Mendoza School of Business

A classic case of corporate failure?

Published: July 21, 2011 / Author: Aditya Chakrabortty

Perhaps by now you’ve had your fill of the furious moralising and molten
denunciations of Rupert Murdoch and his lieutenants. But these reactions do not
really help answer the big question of what actually went wrong at News
International: How a successful Sunday newspaper apparently ended up as a
cottage industry of phone hacking.

A better guide to that lies in the
story of the car that, in some cases, turned out to be a death-trap.

the turn of the ’70s, the top brass at Ford set out to come up with a car that
weighed less than 900kg and cost less than US$2,000 (S$2,427). Their answer
turned out to be the Pinto, a sporty little thing with just one problem: In
rear-end collisions, its gas tank had an unfortunate habit of

That fault would eventually make the Pinto one of the most
notorious cars in history but, as Mr Douglas Birsch and Mr John Fielder recount
in their book, The Ford Pinto Case, no one at the time dared report it to the
company’s formidable CEO.

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Topics: Mendoza