The Invisible Powers: The Language of Business / Edition 1

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In this wide-ranging and original book, John J. Clancy examines the history and current state of corporate America from a new perspective, looking at business not as a matter of economics, marketing, and management, but as a cultural artifact. The Invisible Powers examines language, imagery, values, and deeply held beliefs and the impact they all have in determining the role business plays in society. Drawing from the writings and speeches of some of the most influential business leaders of the past two hundred years—Frederick Taylor, Henry Ford, Jay Gould, and Lee Iacocca, among others—Clancy describes the evolution and transformation of influential metaphors and demonstrates the very real power the "invisible" forces of metaphor exercise in our world. Finding support in such diverse thinkers as Aristotle, Engels, and Darwin, Clancy then calls for a new set of images and paradigms that will enable us to deal more successfully with the economic, cultural, and environmental crises of our times.

Shows how the language business leaders use reveals deeply-held views about the purpose of business and actually influences the way they conduct their affairs.

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Editorial Reviews

Murray Weidenbaum
John Clancy has provided the unexpected. He has written a literate businessman's guide to the language of business. In addition to being an enjoyable read, it should sharpen the ability of executives to communicate.
Walter Nord
A very rare book by a very rare man—a thorough, careful scholar and a highly successful executive. Clancy advances our understanding of organizations and their leaders through an impressive synthesis of knowledge. Both academics and professional managers will enjoy and learn from his efforts.
Armand C. Stalnaker
This is an erudite book about business. If you believe that the purpose of business—your business—is obvious, you need to read this book to broaden and deepen your thinking. As you read, you will feel challenged to decide if these different ways of looking at business (paradigms) are somehow compatible or are mutually exclusive as Clancy contends. If one blind man (any one of us) were to examine an elephant (business) from three different approaches (paradigms), what opinion about the nature of elephants (business) would result? Written by a thoughtful businessman who appreciates the importance of business, this book helps us to think about [this question]: What is the real justification for business to exist?
J. Frank Cashen
For those who enjoy the ebb and flow of the business world and live by its tides, Clancy has written a fascinating book. From metaphors to mergers, from metaphysics to megabucks, he presents an interesting insight into the jargon of the trade. For the thinking people in the business world, and for all those who would like to join that elite group, The Invisible Powers has all the earmarks of a classic cult work. It's a twenty-game winner. Don't miss it.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780739100738
  • Publisher: Lexington Books
  • Publication date: 5/28/1999
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 352
  • Product dimensions: 6.26 (w) x 9.28 (h) x 0.98 (d)

Meet the Author

John J. Clancy is an information systems industry executive who spent twenty-five years with a major corporation in R&D, sales, marketing, and general management.

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Introduction Part 2 Metaphor in Business Chapter 3 The Web of Language Chapter 4 The Bearer of Truth Chapter 5 The Journey: Leadership and le Voyage sans But Chapter 6 The Game: The Playing Fields of Business Chapter 7 War: Soldiers in Pinstripes Chapter 8 The Machine: Taylor and Positivism Chapter 9 The Organism: Evolution and the Good Shepherd Chapter 10 The Society: Shamans and Statesmen Part 11 Purpose in Business Chapter 12 Purposes and Paradigms Chapter 13 The New Messiah: The Paradigm of Production Chapter 14 Treasures upon Earth: Paradigm of Wealth Chapter 15 Stonecutters Fighting Time: The Paradigm of the Institution Chapter 16 Fin de Siecle Chapter 17 Voyaging, Voyaging, Voyaging Chapter 18 Notes Chapter 19 Bibliography Chapter 20 Index Chapter 21 About the Author

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