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Goldman Model Championed by Blankfein Planted Seeds of Distress

The window shades were lowered to block out the sunlight soaking lower Manhattan on a Friday afternoon in June as 14 students in Eric H. Kessler’s executive MBA class gathered in a conference room to present their analyses of Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s leadership.

The firm’s management shows “resistance to change” and is “doing business in a bubble,” one of the three student teams explained in a PowerPoint presentation. Another recommended creating an “ethics role” within Goldman Sachs’s securities division. Kessler, who teaches management at Pace University’s Lubin School of Business, peppered the students with questions. Could cohesive culture be a weakness as well as a strength?