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Blog // Thoughts
March 8, 2005

When Titles Lack Meaning

Cullen Murphy writes a telling article in the recent Atlantic, on the subject of titles and job descriptions. It is not enough these days that anyone with a semblence of responsibility in a corporation is labelled a manager, or director, but we now have a new generation of meaningless titles like “Convergence Architect,” “Idea Ambassador” […]

Cullen Murphy writes a telling article in the recent Atlantic, on the subject of titles and job descriptions. It is not enough these days that anyone with a semblence of responsibility in a corporation is labelled a manager, or director, but we now have a new generation of meaningless titles like “Convergence Architect,” “Idea Ambassador” and my favourite, “Corporate Evangelist.”

At best these are examples of creative postmodern re-imagining, at worst they are clumsy and meaningless examples of corporate hype (personally I lean more to the latter at this stage). It seems they are another example of the magical worldview that captures a lot of corporate theorists these days. What I mean by that is the belief that they can use words to change reality, that by just describing themselves differently, that somehow makes a substansive change to the actual work they do. This is just an example of a poor identity-hypothesis (which is a kind way of saying these people are deluded and self-absorbed).

Responses
Toni 18 years ago

Some of those titles are a little ‘creative’ 😉

There’s a title I’ll always try to avoid – new technologies acquisition manager. That always used to be a euphemism for threatened redundancy.

f 18 years ago

Wow! Sounds like an updated version of the old “special projects manager” title.

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