Does the West Envy the East?

When I consider the problems in the relationship between management and employees , I have to wonder, with all the books, seminars, workshops, studies and best management practices – there is nothing in the west that compares to the east in getting employees to work against their own interests and for management’s interests.

Yes, I am comparing suicide bombers to workers. Temporary workers, anyway.

How it is that people can be convinced to strap on an explosive device to advance the goals of management, when management is placing itself far out of harm’s way and not undertaking any of the risks?

Managers in the west are told to “model the behavior” that they want to see in the workplace – but you don’t see the leadership of organizations that utilize suicide bombers strapping anything to themselves – no, they hide out in caves or compounds, in the middle of civilians who are apparently willing to be missile shields or acceptable losses to shame the west when they are inevitably bombed to get at the management of the organization.

If nothing else, you have to admire the ability to so motivate an employee that they literally give their life to complete the project. Not to mention avoiding the matters of pension, severance, training allowances although, you don’t get to retain good employees and there’s no corporate memory to come back and haunt you if there’s ever a trial. If you put aside the nature of the work, there’s barely a downside from a management perspective.

But perhaps one shouldn’t underestimate a strong work ethic and employee engagement when combined with an appropriate management style – which is truly a productive force to be reckoned with.

Despite the high turnover and constant headcount reduction,  there seems to be no end of people willing to take over the job, despite the lack of comprehensive benefits, work life balance, flex time or education opportunities.

In addition to western managers having reasons to envy eastern motivational management, so too do western religious believers envy the east.

After all, when certain eastern religious practitioners express their displeasure with freedom of expression, artistic expression and well, facts and reality – the reaction of the western Christians tends to be the “we’d never get away with behaving like that!” Following by a general hand wringing and acting like Christians are still being fed to lions, instead of being the lion’s keepers as they have been for centuries.

But it would seem that the jealousy goes both ways, although I don’t entirely understand the east’s feelings towards the west, after all, they won the last of the crusades 1.0  – but instead of building on that momentum, they culturally and scientifically flatlined when Islam beat back the Christian soldiers – like Europe did when the Catholic Church dominated what is referred to as the Dark Ages.

So perhaps Arab Spring will usher in an age of enlightenment and cultural changes – workers will want more permanent and long term employment and participation – pension plans even – and a balance can be struck wherein the relationship between those with power and those carrying out the work that powers the power isn’t entirely one sided.

Where people’s dedication is focused on life affirming goals and peace mongering, diplomacy rather than militancy, reason and rationality over emotionalism and fear.

Because, as managers in the west have found, you can gain a kind of respect by managing through fear, but that will only demand respect and never command it.

Workers rights are supposed to have removed fear from the workplace, and vigilance is the cost of having rights. Lest we forget.

1 thought on “Does the West Envy the East?

  1. Pingback: Believers, “Atheists” and actual atheists | Random Ntrygg

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