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What is "management ideology"?

The “ideology of management” is a perspective. It is a worldview that underpins a particular approach to how organisations should be structured and operated. It’s not necessarily consciously “chosen”; indeed, it is more often just assumed and adopted.

Management (definition): 1) the process of dealing with or controlling things or people; 2) the people managing a company or organisation, regarded collectively.

Business owners pioneered management (as we know it) in the industrial revolution as a means to solve a particular set of problems: mass production, standardisation and efficiency. It was a technology concerned with the imposition of authority to achieve a set of objectives.

Ideology (definition): 1) a system of ideas and ideals, especially one which forms the basis of economic or political theory and policy; 2) the set of beliefs characteristic of a social group or individual.

The easiest way to describe an ideology is to look at how it manifests itself - how it comes to life as an environment that people experience. For example, we recognise the ideology of capitalism by economies with free markets, and we recognise the ideology of socialism by nations with highly centralised governments. In the case of the ideology of management, we recognise it by organisations with bureaucracy and top-down direction. Naturally, the more ideological an environment is, the stronger those manifestations become.

The ideology of management is the dominant perspective of today, regardless of the social sphere. And both workers and managers subconsciously adopt it.

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  1. John Featherby

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