Business bullshit and ambiguity

In this week’s BBC Radio 4 programme Thinking Allowed, there’s an important part about ambiguity:

Laurie Taylor explores the origins and purpose of ‘Business Bullshit’, a term coined by Andre Spicer, Professor of Organizational Behaviour at Cass Business School, City University of London and the author of a new book looking at corporate jargon. Why are our organisations flooded with empty talk, injuncting us to “go forward” to lands of “deliverables,” stopping off on the “journey” to “drill down” into “best practice.”? How did this speech spread across the working landscape and what are its harmful consequences? They’re joined by Margaret Haffernan, an entrepreneur, writer and keynote speaker and by Jonathan Hopkin, Associate Professor of Comparative Politics at the LSE.

The particular part is the second section of the programme, in which Margaret Haffernan explains that organisations attempt (in vain) to  eliminate ambiguity. As such, they play a constant game of inventing new terms and initiatives, which not only work no better than the previous ones, but serve to justify inflated salaries.

The episode is available online here.