WE'RE SO BIG AND POWERFUL NOTHING BAD CAN HAPPEN TO US: An Investigation of America's Crisis Prone Culture by Ian & Thierry Pauchant Mitroff

WE'RE SO BIG AND POWERFUL NOTHING BAD CAN HAPPEN TO US: An Investigation of America's Crisis Prone Culture

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KIRKUS REVIEW

What forces are responsible for disasters such as the Union Carbide Bhopal accident, the Exxon Valdez oil spill, and the Hinsdale fire that shut down Chicago's telecommunications in 1988? Not corporate greed, government complicity, human error, or general stupidity, say crisis management specialists Mitroff and Pauchant. Though these factors certainly operate, the ""deeper"" explanation, they argue, lies in the emotional inability to confront the possibility of disaster. From their interviews with over 350 executives, the author have divided organizations into the ""crisis prone"" (either ""tragic"" or ""destructive"") and ""crisis prepared"" (only five-to-15 percent of all organizations), and identified a long list of ""games""--among them buffering, blaming, cocooning, busy-ness and technophilia--that executives and organizations play to avoid dealing with reality, responsibility, and the need to change. You might recognize some of the rationalizations, but the list goes by too fast to impart any real insights. And from there the book unwinds centrifugally as Mitroff and Pauchant deplore our blind reliance on technology, quote Jean Baudrillard and others on America's pervasive game- and-TV culture, and end up sounding off on everything from the women's movement to the environmental movement. This might well broaden business readers' horizons, but it never cuts very deep with new analysis.

Pub Date: Dec. 3rd, 1990
Publisher: Birch Lane/Carol