Background Note | HBS Case Collection | November 1994

Why Bad Things Happen to Good Companies

by Benson P. Shapiro, Adrian J. Slywotsky and Richard S. Tedlow


Describes the Darwinian internal and external processes that lead to poor performance from a previously well performing company. Demonstrates why any business design eventually fails and the role of organizational calcification and poor leadership in the failure. Also provides prescriptions to prevent and alleviate the problems.

Keywords: Leadership; Management Practices and Processes; Organizational Design; Failure; Performance;


Shapiro, Benson P., Adrian J. Slywotsky, and Richard S. Tedlow. "Why Bad Things Happen to Good Companies." Harvard Business School Background Note 595-045, November 1994.