Press Releases

International Book Release - The Pirate Organization: Lessons from the Fringes of Capitalism

2 December 2012

The Pirate Organization: Lessons from the Fringes of Capitalism, written by Rodolphe Durand and Jean-Philippe Vergne
Published by Harvard Business Press Books

When capitalism spread along the trade routes toward the Indies… when radio opened an era of mass communication… when the Internet became part of the global economy… pirates were there. And although most people see pirates as solitary anarchists out to destroy capitalism, it turns out the opposite is true. They are the ones who forge the path.
First published in French to great critical acclaim and commercial success as L’Organisation Pirate: Essai sur l’évolution du capitalisme, this book invites the reader to question common wisdom about capitalism and piracy.

In "THE PIRATE ORGANIZATION: Lessons from the Fringes of Capitalism" (December 4, 2012), HEC professor Rodolphe Durand and HEC PhD graduate Jean-Philippe Vergne, argue that piracy drives capitalism's evolution and foreshadows the direction of the economy. Through a rigorous yet engaging analysis of the history of piracy - from the classic pirates of the Barbary Coast to today's digital and DNA pirates -, the authors show how pirates form complex and sophisticated organizations that change the course of capitalism. Surprisingly, pirate organizations also behave in predictable ways: challenging widespread norms; controlling resources, communication, and transportation; maintaining trade relationships with other communities; and formulating strategies favoring speed and surprise.

We could learn a lot from them--if only we paid more attention. Durand and Vergne recommend that rather than trying to stamp out piracy, savvy entrepreneurs and organizations should keep a sharp eye on the pirate space to stay successful as the game changes--and it always does.

For more on the book visit:

Watch Rodolphe Durand's Interviews on HEC Paris YouTube Channel:
- The Pirate Organization, Presentation of the book by Rodolphe Durand, Professor at HEC Paris
- Wikileaks, Anonymous, Pirates movements: signs of a changing society, HEC Paris Insight featuring Rodolphe Durand


Rodolphe Durand is the GDF-Suez professor of strategy at HEC-Paris. He received the European Academy of Management/Imagination Lab Award for Innovative Scholarship 2010 and is a visiting scholar at the Harvard Business School. His works have been published widely in academic journals.

Jean-Philippe Vergne, HEC PhD graduate, is an assistant professor of strategy at the R. Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario. His ongoing research on the global arms industry received the Grigor McClelland doctoral dissertation award.

About HEC Paris

Specialized in education and research in management, HEC Paris offers a complete and unique range of educational programs for the leaders of tomorrow: Masters Programs, MBA (full-time and part-time), PhD, HEC Executive MBA and TRIUM Global Executive MBA.
Founded in 1881 by the Paris Chamber of Commerce and Industry, HEC Paris has a permanent faculty of 114 professors, more than 4, 000 students (37% of whom are non French) and more than 8, 500 managers and executives in training every year.
HEC Paris has been ranked #1 Business School in Europe by the Financial Times since 2006.

Press Contact: Laurianne Thoury – +33 1 39 67 94 23 –

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