Monday, January 25, 2010

Management lessons from pirates

From this Freakonomic blog article,

Pirates also needed to limit the risk that their leaders would put individual interests ahead of the interests of the ship. Most economists today would call this problem "self-dealing"; Leeson uses the term "captain predation."

...most corporations since the mid-nineteenth century have behaved more like the Royal Navy, with C.E.O.s who have close to unlimited power and employees who have no say in who runs the organization or how it's administered. C.E.O.s have never been kings—they're chosen by a company's board of directors and can be fired at any time—but in practice they have often functioned more like monarchs than like democratic rulers.

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