The icarus paradox: How exceptional companies bring about their own downfall

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Authors: D. Miller

Publication Year: 1992


Journal: Business Horizons

Volume: 35

Issue: 1

Categories: Organizational Change, Crisis, Entrepreneurship, Qualitative


This article describes a paradox that they see. That a companies greatest asset can become their worst enemy. It talks about how strategies and people that made a company great will change over time into something that will bring the company into a crisis. It is the idea that a good thing can turn into a bad thing. Like how attention to detail is good, but if taken too far it leads to perfectionism and never finishing anything ever again. With several case studies they have found four main paths that people could develop on. Dependent on what type of person he or she is at the beginning of their time as an employee.