Companies suffer from poor management

Davood Dadfar and Davood Dadfar

College graduates looking for job placements early in their career may be surprised to find that today’s upper level management is far from what they expected.

What’s lacking in today’s upper level management isn’t skill or talent, but merely the ability to get along. The result is a poorly managed workplace that deprives workers of success and opportunity.

This dilemma known as corporate governance isn’t new, and it’s the very thing that activist investors like Carl Icahn have dedicated their lives to.

Established as the set of rules and practices that a company follows, corporate governance generally refers to how a management team can get along to make decisions in the best interest of the company. In the past three decades, a few notable investors like Carl Icahn, Bill Ackman and Dan Loeb have gained a reputation for being activist investors, people who take large stakes in companies and push for considerable change which often times yields to alterations of business plans and/or changes in management.

The importance of people like Icahn comes into play when CEO’s and upper level management slack off, taking more time to use their corporate jets than applying company profits towards useful innovations. These kinds of occurrences happen much more than we perceive within corporate America, and far too many times it’s the result of poor corporate governance and weak shareholder activism.

Within the past year, members of society have seen brand names destroyed and valuable companies crippled as a result of poor management and corporate governance.

Companies like JC Penney, BlackBerry and Microsoft have missed out on potential growth prospects that have not only inhibited their performance, but also created tremendous despair for their employees, employees that could include many recent University alumni and graduates.

Valuable employees with competitive talent shouldn’t be forced out of their living wages due to the incompetencies and/or poor visions of people like Michael Jeffries, Thorsten Heins or Ron Johnson.

As college students, it’s important to be reflective and identify the reasons behind why society fails to function to meet its quotas. Equally important is to see how these inefficiencies can be resolved. Activist investors merely take the initiative to fix America’s problems in the boardroom, but employees and workers are the actual individuals who can change corporate structures, through their voice and work ethic.

As graduates and future employees, too many of you will bare witness to people who live a mundane Monday-Friday work life that consists of hating their bosses until they retire.

But, as of today, you have the choice to question the underlying reasons why society has been wired to think this way. Poor corporate governance is still relevant today and it’s the reason employees hate their bosses, bosses hate their leaders and why leaders get a bad image from the press. Solving these problems are a small step in restoring great American brands, and creating better lives.

It still sounds cliché, but the truth is in working hard, rising through the ranks, and recreating the system, so that people like Icahn will only have to deal with identifying great companies, and not taking out the garbage.

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