June 19, 2007

Tuesday morning. 3:28 a.m. Learning Grid.

Writing about web page http://www.le.ac.uk/ulmc/academics/mparker.html

against_management_cover.png

Read this. Now.

I love this blurb. What I like about it particularly is the quote from Christopher Grey. He is a distinguished academic, former director of programmes at the Judge Business School at Cambridge University who thinks for some reason that it might be an upward career move to come to Warwick Business School (which he did at the start of April 2007).

Grey says:

- "I really enjoyed this book" (I couldn't agree more, I tried to enjoy it)

- "It is original" (yep, it is quite)

- "It is provocative" (definitely, it seems to think that managers are a waste of time and that there is no point in managing)

- "It is scholarly..." (true, everything is very well referenced)

- "...in a positive way" (nothing wrong with producing evidence to backup your assertions, and Parker even references stupid things for amusement purposes only)

- "It is extraordinarily well written" (if you read it, you'd have to give it some credit)

- "lucid..." (presumably Parker is trying to illuminate some issue in this book, probably by sticking a light bulb behind it and seeing if anyone notices)

- "...as well as witty" (Parker doesn't take himself or his subject too seriously).

"Against Management" by Martin Parker is one of my most favourite books. I don't really read many books, I mainly skim though them and pretend that I know what the author is trying to say. I read "Against Management" once and hated it. As you can see the blurb says that it suggests some new ways of organising: "it opens up the possibility of non-managerial alternatives". I got over-excited and thought he was gonna suggest something really radical. In the end, he just suggested co-ops.

But then I re-read it. I dipped in and out of it. I made no attempt to interpret it in the way that Parker thought was best. And I bet he loves that.

This book is full of witty gems about a life that everyone of us (or everyone I know, given that I am white, middle-class and live in the UK) leads. It's time we stopped just joking about work, or thinking that the company we work for is going crazy, or that our boss is stupid or that that car mechanic is actually evil or that McDonalds isn't 'high' culture. We should just plain accept it. And love it. And celebrate it.


- One comment Not publicly viewable

  1. Two entries on the learning grid – I was rather hoping for some more, with it being such an integral part of my life in Warwick. Do keep writing your musings on the ‘creative’ organisation that is Warwick University! I must read Martin Parker now, since everyone loves pretentious nonsense to blab on about.

    18 Sep 2007, 00:58


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