Planning, Box-Ticking, and Meetings

While functional stupidity is a key resource for an organisation, it can also do conspicuous harm. It can lead to meaningless and non-productive work being undertaken: writing plans, ticking boxes, endless meetings take over. Often there is a stark clash between the official version of events and the lived realities. For individuals, functional stupidity turns from a benefit into a bane when it reduces autonomy, narrows the range of choices or becomes a source of dissatisfaction. It may also throw doubt on the meaning and purposes of the individual’s working life.

Mats Alvesson & André Spicer, The Stupidity Paradox: The Power and Pitfalls of Functional Stupidity at Work (London: Profile Books, 2016), Loc 1356-1360. ISBN: 978-1-78283-202-7.

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Article by Andrew Doohan

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