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Heroic Business Dynasties

Edwin A. Locke

Presented at: IRM 1998

Date: Jun 28, 1998

Many businesses started by a founding genius struggle, and even collapse, when the founder departs. While this is often attributed to the failure of the founder to initiate a succession plan, the more fundamental cause is the inability to find a successor of equal ability. Businesses that thrive across more than one generation have a succession of great leaders. Examples of three such companies are: Ford Motor Co., IBM, and DuPont. (The last is especially fascinating in that its roots go all the way back the French Revolution.) By presenting the remarkable histories of these three companies, this course illuminates the pivotal role of business leaders.



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