DRIVEN TO THE BRINK

 

IMD alumnae Alicia Micklethwait has co-authored a new book on the importance of corporate governance, board leadership and culture.

Driven to the Brink is a collection of short stories about corporate disasters and how inadequate governance and flawed culture caused a massive destruction of shareholder value.

The issue of corporate leadership and culture has risen up the agenda after high-profile scandals at companies such as Uber, where a recent internal investigation into widespread sexual harassment claims led to the departure of its CEO, Travis Kalanick.

Micklethwait argues that two factors emerge in any major corporate meltdown: a failure of corporate governance and a culture where short-termism and greed are rewarded and risk is encouraged to flourish unchecked.

Two years before the global financial crisis of 2008, Micklethwait co-wrote the best-selling book Greed and Corporate Failure, which examined some of the top corporate disasters that erupted in the early years of the 21st century.

Now, with co-author Patty Dimond, she draws on in-depth case studies of the Libor scandal, Olympus, Co-op, Kids Company and others. The pair ask: what have we learned from these scandals and more importantly, what can we do to prevent them from happening again?

They examine the less widely understood world of Corporate China, with detailed discussion of the Lixel and Glaxo frauds. They also look at the story of ecommerce giant Alibaba and ask: is an ethical culture enough to protect shareholder rights?

Micklethwait is a member of the IMD MBA Class of 1993 and an ex IMD Research Associate. She is also a graduate of the University of Oxford and a member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants. Micklethwait is currently CFO of a technology startup company and has held senior accounting and commercial positions in multinational manufacturing companies in London and Brussels. Micklethwait has also taught accounting and finance at several European business schools, and in China.

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