Original Research

The radical rationalization of management thought: Its causes and consequences

P. Human
South African Journal of Business Management | Vol 17, No 1 | a1027 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajbm.v17i1.1027 | © 2018 P. Human | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 22 October 2018 | Published: 31 March 1986

About the author(s)

P. Human, School of Business Leadership, University of South Africa, South Africa

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Radical rationalization refers to the phenomenon where means are seen as ends-in-themselves. Translated to the practice of management this would mean that the exercise of techniques is absolutized to the extent that ends (goals) are lost from sight. In this article we enquire into the causes as well as the consequences of this phenomenon. It is argued that the nature of science as well as the nature of the bureaucratic organization can be seen as causal factors to the 'iron cage' of radical rationalization. Some of those familiar 'iron cages' such as strategic planning, industrial relations, behaviour modelling and the personal computer are discussed.


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