It is easy to imagine, in these enlightened times that totalitarianism is from a bygone age. Remarkably, perhaps, there are still businesses that operate using the kind of hierarchical systems and culture that might be familiar to medieval kings or South American dictators from the 1970’s.
Systems with privileged elites whose roles are defined by supplication of the next person up the line, competing with their peers for favour and demanding that those in their own sphere of control make them look good. The old incentives of money and status rule, as do the old disincentives of banishment and disfavour – physical execution, however, is unusual these days.
What is most remarkable about this is the temptation to think of business as being at the forefront of operational efficiency and modernity and not that they exist in some temporal warp. But some do.
From a purely business perspective the totalitarian…