We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

In Business, what is a Zombie?

Malcolm Tatum
Updated: May 16, 2024

When used in the business world, zombie is a designation for a company that refuses to be honest about the current status of the corporation. Instead, all attention is focused on any positive elements within the company, while liabilities are given little to no attention at all. When this type of mindset persists, it is not unusual for the company to become unstable financially, become an unwilling participant in a buyout or merger attempt, or even go through bankruptcy.

Some companies earn the designation of being a zombie business through simply choosing to ignore any type of negative trend or practice that has developed within the corporate culture or the perception of the corporation by the general public. Often, the idea is that if the positive is accentuated, the negative aspects will begin to correct themselves as a matter of course. Unfortunately, zombies do not heal themselves. Instead, a corporation functioning with this level of self-deception is likely to devolve into an insolvent company with a high risk of closure. If steps are not taken to reverse the trend, there is also a strong change of becoming a bankrupt company or being absorbed by another entity.

Insolvent companies can take steps to move away from a zombie mindset and get back on track. The first step is to conduct a company wide evaluation. This is basically a three-step process. First, the employees of the company should be given the chance to express their opinions on what is holding the company back. Next, an outside firm should be engaged to evaluate the organizational structure and corporate culture of the company. Last, the findings of these two surveys should be taken seriously, and changes developed and implemented while there is still time.

Zombie businesses do not have to end up as bankrupt companies, or be lost in a buyout or merger. The key to success is creating a more balanced approach, one that honors all the positive attributes of the company while still addressing negatives in a timely manner. Once the company stops avoiding tough issues and chooses to tackle them head on, it is possible to bring the zombie back to a full level of healthy functionality.

SmartCapitalMind is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Malcolm Tatum
By Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing to become a full-time freelance writer. He has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including SmartCapitalMind, and his work has also been featured in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and newspapers. When not writing, Malcolm enjoys collecting vinyl records, following minor league baseball, and cycling.
Discussion Comments
Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing...
Learn more
SmartCapitalMind, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

SmartCapitalMind, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.