THE CORPORATE RESTRUCTURING OF THE 1980S—AND ITS IMPORT FOR THE 1990s *

THE CORPORATE RESTRUCTURING OF THE 1980S—AND ITS IMPORT FOR THE 1990s * by Gordon Donaldson, Harvard Business School THE CORPORATE RESTRUCTURING OF THE 1980s—AND ITS IMPORT FOR THE 1990s* by Gordon Donaldson, Harvard Business School he 1980s will be remembered in the annals of corporate America as the decade of confrontation. Managers whose claim to leadership was based on a lifetime of corporate service were under attack from external critics who asserted a widening gap between investor expectations and corporate performance. Charges of incompetence, inefficiency, indifference, wastefulness, and self-dealing were used to arouse a traditionally passive shareholder electorate to vote for new leadership. In the political vernacular of the 1990s—it was time for a change. To those who had grown up in an era when the professionalization of business management in America had been hailed as a home-grown national treasure and a unique competitive advantage for the second half of the twentieth century, this came as a shock. The drama of a rising tide of corporate takeovers caught the public attention: corporate gladiators fighting to the death before an audience eager for the promised riches of escalating equity values. The business press seized on the excitement of the struggle for personal power and potential wealth to bring corporate affairs into http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Applied Corporate Finance Wiley

THE CORPORATE RESTRUCTURING OF THE 1980S—AND ITS IMPORT FOR THE 1990s *

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Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
Copyright © 1994 Wiley Subscription Services, Inc., A Wiley Company
ISSN
1078-1196
eISSN
1745-6622
D.O.I.
10.1111/j.1745-6622.1994.tb00249.x
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

by Gordon Donaldson, Harvard Business School THE CORPORATE RESTRUCTURING OF THE 1980s—AND ITS IMPORT FOR THE 1990s* by Gordon Donaldson, Harvard Business School he 1980s will be remembered in the annals of corporate America as the decade of confrontation. Managers whose claim to leadership was based on a lifetime of corporate service were under attack from external critics who asserted a widening gap between investor expectations and corporate performance. Charges of incompetence, inefficiency, indifference, wastefulness, and self-dealing were used to arouse a traditionally passive shareholder electorate to vote for new leadership. In the political vernacular of the 1990s—it was time for a change. To those who had grown up in an era when the professionalization of business management in America had been hailed as a home-grown national treasure and a unique competitive advantage for the second half of the twentieth century, this came as a shock. The drama of a rising tide of corporate takeovers caught the public attention: corporate gladiators fighting to the death before an audience eager for the promised riches of escalating equity values. The business press seized on the excitement of the struggle for personal power and potential wealth to bring corporate affairs into

Journal

Journal of Applied Corporate FinanceWiley

Published: Jan 1, 1994

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