Management Miscellany

4 October 2009 at 4:10 am 8 comments

| Peter Klein |

1. We are not big on Jim Collins here at O&M but Toyota president Akio Toyoda is a fan, explaining his company’s woes in terms of Collins’s five stages of business decline. (Is “be headquartered in a country with an overvalued currency” one of the stages?)

2. Karen Ho’s Liquidated: An Ethnography of Wall Street (Duke, 2008) is reviewed by fellow anthropologist Gillian Tett in the FT. The key to understanding the financial crisis, we learn, is Bourdieu (why haven’t I read about this book on “Massive corporate restructurings are not caused so much by abstract financial models as by the local, cultural habitus of investment bankers, the mission-driven narratives of shareholder value and the institutional culture of Wall Street.” Why didn’t I think of that?

3. I’ve been reading Yevgeny Zamyatin’s We, the first of great dystopian novels (in Natasha Randall’s new translation). I had head that Taylorism figures prominently in the novel, but didn’t know Taylor would be mentioned by name. “Yes, that Taylor was, without doubt, the most brilliant of the Ancients. True, he didn’t think everything through, didn’t extend his method throughout life, to each step, around the clock. He wasn’t able to integrate his system from an hour to all twenty-four. But all the same: how they could have written whole libraries about the likes of Kant — and not take notice of Taylor, a prophet, with the ability to see ten centuries ahead?” Of course, as we’ve noted before, there’s more to Taylor than meets the eye.

Entry filed under: - Klein -, Management Theory, Pomo Periscope, Recommended Reading, Strategic Management.

Tweets of the Great Economists Bentham and Hume in the West Wing

8 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Michael E. Marotta  |  4 October 2009 at 8:18 am

    Google Books provided a review that ended in this:
    “Liquidated” reveals the particular culture of Wall Street often obscured by triumphalist readings of capitalist globalization.

    Can anyone recommend a “triumphalist” book or article about capitalist globalization? (What is non-capitalist globalization? Would that be the UN?)

    A Gale PowerSearch database query returned a review from Publisher’s Weekly for June 8, 2009, that identified Karen Ho as an associate professor of anthropology at the University of Minnesota. That would explain the glowing review on by William O. Beeman, Professor and Chair, Department of Anthropology, University of Minnesota.

    According to the reviews, Prof. Ho charges that the hierarchy on Wall Street marginalizes people from non-Ivy League schools as well as persons of color and women. She may have brought that perspective with her to her new (temporary) job on Wall Street, considering that another of her publications is _Criminality and Citizenship: Implicating the White Nation_ (with Wende Marshall, NYU Press, 1997).

  • 2. David Chen  |  4 October 2009 at 7:17 pm

    Not globalization specifically, but The World’s Banker advocates for one of its pillars.

  • 3. fabiorojas  |  5 October 2009 at 10:03 am

    Peter, buddy, be nice to the Bourdieians. There’s actually a serious issue buried underneath the jargon: do new behaviors in markets emerge in reponse to abstract theories generated by economists? Or are the behavior emergent from local conditions but legitimized through appeals to abstract models? Or is there something in between? Dude, don’t make me go all ethnographic on you.

  • 4. REW  |  5 October 2009 at 12:41 pm

    Peter, you can borrow my copies of Distinction, On Justification, and Outline of a Theory of Practice to fill in your lacunae on Bourdieu. Or you can wait until Ken Burns does the video series.

  • 5. Peter Klein  |  5 October 2009 at 1:22 pm

    Why can’t you guys leave me alone in my state of blissful ignorance?

  • 6. fabiorojas  |  5 October 2009 at 1:55 pm

    I guess it’s easier to just walk by and pretend it’s not there…

  • 7. Ed Brenegar  |  17 October 2009 at 12:18 am

    I’m new to O&M, finding you through Dynamist.

    Would you explain briefly why you are not big on Jim Collins?

    I like him though the sum of the parts is less than the parts separately. He attempts to create a system, but it isn’t. That’s my take.

  • 8. Peter Klein  |  17 October 2009 at 12:33 am

    Ed, see here, here, and here.

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