Have corporate and government leaders lost accountability?

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius testified before the House Energy and Commerce Committee about the troubled launch of the Healthcare.gov website in October 2013.

Kathleen Sebelius, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, went up to Capitol Hill yesterday and spent three hours answering questions about the failure of Healthcare.gov -- a flaw that could easily rank up there amongst the biggest corporate and government failures of the past few years.

Nancy Koehn is a professor of business history at Harvard Business School.

She thinks someone will ultimately get fired over the blunder, "but that doesn't negate the fact that we don't have any accountability."

"We're living in a world in which we have forgotten that there are things that are wrong and things that are right and mistakes are made," Koehn said, "and it is a right action and socially beneficial to answer for it and make it better."

Koehn says Americans have stopped demanding those that make mistakes own up to them: Just think of the bankers who drove the world into a financial crisis or congressmembers who can't come to a compromise.

 

About the author

Kai Ryssdal is the host and senior editor of Marketplace, public radio’s program on business and the economy.

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