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ELEVEN INHERENT RULES OF CORPORATE BEHAVIOR by Jerry Mander The following list is an attempt to articulate the obligatory rules by which corporations operate Some of the rules overlap but taken together they help reveal why corporations behave as they do and how they have come to dominate their environment and the human beings within it The Profit Imperative Profit is the ultimate measure of all corporate decisions It takes precedence over community well-being worker health public health peace environmental preservation or national security Corporations will even find ways to trade with national enemiesLibya Iran the former Soviet Union Cubawhen public policy abhors it The profit imperative and the growth imperative are the most fundamental corporate drives together they represent the corporations instinct to live The Growth Imperative Corporations live or die by whether they can sustain growth On this depends relationships to investors to the stock market to banks and to public perception The growth imperative also fuels the corporate desire to find and develop scarce resources in obscure parts of the world This effect is now clearly visible as the worlds few remaining pristine places are sacrificed to corporate production The peoples who inhabit these resource-rich regions are similarly pressured to give up their traditional ways and climb on the wheel of production-consumption Corporate planners consciously attempt to bring less developed societies into the modem world to create infrastructures for development as well as new workers and new consumers Corporations claim that they do this for altruistic reasons to raise the living standardbut corporations have no altruism Theoretically privately held corporationsthose owned by individuals or familiesdo not have the imperative to expand In practice however their behavior is the same Such privately held giants as Bechtel Corporation have shown no propensity to moderate growth Competition and Aggression Corporations place every person in management in fierce competition with each other
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