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Kantrow, A. M. (1988).  The Constraints of Corporate Tradition: Doing the Correct Thing Not Just What the Past Dictates.
But when boosting productivity comes to mean in practice nothing more than an efficiency-driven effort to cut costs and do better with line workers what is now being done, we can watch the coral build up before our very eyes. In an earlier environment, the link between old-fashioned, direct labor-based productivity and competitive strength was obvious and immediate. Today, that linkage is more complicated and less certain. Doing the right things is every bit as important as doing things right. Time was, we could think of direct-labor productivity as a pretty fair approximation of competitiveness and be confident we were on the mark. No longer. The proxy does not hold. Forgetful that it was—and is—but a proxy that holds for some circumstances but not all, many of today's managers treat as a living fact what is no more than the hard shell of past experience.
So it is with most of the maps by which managers steer. What was once known to be an artifice, though no less useful for that, gradually loses its air of being an imaginatively constructed thing and, equally gradually, takes on the air of being something real and hard and concrete in its own right." (p. 13)
Vonnegut, K. (1952).  Player Piano.
"Strange business", said Lasher. "This crusading spirit of the managers and engineers, the idea of designing and manufacturing and distributing being sort of a holy war: all that folklore was cooked up by public relations and advertising men hired by managers and engineers to make big business popular in the old days, which it certainly wasn't in the beginning. Now the engineers and managers believe with all their hearts the glorious things their forebears hired people to say about them. Yesterday's snow job becomes today's sermon." (p. 93)

See also: culture

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Concept Scheme: business culture/management vocabulary

URI: business culture/management vocabulary


  • Concept: myth
    • preferred: myth
    • definition: a traditional story accepted as history; serves to explain the world view of a people
    • related: culture
    • closeMatch:
    • keyword-31
    • linked content:
      • in scheme:
      • gloss: a traditional story accepted as history; serves to explain the world view of a people
      • hyponym of:
      • sense: myth
      • synset id: 106372680
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