Capitalist ideologues and the Cold War “struggle for men’s minds”

Authored by: Bert Spector

The Routledge Companion to Management and Organizational History

Print publication date:  May  2015
Online publication date:  May  2015

Print ISBN: 9780415823715
eBook ISBN: 9780203550274
Adobe ISBN: 9781135918453


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Writing in a 1957 Harvard Business Review article, securities lawyer J. Anthony Panuch expressed his disdain for ideology; not a particular ideology, but the very idea of ideology. Ideologies “may be primarily altruistic or they may be simply dressed up in moral clothing to make them successful.” Whatever their nature, ideologies “get in the way of sound, rational … policy planning and execution” (Panuch, 1957: 42). Here, Panuch was expressing a common theme among both business practitioners and observers. Participants in management discourse typically profess to be blind to, even antagonistic toward, the use of ideology. Twenty years after Panuch’s piece, Harvard Business School Professor George Lodge suggested that reluctance to acknowledge ideology was a particularly American phenomenon (Lodge, 1977). In the United States, ideologies were viewed as alien constructs, essentially European in origin. Communism, fascism, totalitarianism – these and other ‘isms’ – denoted non-American or even un-American activities.

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