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when management anesthetizes thinking

by drbyos

For Ibrahima Fall, the global pandemic acted as a revealer. She highlighted a “judgment crisis”and in particular a “crisis of judgment in management”. The founding president of the research firm Hommes & Decisions, a doctor of management sciences at Mines Paris-PSL, takes as proof of this the weaknesses that appeared on this occasion in three sectors due to the managerial practices at work: biodiversity, managed as “a factor of production in the market”scientific research such as “a portfolio of ROI projects [retour sur investissement] guarantee “and the “hospitals like hotels”.

In his test The Company versus the knowledge of real work? (L’Harmattan), Mr. Fall precisely dismantles the mechanics of this management with formidable effects: “decorrelated from any purpose that would not be economic”it is driven by short-term ambitions, refusing to take into account the long-term impacts of the company’s actions on the environmental, social and societal spheres.

Above all, this management, which is current today in organizations well beyond the sole spheres of biodiversity, research or the hospital, tends to deny the “real” and with it the uncertainty, the singularity situations and environments. He doesn’t want the unexpected. The procedures and figures are there to provide a framework.

As a result, thought is anesthetized, creativity inhibited. It is “the collapse of questioning in companies”, analyzes the author. And so here is the man summed up in “his hardworking side”. The only thing that counts is his ability to adapt to the prescribed work: we then deny the necessary gap between the latter and the work actually carried out.

Give back a central place to reality

To do this, the worker must have soft skills (behavioral skills) that management willingly puts forward. This allows, at the same time, “a lack of responsibility[sation] of companies with regard to the non-implementation of enabling environments, that is to say conducive to the development of individuals”, notes Mr. Fall. The man adapts, but the work is not subject to debate.

This managerial philosophy, which is accompanied by a “infantilization” of the social body of the company has negative consequences on the employees. It is a source of disengagement at work and mental health problems. It can also be harmful in the long term for the organizations concerned.

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