Edited by Ronald J. Burke and Cary L. Cooper
Chapter 1: Greed
Ronald J. Burke* The point is, ladies and gentlemen, that: Greed, for lack of a better word is good. Greed is right; greed works. Greed clarifies, cuts through, and captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit. Greed, in all of its forms, greed for life, for money, for love, knowledge – has marked the upward surge of mankind and greed, you mark my words – will not only save Teldar Paper but that other malfunctioning corporation called the USA. Words spoken by Gordon Gecko in the movie Wall Street (1987), written and directed by Oliver Stone Introduction Greed – noun – avarice, insatiable desire or covetousness Cassell, 1997 Greed, in layman’s terms, is the selfish desire for or pursuit of money wealth, food or other possessions. It is generally considered a vice and one of the seven deadly sins in Catholicism. A simple desire to increase one’s wealth is generally acceptable in all societies and is not considered to be greed. Greed is the extreme form of this desire. This chapter is about greed. One might ask why a chapter on greed starts a collection dealing with crime and corruption in organizations. I believe that greed underlies all acts of crime and corruption in organizations. A famous American bank robber was arrested once again following a bank robbery. When asked why he continued to rob banks he replied, ‘That’s where the money is’. Crime and corruption seem to be flourishing today in organizations because ‘that’s where the money is’. Consider the following examples. In...
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