Faith of the Managers: When Management Becomes Religion by Stephen Pattison

By Stephen Pattison

In response to Stephen Pattison, managers became the cultural heroes of our time. during this e-book, he examines many of the values, assumptions, ideals and practices they embody. Managerialism, he argues, is a sort of non secular religion, and he criticizes t

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They become particularly important at times of increased insecurity, risk and change. It is no accident that management uncritically ingests more overt faith elements at times of radical social transition. 8 These aficionados of culture, belief and ritual offer a way of coping with uncertainty that legitimizes a sense of confusion and unmanageability within organizations while providing a sense of control and motivating symbols that could help to structure the chaos. I will be discussing these theories and their influence later in the book.

26 The style traits that I have outlined and characterized as religious have come into British public-sector general management from the American private sector. In due course, I will try to show that American private-sector management ideas and practices are inextricably bound up with, and directly and heavily influenced by, certain kinds of Christianity. In the meanwhile, it is worth noting that the introduction of distinctly religious-seeming features into public life was probably more than a coincidence or a gimmick under the 1979 Conservative government.

Central, rational planning was abandoned as inappropriate simultaneously with the managerial and market reforms in the public 30 The Faith of the Managers sector. Localities and autonomous units such as hospital trusts were left to determine their own futures as business entities within a market. One of the first things that many such institutions did was to re-invent the five-year plan, this time dignified with the epithet 'strategic'. Now, many public-service organizations give hundreds of person-hours to formulating strategic plans which include identifying objectives, estimating strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT analysis), analysing critical success factors, eliminating risk and mapping out the new products that will come on line and those that must be discontinued.

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