rise and Scandalous Fall of Enron and All the Devils Are Here: The Hidden History of the Financial Crisis; contributing editor, Vanity Fair-- "Steven Mandis's exploration of how the culture at Goldman Sachs changed should be required reading for anyone who is interested in how organizations evolve and in the culture of Wall Street more generally. Mandis resists judging the firm, but rather explains, thoughtfully and clearly." Donald MacKenzie, professor of sociology, University of Edinburgh; author, An Engine, Not a Camera: How Financial Models Shape Markets-- "The financial crisis has shown us how little we understand about banks as organizations and about their internal cultures. Mandis's pioneering study is thus essential reading for anyone concerned about the future of the financial system." Gerald Davis, Wilbur K. Pierpont Collegiate Professor of Management, Ross School of Business, University of Michigan-- "What Happened to Goldman Sachs explains the organizational processes that led Goldman to drift from its vaunted 'clients come first' culture as it grew from a modest-sized partnership to a vast public corporation. Steven Mandis combines an insider's experience with the tools of sociology to show how pressures for growth resulted in the Goldman Sachs that we know today." Anat Admati, George G.C. Parker Professor of Finance and Economics, Stanford Graduate School of Business; coauthor, The Bankers' New Clothes: What's Wrong with Banking and What to Do about It-- "Steven Mandis, in his thought-provoking book, shows how even a disciplined partnership aiming to put its clients' needs first can, bit by bit, become a large, complex corporation mired in conflicts big and small. Mandis's nuanced and convincing analysis reveals the key forces that we all need to worry about when it comes to banking--or any sector that's so important to the health of the economy: conflict of interest, self-dealing, and excess risk-taking."