Our organizations are flooded with empty talk. We are constantly "going forward" to lands of "deliverables," stopping off on the "journey" to "drill down" into "best practice." Being an expert at using management speak has become more important in corporate life than delivering long lasting results. The upshot is that meaningless corporate jargon is killing our organizations.
In this book, management scholar Andr Spicer argues we need to call this empty talk what it is: bullshit. The book looks at how organizations have become vast machines for manufacturing, distributing and consuming bullshit. It follows how the meaningless language of management has spread through schools, NGOs, politics and the media.
Business Bullshit shows you how to spot business bullshit, considers why it is so popular, and outlines the impact it has on organizations and the people who work there. It also outlines what we can do to minimise bullshit at work. The author makes a case for why organizations need to avoid empty talk and reconnect with core activities. This provocative, lucid book is essential reading for professionals, researchers and managers.
'We hear business bullshit all day. But few know how it started, where it comes from or what to do about it. Andre Spicer is funny and clever on the topic and we badly need his practical wisdom to win through.' - Margaret Heffernan 'Anybody familiar with corporate life will find this book extremely amusing-until realizing that it is dead serious. The battle against bullshit is one worth fighting, even if you lose it. Read Spicer's book, and engage.' - Professor Martin Gargiulo, INSEAD 'We live in an age of rising panic surrounding the status of truth in our politics and society. In this brilliant polemic, Andre Spicer demonstrates that our economy has long tolerated empty sloganeering and meaningless jargon, making a small minority of gurus and consultants very rich, but leaving the vast majority of us with a sense of deep pointlessness.' - William Davies, Reader in Political Economy, Goldsmiths 'Thorough and entertaining: Spicer's mirror for managers.Ã£ Spicer is one of these rare business academics who really understands business but also manages to maintain a healthy distance. This enables him to hold up a mirror to managers as few people can. In an insightful and entertaining way, he exposes nonsense in the world of business -- of which there is plenty. However, what I liked best about the book is that he doesn't stop there: he also carefully explains why it persists in companies. This is important, because it enables managers who grasp his analysis to cut out the costly bullshit from their firms, improve their organisations in the process, and create a competitive advantage.' - Freek Vermeulen, Associate Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship, London Business School
Andre Spicer is a Professor of Organizational Behaviour at Cass Business School, City University of London. He has spent two decades studying the impact of management speak on organizations and the people who work there. He has advised a wide range of organisations, and frequently appears in the global media to discuss business issues. Professor Spicer has published several books including Contesting the Corporation, Metaphors we Lead by, The Wellness Syndrome and The Stupidity Paradox.
Chapter One - Introduction, Chapter Two - Bullshit: A Spotters Guide, Chapter Three - Why is There So Much Bullshit? Chapter Four - How to Do Things with Bullshit, Chapter Five - Cutting the Bullshit