Hierarchical Inconsistencies: A Critical Assessment of Justification

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Abstract

The existential insecurity of human beings has induced them to create protective spheres of symbols: myths, religions, values, belief systems, theories, etc. Rationality is one of the key factors contributing to the construction of civilization in technical and symbolic terms. As Hankiss (2001) has emphasized, protective spheres of symbols may collapse – thus causing a profound social crisis. Social and political transformations produced a tremendous impact at the end of the 20th century. As the result, management theories have been revised in order to deal with transition and uncertainty. Francis Fukuyama’s (2000) approach is supportive of hierarchical organization as the best solution when facing a ‘disruption’. The notion of Homo Hierarchicus has been based on, allegedly, rational presumptions. This paper contributes to the discussion regarding the hierarchy within contemporary organisation. It criticises so-called ‘natural’ and ‘rational’ necessities justifying a hierarchy. A key issue identified by the paper is the formalisation of language in claiming value-free knowledge and ‘detached’ observation as the basis for neutral rationality and aspired efficiency. This should be seriously reconsidered as abetting rather than aiding understanding of social complexity. All in all, Homo Hierarchicus appears to be misleading rather than helping symbolic sphere or construct.

Posted for comments on 13 Jun 2018, 10:22 am.

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