Literature Review Question
What does literature say about Machaivellian business and leadership practices?
Research for Literature Review
The research for the literature was orgainized and provided on the synthesis table.
What does literature say about Machiavellian Business and Leadership Practices?
It is the start of your new job. Fresh out of college with a degree in business management. You have just been hired at a successful robotics company and are about to walk thought the door, when you hear what sounds like the managers screaming at an innocent employee for what seems like a blundered sale. You hear something that sticks out in your brain. The manager says, The ends justify the means. After hearing this you are scared, but at the same time you are feeling confident and excited about starting a job with a manager that strives for success out of every employee. This way of management is highly controversial in the business world of corporate America. In modern corporate America, there is a theory that is highly controversial and debated as ways to make you a better leader in manager in a place of business. This theory is Machiavellian leadership and management practices. This theory is derived from Niccolo’ Machiavelli, a Florentine diplomat. This theory is based on crushing the competition that lies in your path. This theory has many negative and positive aspects which is why it is debated in the corporate workplace. Literature makes it very clear of the positive and negative aspects of his principles and how it both negatively and positively affects a leader and manager in a
corporate environment. Literature makes three major points about the effects of Machiavellian business and leadership practices on a modern day businessman: the effects on modern business, his specific qualities, and the five business philosophies in business today.Literature states that Machiavellian practices play a major role in shape the leaders and managers in modern day business. Machiavellian practices specifies the difference between managers and leaders, but how they are both important in a place of business. A leader, “inspires through great ideas” (Andrew Dubrin). A manager “commands through position” (Andrew Dubrin). The two jobs are vastly different. One person uses managerial skills and power to control an office and bring in money for that company. A leader inspires workers to get jobs done to lead to success in the office. While the jobs are different, they can be together to complete one common goal. These two jobs offer different results in work, but together to lead an office to success. Mangers and Leaders in the workplace have both similarities and differences that apply to Machiavellian principles.LEADER MANAGER “Visionary Rational Passionate Businesslike Creative PersistentInspiring Tough-minded Innovative Analytical Imaginative Deliberative Experimental Authoritative Warm and radiant Cool and reserved Initiator Implementer Does the right things Does things right Inspires through great ideas Commands through position Knows results are achieved through people Focuses on results Focuses on uplifting ideas Focuses on plumbing”(Genevieve Capowski).Acts as coach, consultant, teacher Acts as a bossLiterature also states many negative aspects of Machiavellian policies in business and leadership. The name Machiavelli will live in infamy. When you hear the name Machiavelli, you immediately think corrupt and dishonest. He believed that it makes more sense for a leader to be hated rather than loved. This is sometimes true. Some of the best companies in the world are run by managers and CEOs that are strict and unrelenting. Many people, however, have other opinions. They believe that his belief in being hated, is genuinely wrong. Being hated and mean is never the answer is what manyother people believe. They would rather be kind and lose than be hated win. This statement is one, I do not agree with. I feel that it is better to work in a tough environment where you succeed instead of in a great environment where you are not successful.Machiavelli also was a believer in the very bold credo being, “Business is war. Crush the competition completely” (Forbes). This quotes makes it very clear in how he believes things should be run. According to business, it shows how he believes an office should be run to succeed in the competitive business world. Literature also shows the examples that show him being a wise business man. “It’s not the titles that honor the men, but the men that honor the titles” (Forbes). This shows how trains the men that he wants to work with him in his place of business. Literature also shows his qualities as a leader and diplomat, both good and bad. “Machiavelli’s teachings have never gone out of fashion; no doubt because power remains a central aspect of modern political and corporate life” (Galie, pg. 235). This shows that Galie believes his policies, when it comes to business, are working and successful because it has withstood the test of time. Machiavelli also inspires historical leaders to act as he does. For example, Napoleon was influenced greatly by Machiavelli. “He was a law giver, social reformer and administrator and is acknowledged as one of the greatest military genius of all time” (Parnav). The Napoleon Complex arose in Business with the introduction of Machiavellian principles. The major aspect of it is being a better leader than you appear to be. The napoleon complex is said to be short in stature, but powerful in voice. This has a very slightconnection, but it has commonalities with Machiavellian principles that are involved in modern day business strategies and decisions.Literature also states that Machiavellianism comes from 5 families or philosophies that are relevant in the business world today. Those 5 philosophies are: Machiavellianism, Darwinism, Relativism, Universality, and Objectivism. All the philosophies will lead to success, but it is made clear that Machiavellianism will lead to the most success. Machiavellianism is all about “cunning statecraft and duplicity”(Springer). This means battling for success which is why the companies that use Machiavellianism are usually the most successful. Darwinism is about “survival of the fittest in business and politics”(Springer). Relativism is the “doctrine that truth and morality that exist in society and culture and they are not absolute”(Springer). Universality is “universal comprehensiveness in range”(Springer). The five philosophies in business all sprouted from Machiavellianism. The basic principle of the five philosophies is diverse approaches to business in companies that will lead to large amounts of earnings for different businesses. The choice in what business philosophy to use in your specific business is up to you because they all lead to success, but Machiavellianism is the number choice again and again.Literature makes many points about the effects of Machiavellian practices on business. It shows the effect it has on modern business. The specific qualities that make him a great executive and the five philosophies of business that sprouted from Machiavelli. Literature however lacked many negative aspects of Machiavelli. It showedall of his good qualities and the results of them, but there was not much information on the specific negative aspects of him and its applications to business.
