Management Training and Colonisation
Management training offers a very elementary characteristic: cultural- ideological invasion as a “colonisation of the lifeworld”.1 It is the divisive tactics used in management training that manipulates and serves a specific end—the conquest of all previously non-monetary spheres. This includes education dominated by the imperatives of Managerialism. Through this invasion, previous human-to-human relationships are now governed by invented imperatives such as cost benefits, efficiency, and zero-sum sophistically related to “rational choice models” and the infamous “prisoner dilemma”.2 These are often invented under the assumption of a rationally operating individual— the hallucinogenic homo economicus—and thereby they not only mirror the ideology of individualism, Social Darwinism, and egoism but also fictitious econometric hallucinations. Cultural invaders of education penetrate the fabric of non-monetary spheres and convert them into spheres dominated by and organised for monetary ends. This imposes the ideological imperatives of Managerialism on virtually all other life- worlds within education, ranging from kindergarten to primary and high schools, to training colleges and universities. The replacement of human education with the imperatives of Managerialism inhibits
© The Author(s) 2017 T. Klikauer, Management Education, DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-40778-4_9
creativity, inquisitiveness, and curiosity in students as well as prohibits critical thinking as a welcomed “spin-off” of Managerialism’s invasion.3
Whether sophisticated or rough, the cultural-ideological colonisation of education is always an act of violence—direct or structural. It violates people in the “to be” invaded spheres of education. Under the ideological imperatives of Managerialism, they are set to lose their originality and authenticity and are faced with the threat of losing both. In some cases, even their employment is replaced by external providers, undercutting competitors, or simply through the process of the McDonaldisation of education.4 Managerial invasion as a modality of anti-intellectualism that stabilises domination is an invading ideology that often pretends “reform” and managerial progress. Under the rollout of these ideologies, engineered and transmitted through management training, those they invade are rendered objects. These objects of management training are told to adjust to the new imperatives quite similarly as the US TV show Star Treks Borg5 did when announcing, “We are the Borg. Your biological and technological distinctiveness will be added to our own. Resistance is futile”:
This is management training!
Your biological, technological, cultural distinctiveness will be added to our own.
Resistance is futile.
Under umbrella ideologies such as Managerialism, regimes of management training are organised with an unhealthy mix of ideology and practical knowledge. Using managerial practicalities and technicalities, ideology is transmitted. Such management training programmes provide the platform on which invaders mould their objectives so that these not only mirror Managerialism but also make people carriers of the managerial ideologies. Those they invade are manipulated. Meanwhile managerial invaders choose carefully who is to be trained, with management providing instruments for ideologically driven selection under the headings of a “needs assessment” that includes personal-, task-, and the all important “organisational” assessment as well as an object’s (human resource’s) readiness to be trained.6 Organisational analysis, for example, assesses whether or not training is beneficial to the corporation as the foremost element of the needs assessment. The task analysis assesses “what” content is to be part of the training while the personal analysis gauges the ideological readiness of an object or human resource as a useful carrier of managerial ideology. The process of singling out objects for management training is framed by management as “being given a choice or an opportunity” to further “their” career even though management training is about the company—not the individual. It is about the human resource’s contribution to “The Real Bottom Line”. Management training is never for enlightenment, humanisation, or individual education in order to become what the German philosopher Kant once noted as “Mundigkeit”—an enlightened, mature, self-reflective citizen of society. Instead, the selected are to be expected to follow management training programmes and the managerial ideology that always comes along with it. While it is the managerial apparatus that “acts”, those it invades have been given the hallucinogenic illusion of “acting”. In its final consequence, these human resources are designed to act through the action of the managerial invaders who selected them, trained them, and used them.
Overall, managerial domination nearly always involves some sort of invasion into the person to be colonised by Managerialism. At certain times, the colonisation is rather physical and overtly framed by management as “my way or the highway” or “FIFO—fit in or F*** off!” At other times, the managerial colonisation of the human mind is camouflaged when managerial invaders assume the role of “helpers”—“we help your career!”, “we give you training opportunities”, and so on. But in its final analysis, the managerial colonisation of the human mind as engineered inside management training programmes remains a form of ideological, economic, and cultural domination that is practised in society, communities, workplaces, schools, training colleges, management training programmes, and so on. Colonisation is always implicit in the domination of one class over another within the same society where one designs public or private training “for” the other in an attempt to make them useful tools in the managerial process—ready to be consumed in capitalism. This has far-reaching consequences.
Managerial-ideological colonisation leads to cultural inauthenticity and what has euphemistically been labelled “organisational culture”. The process of management training often results in inauthenticity and alienation of those who have been ideologically colonised by such programmes. It remains the raison d’etre of management training to make these “objects” (human resources) respond positively to the ideological values, managerial standards, and organisational goals of the invading ideology. In the managerial passion to dominate, manipulate, and mould others to the thought patterns of Managerialism, their previous way of life will be adjusted to the ideological imperatives of Managerialism. But the invading forces of Managerialism also desire to know how those they have ideologically colonised apprehend reality. This is the process of “training assessment”7 that assesses the impact of management training to ascertain whether or not the management training has achieved its desired
- • functional goals (practical use-knowledge for a company) and
- • ideological goals (e.g. adaptation to Managerialism).
