The Timid Corporation: Why Business Is Terrified of Taking Risk / Edition 1

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Overview

'Irrational pessimism' seems to characterize the business world inthe new millennium. Corporate managers seem unsure of the futureand afraid to take risk.

In this brilliant book, based on primary research, Benjamin Huntargues that risk aversion is now institutionalised in business. Thebelief systems that used to drive business forward in the past havebroken down, replaced by fear and anxiety about change and thefuture. Risk aversion has now become a more permanent mindset andmode of operation, existing even in periods of economicrecovery.

The Timid Corporation shows that managers are on the defensive.Worried about appearing to be unethical, irresponsible, failing tomanage risk, and inefficient with capital, managers have imposed amassive new raft of self-regulation on corporate behaviour - fromethical codes of conduct, to risk management procedures, corporategovernance rules, sustainable development and corporate socialresponsibility regulation. At the same time, corporations havenever been more defensive in their commercial behaviour. Today,corporations aim to get 'close to the customer' at all times, areobsessed with brand loyalty, only innovate in a safe fashion, andavoid bold investment.

The Timid Corporation throws down a challenge to this new riskaversion. Industry needs to adopt a far more critical attitude toself-regulation, and raise its aspirations when it comes totechnological innovation and economic growth.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"…Hunt’s book is recommended – and his rallying cry against risk aversion is attractively original…" (IT Week, 21 March 2003)

"…a penetrating new book…" (Morningstar, 17 April 2003)

"…Hunt does a good job of taking apart many of the assumptions that inform current business practice…" (Spiked-risk, 29 May 2003)

"…remarkable…contains some thought-provoking moments…" (Supply Management, 3 July 2003)

"…this book aims to provide reassurance…" (Gulf Business, August 2003)

"…Hunt has made a provocative case that business today is quite timid…" (Wall Street Journal, 27 August 2003)

"…Hunt is on to something: Most companies are shrinking back from bold moves…" (www.conference-board.org, September 2003)

"…Hunt has hit on a highly provocative theme.." (European Business Forum, Autum 2003)

"…Hunt is absolutely right…" (Ethical Consumer Magazine, October 2003)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780470843680
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 4/22/2003
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 264
  • Product dimensions: 6.02 (w) x 9.44 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Benjamin Hunt is an independent journalist and researcher. He has written for several national newspapers, including Wall Street Journal and Guardian, and numerous specialist journals. He was a contributor to both the Financial Times Mastering Risk series, where he presented his research into the rise of risk management, and the Financial Times Mastering Management series. He has conducted research for a range of clients in the professional services sector, in business, finance and technology fields.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements.

Introduction: The Rise of the Cautious Manager.

PART ONE: THE RE-REGULATION OF THE CORPORATION.

The New Dynamic of Regulation.

Self-Regulation: Entrenching Caution.

The Rise of Risk Management.

Managing for Shareholder Value: The New Financial RiskAversion.

PART TWO: A TIMID APPROACH TO MARKETS.

Industry in Defensive Mode.

The New Obsession with the Customer.

The Dumbing-Down of Innovation.

Fear of Growth.

PART THREE: EXPLAINING AND CHALLENGING RISK AVERSION.

A Crisis of Self-Belief.

Conclusion: Challenging the Culture of Risk Aversion.

Bibliography.

Index.

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 13, 2008

    My review

    Benjamin Hunt's The Timid Corporation is an elaborate informative book on the true values and aspects of today's major corporations.  Hunt uses modern examples of businesses that have been subject to fraud and corruption and uses those perspectives to explain why corporations have evaluated these events and taken a cautious approach to their business.  He explains how corporations have adopted certain ethics committees and risk-management policies to show how they do not want to be mistaken as a corrupt enterprise committed to fraud.  Any person interested in the realistic aspects of corporate business should really take this book into content.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 8, 2004

    Insightful!

    This book offers a passionate and stupendously irreverent slap in the face to virtually every management orthodoxy and business shibboleth. Nothing escapes the scathing criticism of this corporate Jeremiad. Managing for shareholder value? Woe to you, sinner! Think the brand is important? Out with you, infidel! There¿s plenty to find fault with in author Benjamin Hurt¿s presentation of his case. He¿s vengefully biased, and never lets a silly fixation like ¿balance¿ get in the way of a good zinger. He¿s set himself to dig holes in the dikes that hold the wild waters of skepticism at bay. This book will make you mad, make you protest, may even make you throw it against the wall in disgust. But any book that makes you react that way has something going for it. At least, it¿s a bracingly different perspective from anything else you¿ll read about management, marketing or finance. With that caveat about balance firmly in mind, We suggest reading this decidedly eccentric, provocative original, if you dare to take the risk.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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