Sunday, November 22, 2009

Dystopian or Pragmatic? The Gervais Principle

Do you watch The Office? Would you consider it to be a cynical look at aspects of working life, or a fully realized alternate view of management theory? Venkat at makes a pretty good case for the latter in his post The Gervaise Principle, or The Office According to "The Office."

If we accept the basis that he describes, then a few questions come to mind. First, is this a dystopian alternative view of reality or just a pragmatic one? In other words, do you only see it this way if if you are wearing celadon-colored glasses (or whatever the opposite of rose-colored would be), or do you see it this way if you are seeing clearly? For my own peace of mind I prefer to believe the former because if it is the clearest, truest view of reality then I would like to turn in my library card right now.

However, regardless of how you take it, the obvious next question is: how do I fit in? For myself, I'm obviously clueless. Not having the capacity for sociopathy (and I think that's a GOOD thing) nor much capacity for shirking (again, believing that's good!) I'm simply excluded from both the top and bottom of the hierarchy.

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