Society under Management. The influence of management on work, democracy and freedom
Original title: Voorbij de managementmaatschappij
Marjolein Quené reveals connections which you always suspected were there, but weren’t able to see before. She describes a society in which everybody and everyone is managed, almost exclusively on the basis of financial incentives. What values will remain if deep inside humans are only managers? – Stevo Akkerman, Trouw
How does management influence our work, democracy and freedom?
This book is about management, but it is not a management book. It describes how the way of thinking and working as a manager has become so dominant in our societies that we don’t even notice it anymore.
The book explains how, according to management theory, a manager analyses, thinks and behaves. The book describes the historical changes in organisations due to management and how since the 1980s management has become dominant in all spheres of life. Illustrative European case studies provide very recognisable examples, making the material easy to grasp. The book links together thorough analyses of works by established economists and management gurus with works by contemporary historians and philosophers. Applying management theory to governments and states changes the relations between government, politicians, civil servants and citizens, and undermines the meaning of democracy.
The book states that the dominance of management in our society explains why we are incapable of dealing effectively with current challenges such as expensive yet often ineffective health care, increasing inequality, environmental problems and climate change. Finally, it proposes that issues caused by thinking as a manager cannot be solved by thinking as a manager.
With help of authors like Hannah Arendt and Susan Neiman, Quené calls on the reader to imagine brighter worlds centred around more human values, and she advocates a commitment to democracy, as it was originally meant to be.
- English sample available