Throughout my research I found a plethora of information in different regards based on Machiavellian policies. There was an abscence of statistics and quantitative research to back up the information that was learned from the literature review. I knew from the beginning that there was not going to be a lot of statistics for this topic, but I was hoping for there to be some just to strengthen my literature review. Statistics and quantitative research is there to strengthen and explanation or an argument. Since there was not many stats on a topic such as mine, it was more difficult to argue for one side or the other.
I will be using qualitative methodology in my research study by asking working adults different questions that apply to Machiavellian policies. In regards to Machiavellian policies, recieving qualitative data will yield more results and opinions than that of quantitative methodology. Qualitative research, “ is primarily exploratory research it is used to gain an understanding of underlying reasons, opinions, and motivations”(Snap Surveys).
I began my research process with four simple questions. These questions all apply to a modern day business environment. I needed to ask these questions to working adults. I simply walked around my neighbor like an elementary student selling chocolate bars and asked adults the 4 questions. I compiled a total of 20 adults who answerd my survey. The questions all related to Machiavellian practices. The four questions were:
1. How do you react under pressure? Do you succeed?
2. How do you react when being yelled at? Do you remain calm?
3. Would you rather work in a tense office or a peaceful office?
4. Which office do you think you will get more work done?
After the finishing the survey I brought it home and worked on the analysis and findings to see how adults feel about Machiavellian policies in business and leadership.
The analysis of the data collected was an extremely important part of answering my research questions. The answers to these questions were very interesting and were extremely helpful in my study. I found that of the 20 adults; 19 of them succeed when under pressure, but 100% of the respondents would rather work in a more peaceful office. The was very interesting to me. I also found that 100% of the sample remained calm when being reprimanded. This simply is because they are all professionals and truly did not want to show weakness in the workplace. Question 4 brought out a variety of responses form the surveyed sample. 60% of the sample stated that a tense office while harder to work in would be more efficient and get more work done. The answers to these questions helped in learning how adults feel about Machiavellian practices.
The findings that came from my study made the opinion of the people very clear. With almost 100% of people succeeding under pressure and 60% saying that a tense office made the opinion very clear. Adults like having Machiavellian policies in a business environment. They stated that more work would get done which would lead to success for the company. Th findings in as simple terms as I can make show favorable towards Machiavellian practices in a business environment. Some even stated they feel like to economy wouldn’t be in the S@$%*er(explicit) and all businesses would be doing even better than they already are. The findings I discovered were very interesting and showed me how adults feel about Machiavellian practices in a business.
In conclusion, with the knowledge I gained from the literature review and the results that I found and analyzed from the 20 working adults I was able to see the true feeling about Machiavellian practices from literature standpoint and from the standpoint of an adult in a business environment. Literature showed many positive effects of the practices and the adults worked more efficiently and were able to complete more work while under the pressure of a deadline or strict boss shadowing your work like a lion about pounce on a gazelle. The results show that adults approve of Machiavellian practices.
1. "A Comparison of Five Business Philosophies - Springer." A Comparison of Five Business Philosophies - Springer. N.p., 01 Dec. 1985. Web. 08 Dec. 20142. Dubrin, Andrew. Leadership: Research findings, practice, and skills. Cengage Learning, 2012.3. Galie, Peter J., and Christopher Bopst. "Machiavelli & Modern Business: Realist Thought in Contemporary Corporate Leadership Manuals*." Journal of Business Ethics 65.3 (2006): 235-250.4. “ Genevieve Capowski, “Anatomy of a Leader: Where Are the Leaders of Tomorrow?” Management Review, March 1994, p. 12; David Fagiano, “Managers Versus Leaders: A Corporate Fable,” Management Review, November 1997, p. 5;5. Keki R. Bhote, The Ultimate Six Sigma (New York: AMACOM, 2002); “Leaders: Salespeople in Disguise?” Manager’s Edge, Special Issue, 2007, p. 3; Henry Mintzberg, Managing (San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 2009), pp. 8–9. ( First Quote on Table)
8. "5 Machiavellian Business Lessons From Billionaire Aliko Dangote." Forbes. Forbes Magazine, n.d. Web. 12 Nov. 2014.9. "15 Surprisingly Great Leadership Quotes From Machiavelli." Forbes. Forbes Magazine, n.d. Web. 08 Dec. 2014.