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Big Bad Business

by
April 2004, no. 260

Bad Company: The cult of the CEO by Gideon Haigh

Black Inc., $12.95 pb, 104 pp

Book 2 Cover Small (400 x 600)

The Big End of Town: Big business and corporate leadership in twentieth-century Australia by Grant Fleming, David Merrett and Simon Ville

Cambridge University Press, $59.95 hb, 310 pp

Big Bad Business

by
April 2004, no. 260

There is something uncommonly beguiling about a business writer who can insouciantly intersperse his argument with references to Eugene O’Neill and T.S. Eliot. Gideon Haigh is such a man, and the tale he has to tell is wonderfully seasoned by his intelligence and literacy. But that does not make its logic compelling.

Bad Company displays an almost tabloid preoccupation with the excesses of certain charismatic CEOs: particularly, in the local context, Ray Williams of HIH and the Wizards of One. Tel. But to suggest that these fallen idols are typical Australian CEOs is like describing Helen Darville as one of our typical novelists, or Ern Malley as a typical poet.

Richard Walsh reviews 'Bad Company: The cult of the CEO' by Gideon Haigh, and 'The Big End of Town: Big business and corporate leadership in twentieth-century Australia' by Grant Fleming, David Merrett and Simon Ville

Bad Company: The cult of the CEO

by Gideon Haigh

Black Inc., $12.95 pb, 104 pp

Book 2 Cover Small (400 x 600)

The Big End of Town: Big business and corporate leadership in twentieth-century Australia

by Grant Fleming, David Merrett and Simon Ville

Cambridge University Press, $59.95 hb, 310 pp

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