Modern corporations, like the mythical hero Oedipus Rex, are afflicted by a refusal to acknowledge the truth that is almost psychopathic. This is according to Leon Gettler, who argues in Organisations Behaving Badly that the spirit of this Greek king to turn a blind eye to the bleeding obvious, is indicative of how many national and international corporations run their empires. This fascinating, and at times humorous exploration of big business, parallels Greek mythology. Like a chief executive confronted with news that threatens the established order, not to mention his job, Oedipus flies into a rage and begins to accuse his brother-in-law, Creon, of plotting to overthrow him. You get the picture? With fascinating and insightful explorations into such organisations as HIH, OneTel, Parmalat, James Hardie and even the role of the Church and the education system, Leon Gettler leaves no stone unturned and sets out to prove that organisations have been behaving badly since ancient civilisation. Leon Gettler is the Economics staff writer at The Age.
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