Management as ‘Purity Apostle’: A Cultural-Anthropological Approach

  • Irma RybnikovaEmail author
Part of the Management – Culture – Interpretation book series (MCI)


A cultural-anthropologically informed perspective on management as an institution of organizational purification is outlined here while drawing on the concept of purity proposed by the cultural anthropologist Mary Douglas (1966), the understanding of modernity and culture by the sociologist Zygmunt Bauman (1988) and dealing with the impure as suggested by the philosopher Roger Fayet (2003). The main argument developed in the chapter explores the intimate links between purity, modernity and instrumental rationality and discusses management as a genuine modern institution pursuing efficiency-driven purity of organizations. Drawing on the metaphor of ‘apostle’, the links between management and a god-like idea of purity in organizations are delineated while referring such managerial practices as employee selection, sense making or dealing with employee resistance, as purification attempts undertaken by management in order to threaten or utilize sources of organizational impurity.


Human Resource Management Sense Making Instrumental Rationality Employee Selection Instrumental Purpose 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden GmbH 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.DresdenGermany

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