CORPORATE LIVES: A Journey Into the Corporate World by George & Jeanne Summerfield de Mare

CORPORATE LIVES: A Journey Into the Corporate World

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KIRKUS REVIEW

This is a series of first-person case histories of corporate executives and the influence the corporation has on their lives. One Chairman of the Board, one woman-on-her-way-up, and one successful black corporate type are represented. The rest are the drones of industry, and each reveals (anonymously) the semi-intimate details of his climb on the corporate ladder. If there is a common denominator, it may be that everyone starts out upwardly-mobile, then proceeds with varying degrees of disillusion to his level of incompetence. Many of the businessmen earmarked for failure know it, and each can attribute his fall to one specific indiscretion--usually with a woman or a bottle. Those who continue to rise do so because they play the bureaucratic game. (But they get ulcers.) What the reader never really learns is how to play, or what the game really means, since most of those analyzed appear to be automatons, who speak only in terms of their position in the corporate structure. It isn't until the author's summation that we find the case histories to be agglomerates, loosely held together by his own preconceived notions. So the Peter Principle operates on a second level also: interest in the text wanes in inverse proportion to the time that it takes the drones to tell their stories.

Pub Date: May 1st, 1976
Publisher: Van Nostrand Reinhold