Irrational Institutions

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Irrationality, rationality, and aesthetics in management.

For more than a century people have speculated why business leaders resist or reject new systems of progressive management. The first comprehensive analysis of this problem appeared in the book The Triumph of Classical Management Over Lean Management (2018).

Irrational Institutions examines this problem from a different direction using two new analytical methods. It explores how irrationality functions within the institutions of business, leadership, and the Lean movement, and how the social habits of thought and action that produce these institutions thwart efforts to impose rationality in leadership and management practice. Lean advocates have long had little appreciation that their more rational system of management is incongruent with the prevailing rational/irrational (logic) profile of classical management.

Irrational Institutions critiques the aesthetics of the institution leadership and the Lean movement, and describes how aesthetics function as a powerful mechanism to maintain the status quo despite the obvious need for change. It is a very simple way to understand the problem.

And don’t forget to read The Triumph of Classical Management Over Lean ManagementManagement Mysterium, and Improvement to gain a complete understanding of how you can more effectively advance progressive management. This series of four books meticulously expose the forces that guide leaders’ thinking which results in maintaining the status quo and continued adherence to archaic classical management. Progress is made when minds are opened.

Reviews of Irrational Institutions

I loved the writing. Good argumentation. Love the thoughts on aesthetics. The book reads great, in combination with The Triumph of Classical Management. But is strong enough on its own. It is a ‘thinkers’ book. Not so much a practical, here’s how you do it, book. But that isn’t promised anywhere.

Jeroen Janssen


Another mind-blowing book! Your use of aesthetics as a lens through which to see business, its leadership, and the lean industry was remarkably novel, creative and insightful. Like your Triumph of Classical Management book, it explains well what’s really going on and makes readers really think. (Read Ken’s full review).

Ken Eakin


Thank you for a great read!  Your perspective on the underlying psychology around rational and irrational decision making and how aesthetics motivates our actions was enlightening and delightfully unexpected.

G. Magnusson


More Information

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Book Details

Irrational Institutions: Business, Its Leaders, and The Lean Movement

by Bob Emiliani
Cubic, LLC South Kingstown, RI, USA

118 pages • ISBN 978-1-7320191-1-9 • January 2020

Preface
Introduction
1. The Institution of Business
2. The Institution of Leadership
3. The Lean Movement
4. Conclusion
About the Author

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