March 2, 2007

Organisations & Politics

The power of the press and media got me thinking about corporations and organisations. The more I have been thinking about them, the more they seem like completely political entities; which is something Prof. Subir used to constantly tell us in Organisational Design. Whatever one might think, organisations exist to control resources, people and outputs. During the budget analysis the ideas and opinions of a select few so easily imposed (in a controlled maner) on the public at large who lapped up the verdict without understanding most of the matter. Or for simplicity let us assume that most organisation have a fixed set of values. Even if they are not, the beliefs of the top management are imposed on the lower rung of employees (read: control). Given the diversity I'm sure there are exceptions who do not subscribe to these values or beliefs. Will they blindly accept and follow. Yes they do, almost everytime for management seduces. They twist an apple, call it an orange and get their work done. (Frankly thats most of what I learnt at BSchool apart from the jargon).

You might say that such corporations are doomed. Well they will be if they were non-political. Because there the management was just, fair and moral. Hence they backtracked, withdrew and a new set of people took over. The ones that exist today are those that have been successful in their propaganda, call it by better names like market-share, profits, growth, customers, whatever ... But the fact remains that they have come this far by controlling people, imposing their ideas on them and seducing them to work for their benefit.

What is our role here? MBA's all over the world will be hired to seduce and secure what top management wants. Some years later we'll be doing the 'goal-setting', the 'targets'; brainwashing those below us (fresh MBA's) to seduce while we control. In short, organisations whether you like it or not are political entities.

Now the big question. Why would anyone do it? I'd answer as Nick Naylor does in 'Thank you for smoking' ..."It's for the mortgage!"

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