Corporate Abuse: How "Lean and Mean" Robs People and Profits


262 pages
Contains Bibliography, Index
ISBN 1-55013-926-6
DDC 658.4





Reviewed by Janet Arnett

Janet Arnett is the former campus manager of adult education at Ontario’s Georgian College. She is the author of Antiques and Collectibles: Starting Small, The Grange at Knock, and 673 Ways to Save Money.



The authors define “abuse” as behaviors that kill ideas and
creativity, that crush the soul. In the workplace this can take the form
of excessive overtime, manipulation, micro-management, downsizing, and
mind games. The results can be stress, burnout, insecurity, and health
problems. Abuse can be structural, systemic, or deliberate. It thrives
in companies and organizations with negative cultures such as a
“culture of sacrifice,” a “win/lose culture,” or a “culture of

Unquestionably, the problem of worker abuse is real, and the authors
include many examples to illustrate this truth. Unfortunately, in an
effort to avoid identifying any specific individuals or businesses, the
examples have been robbed of credibility. They sound exaggerated, phony.
The tone is aggressive, belligerent, full of fury but short on
solutions. Those solutions that are offered—understand and change the
culture, let ideas grow—seem impractical or too vague to implement.

Corporate Abuse relies heavily on secondary research. It has the
texture of a rehash of those bits from popular management books that
serve to support the corporate abuse theme.


Wright, Lesley, and Marti Smye., “Corporate Abuse: How "Lean and Mean" Robs People and Profits,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed June 23, 2024,