Chapter 4. Losing Control

How big can an organization become before the leadership loses control? In Arthur Andersen & Co.’s first 60 years, growth had been carefully managed through the strong leadership of Arthur E. Andersen, then Leonard Spacek. But no matter how strong the leadership is, size does have its limits. Eventually, Andersen’s partners would have to face the question of control as it continued to meet aggressive growth targets through expansion of services on the international market.

But Andersen had a unique advantage that allowed it to grow ever bigger without feeling the consequences—for the time being. Unlike other accounting firms, Arthur E. Andersen had pioneered a set of shared methods that could be used throughout the firm. ...

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