Bloodsucking corporate vampires:
I noted somewhere else that it seems a successful company like EA eventually attracts a certain kind of individual. These people are not interested in the actual product the company produces, they are interested in bathing in the cash flow and drinking deeply. They don't care about their fellow humans, instead they think of business as 'The Law of the Jungle' and 'Dog Eat Dog'. See, its natural! This jackass philosophy completely ignores the synergy of cooperative effort, as well as the rewards life offers beyond money. Quantifiable Tangibles like Happiness and Health are known to us all, but cannot figure into the Spreadsheet Logic of these people and is therefore denied existance. There is something inherent in our business models thats allows these parasites to infest the corporate body and suck on it till the soul is gone. Blood still pumps, but to no known purpose. Merely existing is the goal.
At a certain point the company philosophy seems to shift from 'making good products will ensure fiscal health' to 'lets make sure we are making as much money as possible'. I think this happens when a company goes public. The new owners usually dont care at all about what the company is creating. They only care about how much return they are getting on their invested dollar. This seems to be a law of business nature, so maybe it will enter into common knowledge in the high tech industry. The CEO's that found startups certainly seem to understand it, the rest of us need to catch a clue.
Good and Bad Management
I have a parable I made up about management. Since you asked so nicely, here it is:
Your boss hands you a plastic shovel and bucket. He tells you to go to the seashore and build a sand castle. Supposing you are close to the shore and there is sand there, whether you fail or succeed is your own responsibility. You have been given what you need to do the task.
Now, if the boss tell you to go and build a wall that will hold back the tide, you are guaranteed to fail. THIS is a management failure, not an employee failure.
When you are given a task (or if you are giving a task) you need to ask if the goal is a sand castle or a unbuildable barrier to a force of nature. Do not feel guilty if you fail at the latter.