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Innovation Corrupted: The Origins and Legacy of Enron's Collapse Hardcover – July 30, 2008

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ISBN-13: 978-0674028258 ISBN-10: 0674028252

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Editorial Reviews


A superb book. Innovation Corrupted provides the deepest analysis yet of the collapse of Enron. It's essential reading for anyone who wants to understand why success without an ethical foundation leads to disaster. (Bill George, author of True North)

What do ethical lapses, director failings, colluding intermediaries, and conflicted watchdogs have to do with Enron's implosion? Everything. Salter's painstaking research into virtually every record and recollection available demonstrates that there is no single villain in the Enron story--rather a posse of insiders and outsiders fixated on the capital market and apparently oblivious to waving red flags. His lesson for the governance of public companies is that board service is not for amateurs dazzled by position and publicity; it requires deep knowledge of the business of the corporation, insight into the potentially perverse effects of financial incentives, time, capacity, and courage to question management's assumptions and obfuscations, and ethical discipline. (Ira M. Millstein, Senior Partner, Weil, Gotshal, & Manges)

Salter goes beyond previous books by proposing practical recommendations (regarding board oversight, financial incentives, and the maintenance of ethical discipline) for preventing future disasters. Salter has produced a very readable, comprehensive analysis of the social pathologies and administrative failures that led to Enron's implosion. (D. C. Daly Choice 2008-12-01)

About the Author

Malcolm S. Salter is James J. Hill Professor of Business Administration, Emeritus, at the Harvard Business School.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 544 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press (June 30, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0674028252
  • ISBN-13: 978-0674028258
  • Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 6.2 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #620,781 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Gary R. Oliver on February 23, 2013
Format: Hardcover
There have been many popular, sensationalist, books on Enron. This one which has been overlooked, stands the test of time. It focuses on the ethics of the situation(s) and concludes that for a long time they were operating, arguably, within the law but not ethically. It was toward the end that desperate actions were taken which were lawless. We should be always mindful that the law is a low level of morality and that ethics calls for a higher standard. There have recently been an endless number of individuals confessing their lawlessness to reduce their sentence or save some of their loss of reputation. According to this book the loopholes are present but the perpetrators at different levels are revealling an extremely low sense of ethics. The question that always has to be asked is: Are these people so self centred that the corporate ethics don't matter to them or is the corporate ethics code so flexible to accommodate most kinds of behaviour?
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Innovation Corrupted: The Origins and Legacy of Enron's Collapse
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