Organizational research missed managerial ignorance concealment (MIC) and the low-moral careerism (L-MC) it served, leaving a lacuna in managerial stupidity research: MIC serving L-MC was not used to explain this stupidity. The purpose of this paper is to remedy this lacuna.
A semi-native longitudinal multi-site ethnography of automatic processing plants, their parent inter-kibbutz co-operatives (I-KC-Os) and their kibbutz field context enabled a Strathernian ethnography that contextualized the prevalence of MIC and L-MC.
I-KC-Os’ oligarchic context encouraged outsider executives’ MIC and L-MC that caused vicious distrust and ignorance cycles, stupidity and failures. A few high-moral knowledgeable mid-managers prevented total failures by vulnerable involvement that created virtuous trust and learning cycles. This, however, furthered dominance by ignorant ineffective L-MC executives and furthered use of MIC.
As managerial know-how portability is often illusory and causes negative dominance of ignorant outsider executives, new CEO succession norms and new yardsticks for assessing fitness of potential executives are required, proposed in the paper.
Oligarchic contexts encourage MIC and L-MC, hence democratization is called for to counter this negative impact and promote efficiency, effectiveness and innovation.
Untangling and linking the neglected topics of MIC and L-MC explains, for the first time, the prevalence of these related phenomena and their unethical facets, particularly among outsider executives and managers, emphasizing the need for their phronetic ethnographying to further explain the resulting mismanagement.
The author wish to thank Bryan Poulin, Benedicte Brgger, Silvia Gherardi, Harry Collins, Robert Evans, Tom Wilson, Joseph Raelin, Rajiv Vashist, Rachel Kessel, and some anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments on earlier versions of this paper.
Confirmation letter: I hereby declare that the submitted paper is original and my own creation, that it has not been published elsewhere and that it is not under review for any other publication. I am solely responsible for any errors of commission or omission in it.
Shapira, R. (2015), "Prevalent concealed ignorance of low-moral careerist managers: Contextualization by a semi-native multi-site Strathernian ethnography", Management Decision, Vol. 53 No. 7, pp. 1504-1526. https://doi.org/10.1108/MD-10-2014-0620Download as .RIS
Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited