Friday, January 26, 2007

Beyond the Looking Glass: Overcoming the Seductive Culture of Corporate Narcissism

Beyond The Looking Glass: Overcoming the Seductive Culture of Corporate Narcissism is organizational psychologist Alan Downs's provocative exploration of high-profile corporate leaders (such as Al Dunlap and Robert Allen) who literally have only one thing on their minds: profits. Such narrow focus actually may yield positive short-term benefits, Downs writes, but ultimately it will drag down individual employees as well as entire companies. Alternative thinking is proposed, and some firms now utilizing these options are examined.

Beyond the Looking Glass: Overcoming the Seductive Culture of Corporate Narcissism
by Alan Downs
ISBN-10: 0814403433
ISBN-13: 978-0814403433

How can you cure a sickness when you don't know its cause? Many of today's corporations are exhibiting the disturbing symptoms of a hard-to-define illness. You see signs of the malady in numerous ways: irrational decision-making, massive downsizings, excessive executive pay, low morale, and a sense of isolation among employee. At some companies there's an even odder symptom: workaholic managers who seem indifferent to what they're working so hard at. What's going on here? Alan Downs, a noted author and organizational psychologist, has identified a root cause of this baffling and destructive ailment and given it a name. He calls it corporate narcissism. In Beyond the Looking Glass, he diagnoses this syndrome and explores ways to cure it. With dozens of vivid, real-life examples, Beyond the Looking Glass uncovers destructive cases of corporate narcissism and describes healthy companies that have resisted this negative force. Downs points the way to some powerful solutions for overcoming narcissism. If you are at a high level in your company, the book shows you how to create an organizational environment that doesn't tolerate extreme narcissistic behavior. If you work for or with a corporate narcissist, Beyond the Looking Glass shows you numerous self-defense techniques for survival. Ultimately, Beyond the Looking Glass poses the central question: What is the purpose of an organization? For companies like Levi Strauss, Starbuck's, Nordstrom's, and others cited in this book, the purpose goes far beyond profits. Making money is important, certainly - but equally critical are producing excellent products and services as well as providing a satisfying and rewarding place to work. In such a place, employees reward the company with their creativity, loyalty, and energy. That's profitable for all.