The Pharmakon of Innovation

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    While popular management handbooks tends to promise concrete lessons, prescriptions and advice for how to make an successful organization, this paper argues that there can resides considerable ambiguity and obscurity in the writings of management gurus. In the discourse on management innovation, the concept of management is attributed a curious dual function, as being, on the one hand, the ‘toxic’ that can ‘kill’ innovation, and, on the other hand, ‘cure’ that will make the organization innovative. Informed by Derrida’s reflection upon the dual meaning of Plato’s concept of pharmakon, as being both ‘poison’ and ‘remedy’, we will engage with the management guru Gary Hamel’s book The Future of Management. Although Hamel attempts to establish a clear-cut distinction between principles of management that obstructs and those managerial principles that facilitate innovation, it is ultimately indeterminate weather management is the cure or the poison for innovation. We will therefore show how management is the pharmakon of innovation.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication date2013
    Number of pages1
    Publication statusPublished - 2013
    EventThe 31st Standing Conference on Organizational Symbolism. SCOS 2013 - Szturmowa Campus, Warsaw, Poland
    Duration: 13 Jul 201316 Jul 2013
    Conference number: 31


    ConferenceThe 31st Standing Conference on Organizational Symbolism. SCOS 2013
    LocationSzturmowa Campus
    Internet address

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