Blind faith

Different management spheres create their own 'bodies of knowledge', which are supposed to represent universal truths about their discipline.

by Journal of Management Studies
Last Updated: 23 Jul 2013

In project management, for instance, the Project Management Institute (PMI), one of the largest professional associations in the field, has established a set of standards where managers are encouraged to look for knowledge, concepts, competencies, tools and techniques.

Those managers who join the PMI will come to accept the 'Project Management Body of Knowledge' (PMBOK) as a set of standards that cover project management.

Such bodies discourage a rational response to the world and replace it with a blind faith in universal techniques. As the 'blackboxing' of knowledge becomes set in stone, it removes wider ethical and political questions from the manager's mind. Project managers following best practice will be blind to the negative effects of direct control and intensive surveillance.

The politics of standards in modern management: making 'The Project' a reality,
Damian Hodgson and Svetlana Cicmil,
Journal of Management Studies, Vol 44 No 3, May 2007

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