Recent business scandals point to a disturbing breakdown of values in corporate America. This book responds to the crisis by examining the responsibilities of "gatekeepers"—corporate directors, regulators, auditors, lawyers, investment bankers, and business journalists—who stand between corporate misconduct and the public. The essays, by prominent scholars and practitioners, argue that market pressures have made gatekeepers too focused on financial self-interest and too heedless of the public good to live up to society's legitimate expectations. A key part of the book is a set of recommendations for enhancing gatekeeper professionalism. These range from specific steps for improving boards of directors to a call for the investment banking community to establish a uniform code of conduct and articulate its obligations to the investing public.
This book grew out of the Corporate Responsibility Project undertaken by the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. The contributors come from institutions ranging from Wall Street and the nation's leading law and business schools to the AFL-CIO; they include such prominent figures as John S. Reed of the New York Stock Exchange, investment banker Felix Rohatyn, corporate lawyer Martin Lipton, and media commentator and professor of journalism Geneva Overholser.
About the Editors
Jay W. Lorsch is Louis Kirstein Professor of Human Relations at the Harvard Business School.
Leslie Berlowitz is Executive Officer of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Andy Zelleke is Project Director of the American Academy's Corporate Responsibility project and lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School.
"These essays present clear, concise, and cogent analyses of why America lost trust in American business and what must be done in order to restore that trust."
—Donald Keough, Former President and CEO, Coca-Cola Company
"This book could be subtitled 'The Road Back From Enron.' It offers a moderate and readable approach to letting American business back into civilized society on a promise of good behavior—a promise that needs to be monitored."
—Daniel Schorr, Senior News Analyst, National Public Radio
"What has gone wrong with corporate America and how can our society make things right? This authoritative volume presents technical matters in reader-friendly terms, as well as probing analyses, thoughtful recommendations, and critical discussion of those recommendations."
—Howard Gardner, Harvard University, Senior Author,Good Work: When Excellence and Ethics Meet