Moral Mazes: The World of Corporate Managers, Robert Jackall

This was the first book I listened to in my recent audiobook spurt, and I chose it as it came highly recommended by Nick Beckstead. The book chronicles Jackall’s findings on the behaviour and motivation of corporate managers in the US, from interviews conducted with anonymous companies for four years in the early 1980s. Jackall’s narrative is engrossing, providing a flurry of insights into workplace psychology and the corporate dysfunction that arises from many self-interested agents trying to optimise for their own career success within a sprawling bureaucracy. One thing worth reporting is that, though it was impressive and always interesting, listening to the book made me a bit sad. Once you start viewing people as acting self-interestedly at all times, it’s hard to stop. Given that the book is fairly long (12 hours), this ended up being quite waring.

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