MANAGEMENT BY COMPULSION: The Corporate Urge to Grow by Rolf H. Wild

MANAGEMENT BY COMPULSION: The Corporate Urge to Grow

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A qualified apologia for large corporations, which contends that Big Business does not have or wield the power ascribed to it by would-be reformers. That there is a concentration problem, however, appears inarguable; at last count, the census of American companies with annual revenues of $1 billion or more stood at over 300. Given the reality that large concerns can weather economic storms and afford to enter new markets more easily than small firms, management's compulsion to pursue growth through mergers or other means is well-nigh irresistible. Also a factor, Wild notes, are compensation programs linked to stock prices. Paradoxically perhaps, price competition is not characteristic of small business. Indeed, corporations small and large will charge going rates for their goods or services so long as they are content with their shares of market. Moreover, Wild notes, government regulation severely distorts the corporate environment by driving up compliance costs for bantamweights. In any event, prevailing conditions have led to a soviet system in which quotas and five-year plans dominate executive policy. ""Eastern and Western [management] methods have become strikingly similar,"" Wild concludes. Stronger on diagnosing causes than prescribing cures, the book nonetheless makes a valuable contribution to the study of big businesses and their penchant for throwing their weight around.

Pub Date: May 30th, 1978
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin