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Carr, A. Z. (1969).  Business as a Game.
"Men down the line often tend to judge the boss with unrealistic severity—to expect perfection from him, complete rationality, absolute efficiency. Yet a little observation tells us that business is not carried out in a rational way....Wastefulness, shortsighted policies, impulsive moves, excessive use of trial and error methods, strange personal quirks in high places—all this is normal in business." (p. 71)
Dickens, C. (1962).  David Copperfield.
"It is a fact which will long be remembered as remarkable down there, that she was never drowned, but died triumphantly in bed, at ninety-two. I have understood that it was, to the last, her proudest boast that she never had been on the water in her life, except upon a bridge, and that over her tea (to which she was extremely partial) she, to the last, expressed her indignation at the impiety of mariners and others, who had the presumption to go 'meandering' about the world. It was in vain to represent to her that some conveniences, tea perhaps included, resulted from this objectionable practice. She always returned, with greater emphasis and with an instinctive knowledge of the strength of her objection, "Let us have no meandering." (p. 14)
Fromm, E. (1968).  The Heart of Man: Its Genius for Good and Evil.
"What the majority of people consider to be 'reasonable' is that about which there is agreement, if not among all, at least among a substantial number of people; 'reasonable', for most people, has nothing to do with reason, but with consensus." (p. 96)
Hirschorn, L. (1993).  The Psychodynamics of Organizations. (Howell S. Baum, Eric L. Trist, James Krantz, Carole K. Barnett, Steven P. Feldman, Thomas N. Gilmore, Laurence J. Gould, Larry Hirschorn, Manfred F.R. KetsDeVries, Laurent Lapierre, Howard S. Schwartz, Glenn Swogger, David A. Thomas, Donald R. Young, Abraham Zaleznik, Michael A. Diamond, Ed.).
"A wide variety of approaches that guide investigation of organizational life have openly and strongly challenged the assumption that organizations behave as rational systems." (p. xiv)
Hodson, R., & Sullivan T. A. (1995).  Social Organization of Work.
"In contrast [to bureaucratic rigidity], the conditions that have been found to promote innovation and change include the decentralization of power, low levels of formalization, equity of rewards, low emphasis on volume, low emphasis on cost-cutting, and high levels of job satisfaction (Hall, 1991). In brief, excessive bureaucracy and hierarchy may interfere with productivity rather than promote it. At some point excessive rationality becomes irrational. (Ritzer, 1993)" (p. 199)
Hagstrom, R. G. (1994).  The Warren Buffett Way: Investment Strategies of the World's Greatest Investor.
The Institutional Imperative
" unseen force he calls 'the institutional imperative'—the lemminglike tendency of corporate management to imitate the behavior of other managers, no matter how silly or irrational it may be. It was, Buffett confesses, the most surprising discovery of his business career. At school he was taught that experienced managers of companies were honest, intelligent, and automatically made rational business decisions. Once out in the business world, he learned instead that 'rationality frequently wilts when the institutional imperative comes into play.' " (p. 84)

Compare with "group narcissism" (Fromm) or "institutional narcissism" (Duncan). Also Howard Schwartz, et. al.

See also: machine, organizational psychodynamics, humanness, understanding

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SKOS Concept Scheme

SKOS concepts and relations

Concept Scheme: business culture/management vocabulary

URI: business culture/management vocabulary


  • Concept: rationality
    • preferred: rationality
    • definition: the quality of being consistent with or based on logic
    • related: machine
    • broader: organizational_psychodynamics
    • closeMatch:
    • keyword-47
    • antonym: humanness
    • antonym: understanding
    • linked content:
      • sense: rationality
      • sense: rationalness
      • rationality
      • in scheme:
      • gloss: the quality of being consistent with or based on logic
      • hyponym of:
      • synset id: 104784978
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