Management: Human Failings

Why do businesses go broke? Taking an annual pulse count of U.S. business, Dun & Bradstreet last week blamed the great majority of business failures on incompetent or inexperienced management. Of 15,782 failures in 1962, 91.3% were due directly to management fumbles that caused poor sales, a poor competitive position, crushing overhead or inventory problems. The highest industrial failure rates were among the makers of furniture, electrical machinery, shoes and transportation equipment; on the retail level, the failure list was headed by children's and ladies' wear stores, sporting-goods shops and furniture stores.

Some ominous new trends popped up in the...

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