Performance management, the only HR component that counts?

INN331 – Management Issues for Information Professionals

WEEK TEN: HR’s missing premiss.

This week’s compulsory and suggested reading list was extensive, and, as usual, completely ignored by most students, probably because they have learnt that the tutor never challenges them to explain their thinking on any part of the literature, and it certainly doesn’t form the backbone of silly LIS-focused assignments.

We have Drucker being sadly out of date about labour hire companies, a couple of papers advocating the dehumanisation of people as a legitimate HR practice, a couple more specifically focused on IT, the inevitable bullshit library and information studies (LIS) flight of fancy, but one really well-structured and informative paper on Australian HR. That one was almost worth wading through the dross that was the others. I have to wonder sometimes who comes up with these reading lists, and whether they actually read these papers themselves.

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Drucker vision fails on integrity, education

INN331 – Management Issues for Information Professionals

Reading notes on Drucker’s 1950s vision for today’s dystopia.

That Drucker’s book is rooted in an optimistic American political economy of the 1950s becomes apparent almost immediately by the absence of any butchery of the language via politically correct interdictions, but also by way of the crass sexism of mentioning sending secretaries to fetch morning coffee.

What is not so apparent is just how remarkably prescient Drucker was decades before the realities of corporate America, and then the world, began to match his predictions, but also to dramatically diverge from them.

I wouldn’t bother mounting any argument against Drucker’s prescriptions about the functions of modern managers, just against the cult of systematization he started in Part V of the book, entitled ‘What it means to be a manager’.

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