Moral Mazes

Moral Mazes : The World of Corporate Managers

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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 more

Product details

  • Paperback | 249 pages
  • 154.94 x 231.14 x 22.86mm | 521.63g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • New edition
  • New edition
  • 0195060806
  • 9780195060805

About Robert Jackall

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. more

Review quote

"The real value of Moral Mazes is in its lucid, literate description of the world in which managers' live....Every business student and budding manager would be well advised to read this account....very interesting and important work, well worth the investment of time required to absorb and understand it."--Leonard J. Brooks, Journal of Business Ethics"This book presents realistic accounts of corporate subculture and is an exemplary text for students."--Dr. Clifford Dorne, Texas A&M International"Jackall has penetrated the recesses of the corporate world and returned with the finest account of the moral structure of that world that we are likely to get. This work is surely to become the definitive account of the labyrinth of ethics traversed by today's managerial elite."--Stanford M. Lyman, Florida Atlantic University"A valuable addition to existing works because it discusses practical applications of solutions to ethical problems."--Library Journal"Scandals over 'insider trading, ' as practiced by Oliver North as well as by Ivan Boesky, have helped turn business ethics books into a booming business. Moral Mazes is the best of the recent releases."--Los Angeles Times"Reformers who want to change the corporation, first must understand it. Robert Jackall's carefully researched analysis of the 'bureaucratic ethos' is one place to begin."--Ethikos"A finely honed tour of an odyssey of moral transformation, in which the actors themselves remain largely unaware of the nature of their journey. It is a brilliant work."--Troy Duster, University of California, Berkeley"Is managerial success in American corporate business mainly the result of hard work? Robert Jackall's book is indispensable reading for anyone seeking an answer to this question."--Hans Speier, University of Massachusetts, Amherst"An interesting, unorthodox, and provocative book....Better than any other I have seen, [Jackall's] study reveals the normative reality of the manager's world."--Geoffrey C. Hazard, Jr., Yale Journal on Regulation"A disturbing book....It evokes, cautions, and speaks of the secrets to be found in organizational worlds, and few readers will be unmoved by the author's careful, culturally informed critique of managerial practice....Jackall disturbs the calm and reassuring fronts displayed by corporate managers and their spokesmen in ways that instruct and challenge the reader."--John Van Maanen, Administrative Science Quarterlyshow more

Rating details

185 ratings
4.01 out of 5 stars
5 31% (58)
4 44% (82)
3 18% (34)
2 6% (11)
1 0% (0)
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