Looking for first-person accounts of descent into corporate corruption.
March 20, 2012 10:20 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking for good first-person non-fiction accounts of how people rationalize their descent into bad behavior. I'm particularly interested in business or organizational contexts in which unethical behavior or corrupt behavior has occurred. Anything come to mind? Thanks!
posted by langedon to Work & Money (11 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Jon Ronson's new book "The Psychopath Test" had an interesting section where he interviews Al Dunlap, I think it's pretty close to what you're looking for.
posted by pete_22 at 10:28 AM on March 20, 2012

Maybe The Lucifer Effect? It's a detailed examination of the infamous Stanford Prison experiment by the man who ran it, and is an example of how rotten organisations produce bad behaviour.
posted by KateViolet at 10:28 AM on March 20, 2012

It's not exactly first person, but The Informant jumps immediately to mind.
posted by jquinby at 10:28 AM on March 20, 2012

This American Life also did a show on The Informant(!) so you can see it through the eyes of a number of key players.
posted by brentajones at 10:36 AM on March 20, 2012

This is not business or organizational, but The Adversary, a nonfiction book by Emmanuelle Carrere, is a really outstanding account of how an ordinary man wove a web of lies (after failing out of med school) that culminated in his killing his entire family.
posted by jayder at 11:00 AM on March 20, 2012

There's a Chekhov short story called The Party that you might want to read.
posted by tel3path at 12:51 PM on March 20, 2012 [1 favorite]

posted by John Cohen at 2:03 PM on March 20, 2012

This isn't first person but it certainly documents the process extremely well - The Power Broker
posted by ptm at 4:08 PM on March 20, 2012

posted by trillian at 9:47 AM on March 21, 2012

Journalist David Carr wrote The Night of the Gun, a memoir of his addiction to crack cocaine, in which he fact-checks (with cops, ex-girlfriends, old drinking buddies, siblings, his daughters, et al.) the events of his past. Not surprisingly, his memories often diverge quite widely from those of the people he interviews. (By the way, the link above will take you to a website that fleshes out the book with photos, documents, and video clips.)

The book doesn't center on "unethical behavior or corrupt behavior" per se, but it certainly doesn't skip over how Carr's addiction played out in the workplace. (He worked for alternative weeklies in Minneapolis and D.C., as well as for New York and Atlantic magazines, before becoming New York Times media columnist.) And there's a bleakly moving cameo by Jayson Blair -- Carr begged his friend, a fellow recovering addict, to stay on the wagon after his plagiarism was outed.
posted by virago at 5:43 PM on March 21, 2012

Response by poster: Thanks, everybody.
posted by langedon at 10:08 AM on March 30, 2012

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