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Management professor publishes book on society, political correctness

Sunday, October 17, 2010
Management professor publishes book on society, political correctness

In his new book Society Against Itself: Political Correctness and Organizational Self-Destruction, Howard S. Schwartz, professor, organizational behavior, in the School of Business Administration's Department of Management and Marketing looks at how the psychological dynamics of political correctness lead organizations to destroy themselves.


He brings a new theoretical perspective to the study of self-destructive behavior in organizations, illustrating it through a number of meticulous case studies. They run the gamut from the media, reflecting on the Jayson Blair scandal at the New York Times, to the corporate world, where he looks at the undermining of employee morale at the Ford Motor Company, to the academic , examining how Larry Summers was forced out of Harvard University, to the religious, where he considers some damage wrought upon itself by  the United Church of Christ. Other focuses of his attention are the destruction of morale at the Cincinnati police department, the self-destruction of Antioch College, and the regrettable transformation of the United Kingdom represented by the shift from Queen Elizabeth to Princess Diana as national symbol.


"Professor Schwartz's new book helps us think more broadly and reflectively, leading us to question what we do as a society," says Mohan Tanniru, dean, OU's School of Business Administration.


The book was recently released by Karnac Books, in London. The publisher's Web page includes a synopsis and several reviews by peers in academia and management consulting. They call it "extraordinary and timely,"" brilliant and lavishly sensible," "incisive" and "pioneering," and say that it "demands to be heard."
Schwartz specializes in the psychoanalytic theory of organizations. His areas of research interest have included work on obligation as a form of work motivation, the psychodynamics of organizational culture, totalitarianism, narcissistic degeneration in work organizations, political correctness, and hysteria. He has published articles in such journals as The Academy of Management Review, Human Relations, The Columbia Journal of World Business, The Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, Organization Studies, and Administration and Society.


He is the author of Narcissistic Process and Corporate Decay: The Theory of the Organization Ideal, published by New York University Press; and Revolt of the Primitive: An Inquiry into the Roots of Political Correctness, published in paperback by Transaction Publishers.


Schwartz was a founding member of the International Society for the Psychoanalytic Study of Organizations and has been President of the Michigan Association of Scholars. He has served as a faculty intern at the DaimlerChrysler Corporation. He earned his PhD from Cornell University, MA from UCSD and BA from Antioch College.