Author(s): Mats Alvesson
Functional stupidity can be catastrophic. It can cause organisational collapse, financial meltdown and technical disaster. And there are countless, more everyday examples of organisations accepting the dubious, the absurd and the downright idiotic, from unsustainable management fads to the cult of leadership or an over-reliance on brand and image. And yet a dose of stupidity can be useful and produce good, short-term results: it can nurture harmony, encourage people to get on with the job and drive success. This is the stupidity paradox. The Stupidity Paradox tackles head-on the pros and cons of functional stupidity. You'll discover what makes a workplace mindless, why being stupid might be a good thing in the short term but a disaster in the longer term, and how to make your workplace a little less stupid by challenging thoughtless conformity. It shows how harmony and action in the workplace can be balanced with a culture of questioning and challenge. The book is a wake-up call for smart organisations and smarter people. It encourages us to use our intelligence fully for the sake of personal satisfaction, organisational success and the flourishing of society as a whole.
Why are smart people encouraged not to think at work? Welcome to the idea of functional stupidity.
Mats Alvesson is Professor of Business Administration at the University of Lund, Sweden. He has published extensively across a wide range of organisational behaviour topics and issues, is one of the most frequently cited European researchers in management and a sought-after speaker and commentator around the globe. He lives in Lund, Sweden. Andre Spicer is Professor of Organisational Behaviour at Cass Business School, City University, London, known for his thought leadership in the areas of the human side of work, leadership and ethics. He is widely published in both academic literature and the general business media and is a frequent commentator on sustainable business, behaviours at work and business culture. He lives in London.