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Managing Britannia: Culture and Management in Modern Britain

Managing Britannia: Culture and Management in Modern Britain

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For more than thirty years the solution to all Britain’s problems has been better management. As a result management schools now dominate higher education and managers are at work everywhere developing ‘strategies’, delivering ‘systems’ and defining quantifiable ‘outcomes’. The consummation of the process has been New Labour’s ‘rebranding’ of Britain as a fully manageable commodity.

Yet, strangely, things often seem worse organised than before. There are now more managers on the rail network than train drivers, yet the benefits of modern management of railways, schools, hospitals, universities, arts centres, BBC, churches . . . are hard to find.

This is because there is one flaw in the great vision of a managed society: ‘management’ does not exist—the academic study of ‘management science’ and the assumption that there are universal management skills are bogus. This book shows how modern management practices have all but destroyed politics, education, culture and religion—modern management is not a cure for but the cause of many of our national ills.