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When good companies do bad things

Peter Schwartz (Peter Schwartz is co‐founder and chairman of Global Business Network (GBN), a unique membership organization and worldwide network based in Emeryville, California. GBN specializes in corporate scenario planning and research on the future of business environments. Peter’s latest book, co‐authored with Blair Gibb, is When Good Companies Do Bad Things: Responsibility and Risk in an Age of Globalization (John Wiley, 1999). This article is adapted from his remarks at the Strategic Leadership Forum’s 1999 international conference.)

Strategy & Leadership

ISSN: 1087-8572

Article publication date: 1 June 2000



Business reputations have become more exposed as companies and the media have globalized. At the same time, the importance of reputation is growing. It takes a long time to build a reputation, but it can be destroyed in a single event, as shown in the case examples of Royal Dutch Shell, Unocal, Texaco, Nike, and others. Reputation must now be viewed as one of the key results of the business, not just an incidental by‐product. This article describes the ways in which business leaders can be alert to a potential crisis and form an acceptable response in order to maintain a company’s reputation.



Schwartz, P. (2000), "When good companies do bad things", Strategy & Leadership, Vol. 28 No. 3, pp. 4-11.




Copyright © 2000, MCB UP Limited

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