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Read the FT's new review of Pariahs here
In the last few years repeated scandals have rocked the worlds of many industries. Stories hit the headlines about things such as deliberate cheating by car makers to evade emissions tests; LIBOR and FX manipulation by bankers; falsification of drug testing results by major pharmaceutical corporations; and many similar activities. Although it may not be obvious what has gone wrong, or who is at fault, the result can be a catastrophic loss of trust and sense of betrayal.
Having had a privileged insider seat in several of the firms which became widely disliked, Matt Nixon concludes that the picture often painted in the public narrative of widespread criminality, immorality and incompetence is at odds with the day-to-day reality of life in such businesses. In Pariahs: Hubris, reputation and organisational crises, he explores why organisations can lose their trusted reputations and become ‘Pariahs’. He goes on to suggest how ‘Pariah’ firms can become acceptable again and how those working inside such organisations can cope with those who question their choices. In particular he examines the effect of the hubris of organisational cultures and leadership, and explores the vital role that the employees can play in both causing and stopping Pariahs forming.
Trust in corporate institutions is on the decline – yet we lack consensus as to why, much less how to respond. Most analyses are trivial, general, or both. Enter Matt Nixon’s Pariahs – an “insider’s” book that is informed, thoughtful, and above all, contextual.
Charlie Green, author of The Trusted Advisor
In Pariahs Nixon looks at an issue we all find fascinating as long as we are mere observers: organizations which become outcasts. Writing in clear flowing prose he draws on ancient history and current examples to take us beyond the headlines. A great book!
Christian Stadler, Professor of Strategic Management, Warwick Business School
With compelling clarity [Nixon] has drawn a red thread between an excess of ego, the resulting manifestation of that in large organisations and the truly awesome implications for organisations and the societies that they serve.
Colin Price, Global Managing Partner, Leadership Consulting Heidrick and Struggles
Matt Nixon asks unusual and intriguing questions on how the flouting of social norms can lead organisations to “pariah” status… if you feel your organisation is teetering on the brink of “pariahdom” seize this book and act on the recommendations.’
Naomi Stanford, Organisation Design Consultant and author of The Economist Guides to Organisation Design and Organisation Culture
This book covers really important topics. Anyone who has been touched by the changing waves of corporate activity – or is in a job where they are likely to be – should read Pariahs.
Barnaby Briggs, MD Plexitas Consulting, previously Head of Social Performance, Royal Dutch Shell
In Pariahs, Matt Nixon provides both diagnostics and treatment advice for a fatal disease in the corporate world – systemic culture failure. A timely leadership book for our turbulent and fragmented era, in which an honestly lived corporate purpose is more vital than ever.
Björn Edlund, former Head of Corporate Communications at Royal Dutch Shell plc, ABB Ltd and Sandoz AG
Pariahs is one of those books with the strength to convert the unconverted. Nixon’s analysis of corporate reputation costs, as well as opportunities for change, will be an eye-opener difficult to ignore.
Alejandro Litovsky, Founder/CEO, Earth Security Group