Monday, March 12, 2007

Democracy in the Workplace

I had an experience today that led me to question some very fundamental assumptions I have had about how workplaces, especially "for profit" companies, are run. The reigning assumption seems to be that they are most certainly not democracies. What if that assumption someday seems just as ludicrous as the once unquestioned belief that nations must be organized as aristocracies? This opened a small crack in my case hardened thinking about work. Just now I found the following site:

Not only does worldblu presume that companies might someday be run democratically, they have even discovered a surprising list of companies that are already democratic according to a set of ten criteria that worldblu has established.

I am not aware that most companies have any sort of "constitution" that proclaims them to be a hierarchy similar to medieval fiefdoms. Nonetheless, as I examined my own thinking, I realized that I have acted as if there were such a document.

Will future generations be aghast at the lack of free speech, the disparities of wealth, and the abitrary decision making that we now endure in our places of employment?

This is an area that deserves a good deal more thought than I have given it in more than three decades.
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