This remains a vital process for management training because only through this management can ascertain the effectiveness of their training in order to dominate those exposed to the training more effectively. In managerial-ideological colonisation, it remains essential that those who are colonised come to see managerial regimes as “their” reality with the ideological outlook on Managerialism rather than their own. Under this, the all-embracing ideology of individualism ensures that an individual’s personhood vanishes into thin air while it adapts to Managerialism. This process is sold to the individual as an “opportunity for education” and “personal advancement”. Perhaps the final goal of managerial colonisation is not just to convert individuals into carriers of managerial ideologies but that these individuals mimic the managerial ideology of the invaders. The better they mirror the prevailing ideology of Managerialism, the more stable the entire system of management and capitalism becomes.
For managerial-ideological colonisation to be successful, it is essential that those who colonise education systems, and ultimately the entire life- world, become convinced of their intrinsic superiority while those who are colonised by managerial ideologies must accept that their pre-managerial thoughts were inferior. Ever since the Greek philosophy of dialectics we know that everything has its opposite and so has the hegemonic ideology of Managerialism. When the ideological forces of Managerialism have assured that those to be colonised consider themselves as inferior, they must—necessarily—recognise the superiority of the colonising ideology. Inside management training regimes, this process works better when flanked by propaganda as broadcasted by corporate mass media that sets a global pro-business atmosphere in which Managerialism can convince people of the virtues of Managerialism long before they arrive at the management training session. Such a pre-established ideological environment is a vital stepping stone on which management training can make its ideology work.
On this foundation, management training can spread the ideology of Managerialism. Management leadership ideologies, for example, are highly useful for this as they demonstrate the superiority of the management leader and the inferiority of virtually all others.8 This “inferiority versus superiority” ideology comes implicit and explicit. The key to the entire process of ideological colonisation, however, is that the values of Managerialism become successively the ideological thought pattern for the “to be” colonised. The more colonising powers can be accentuated and the more those to be invaded are alienated from their own humanistic spirit and culture as well as from themselves, the more Managerialism is accepted as the new imperative. Eventually, the missionaries of the ideological belief system of Managerialism will start wanting to be like management leaders, they start to talk like them, to walk like them, dress like them, and ultimately be like them.
The social-cultural “I” that signifies the “I”-identity as a sign of person- hood of the “to be” colonised—just like every other social-cultural “I”— becomes less and less formed in the organic sociocultural relationships of the living social structure, the lifeworld. Under Managerialism, it is to be replaced with the invading culture of Managerialism. This explains why colonised and eventually ideologically dominated individuals at a certain moment of their life move from life to mere “existence” as they become part of the duality of the lifeless ideological apparatus of Managerialism as well as the lifeless apparatus called management. This process often moves forwarded by stealth and in piecemeal fashion until the “to be” colonised almost completely adheres to the ideological domination. To counter such ideological colonisation, those seeking emancipation must sustain their social-cultural “I” identity as human personhood. They must break with the adhesion to those maintaining domination. The cultural-social “I” must withdraw from the ideological enticements of Managerialism’s offerings as well as by the ready-made and “easy to work” teaching methods of management training in order to see more objectively through the ideological fog that has been created. At this point, many will critically recognise the invading ideologies and themselves as subjects that remain true to themselves rather than objects of a managerial-ideological process. Unlike the ideological objects of managerial processes and management training regimes, critical emancipatory subjects always remain true to themselves with an acute awareness of representing a “living” contradiction to those maintaining domination. By so doing, those who withstand the ideological onslaught of Managerialism will start to consider themselves as a humanising force set against those maintaining domination. This also highlights the structures through which many are dominated. All this represents a qualitative change in the perception of the lifeworld that can only be achieved through emancipatory praxis.
Managerial colonisation remains an instrument of domination. On the other hand, however, it is also a result of domination. As a consequence, managerial-ideological actions of dominating character remain useful to managerial training regimes that are usually deliberate and planned while also being simply products of a domineering management reality. For example, for quite some time the domineering managerial structures of management training programmes have begun to influence virtually all other educational institutions while on the institutional side they have moved from “administering students” to “managing educational customers”. The institutional pattern of Managerialism represents not just a new form of education management but these institutions have also become transmitters of the ideology of Managerialism. Under the global reach of Managerialism, virtually all private homes and schools—from infant nurseries to universities—are no longer allowed to exist disconnected from its ideology. There is virtually no separate space left in which the lifeworld is allowed to find organic social-cultural integration. Within managerial domination, schools as well as homes are being converted into functional auxiliaries and ideological agencies that prepare for the colonisation of the entire lifeworld as the concluding project of corporate globalisation.9