Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1977

Center/Program

Center on Corporate Governance

Center/Program

Center for Contract and Economic Organization

Abstract

Like hard cases, festering scandals make bad law. As public perceptions shift so that conduct once tolerated becomes seen as illicit, political pressures develop that can result in hastily improvised responses by the legal system to fill the newly perceived vacuum. This generalization is advanced to question neither the inalienable right of the public to be scandalized, nor the need for corporate reform, but to approach a highly problematic dilemma: hurried, moralistic responses to a perceived evil often prove not only ineffective, but even counterproductive. The serious student of complex organizations may recognize this assertion as a slightly altered variant of Forrester's Law. That law, coined by a student of organizational behavior, says simply that complex systems behave counter-intuitively; the plausible tends to be wrong.'

Comments

Copyright is owned by the Virginia Law Review Association and the article is used by permission of the Virginia Law Review Association.

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