The Dark Side of Humanist Management

Essays on technology, psycho­analysis, philosophy, design, ideology & Slavoj Žižek


April 12, 2011

The Dark Side of Humanist Management

Matthew Stewart in The Management Myth:

Mayo’s work sheds light on the dark side of the “humanist” tradition in management theory. There is something undeniably creepy about a clipboard-bearing man hovering around a group of factory women, flicking the lights on and off and dishing out candy bars. All of that humanity—as anyone in my old firm could have told you—was just a more subtle form of bureaucratic control. It was a way of harnessing the workers’ sense of identity and well-being to the goals of the organization, an effort to get each worker to participate in an ever more refined form of her own enslavement.