Managing in Crises: “Legitimacy” in Business and Academic Corporations

  • Ivar Berg
Part of the Issues in Business Ethics book series (IBET, volume 11)


A spate of books on universities and the late sixties have served well to remind us of the innumerable issues the joinings of which culminated, by 1968, in very militant demonstrations that rocked campuses from Berkeley to Cambridge. A few issues at Columbia, a subject of this paper, were local—the proposed construction of a segregated gymnasium in Morningside Park in West Harlem that would admit only Columbia’s tenants several hundred feet above the park, on Morningside Drive, marked a particularly touchy version of “town and gown problems.” Most of a congeries of other issues involving our horrors in Vietnam, defense-related research, wider-ranging interracial matters, “the draft,” “sexism,” the patronizing attitudes toward students concerned with the “relevance” of established curricula by universities’ leaders, and the “commodification” of educational credentials, were among the common controversial topics over which angry and clamorous debates were organized on many campuses. The radicals’ buzzword of the times was “the system” and its dominance by the “elites” in Big Business, Big Labor, and Big Government.


Affirmative Action Academic Freedom Business Corporation Legitimate Authority Late Sixty 
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  1. 2.
    David Truman, The Governmental Process: Political Interests and Public Opinion (1957; 1971). For a recent and somewhat partisan critique of Professor Truman’s role in Columbia’s disorders and of his scholarship, see Ira Katznelson, “The Subtle Politics of Developing Emergency,” in Andre Schiffren, The Cold War and the University, N.Y. The New Press, 1997.Google Scholar
  2. 5.
    See Russell Jacoby, The Last Intellectuals (N.Y. The Monday/Press/Farver, Straus and Giroux), 1987.Google Scholar
  3. 7.
    Perhaps, in the context of this paper, the fact ought not to be consigned a footnote but it is an important fact that a majority of tenured American faculty acknowledged that they had censored their lectures, during McCarthy’s high tide, to avoid accusations and charges involving their “loyalties.” See P. Lazarsfeld and W. Thielens, The Academic Mind (C. 1971).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ivar Berg
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Pennsylvania

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