When Giants Stumble: Classic Business Blunders and How to Avoid Them

3.5 avg rating
( 10 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9780788199431: When Giants Stumble: Classic Business Blunders and How to Avoid Them

A noted business historian presents captivating profiles of corporate blunders, with illuminating insights into the misguided motives that make promising concepts fail and industry giants crumble. Packard, E.J. Korvette, RCA, Drexel Burnham Lambert, Pabst, Schwinn. Once industry leaders, these companies all suffered devastating--and, in some cases, fatal--setbacks because of one pivotal mistake. A renowned writer and speaker who has traced the missteps of corporate America, Robert Sobel offers a fascinating look at 15 glaring and enlightening product flops and management foibles. Rather than call attention to corporate greed or foolishness, the author reveals surprisingly sound reasoning behind some of the worst moves in modern business history. Capturing tragic mistakes in the making, each chapter spotlights a key blunder committed by a onetime mover and shaker. Critical errors include: tinkering with winning products--or marketing "downscale" versions; getting blindsided by rivals or government regulations; striving to outdo a famed predecessor; fighting technology--or sheepishly following every innovation; and mistaking temporary industry changes for permanent ones--or vice versa. Lively and eye-opening, WHEN GIANTS STUMBLE explores a side of business history too seldom discussed, with valuable lessons for both thriving and floundering companies.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

Review:

Over the years, Robert Sobel (Dangerous Dreamers, For Want of a Nail, Coolidge) has discovered that you can learn as much from analyzing a business's failure as its success. In When Giants Stumble: Classic Business Blunders and How to Avoid Them, the Hofstra University business-history professor zeroes in on 15 devastating failures that either severely damaged companies or spelled their doom. "After all, medical people study diseases in order to learn how to keep people healthy. Why not apply the same logic to the study of business blunders?" For example, in a chapter on E.J. Korvette, Sobel explains how founder Eugene Ferkauf created a discount-marketing Goliath that tallied an astounding $1 million in sales when it opened in 1948--only to spiral into bankruptcy by 1980 due to poor hiring practices, undercapitalization, and ill-planned expansion. Other companies that come under Sobel's microscope include Osborne Computer, Montgomery Ward, Pan American World Airways, Schwinn, Pabst, and the NYSE. What was common to all of these companies was that their failure was preceded by great success, which should give many of today's movers and shakers plenty to think about. Recommended. --Howard Rothman

About the Author:

Robert Sobel is a Lawrence Stessin Distinguished Professor of Business History at Hofstra University. The author of over 40 books, including Dangerous Dreamers: The Financial Innovators from Charles Merrill to Michael Milken, he writes a monthly column on financial history for Barron's. He lives in Long Beach, New York.

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Buy Used View Book
List Price: US$ 26.00
US$ 29.41

Convert Currency

Shipping: US$ 3.99
Within U.S.A.

Destination, Rates & Speeds

Add to Basket

Top Search Results from the AbeBooks Marketplace

1.

Robert Sobel
Published by Prentice-Hall (1999)
ISBN 10: 0788199439 ISBN 13: 9780788199431
Used Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Ergodebooks
(RICHMOND, TX, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Prentice-Hall, 1999. Hardcover. Book Condition: Used: Good. Bookseller Inventory # SONG0788199439

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy Used
US$ 29.41
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds