Research Summary

Denial: Why Business Leaders Fail to Look Facts in the Face

by Richard S. Tedlow


Richard S. Tedlow is currently working on a book concerning historical examples of outstanding businesspeople who faced daunting challenges.  The book is divided into two parts:  "Getting It Wrong" and "Getting It Right."  Many times, great businesspeople have simply refused to face reality, and they and their organizations have suffered dreadfully as a result.  The reality of which Prof. Tedlow writes was not only knowable to these businesspeople at the time, it was in fact known by them.  This is not a book that exploits hindsight.  The question which the first half of the book explores is:  Why, knowing that they were facing disaster, did these great businesspeople not change course?  The second part of the book explores business executives facing similarly difficult dilemmas who did change course.  The question with which the book deals is:  Why is it that some people "get it wrong" while others "get it right"?