Here we go again, with another post in the episodic publication of The Management Contradictionary (Benjamin Marks, Rodney Marks, and Robert Spillane. Michelle Anderson Publishing: Melbourne).

It’s available in all good libraries, and quite a few bad ones, too. The book is in alphabetical order, so feel free to keep reading the blog posts – past, present and future – from eh? to zzz.

The Management Contradictionary defines the real meaning behind management terms.

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corporate governance

A useful and focused way to blame the board of directors for management mistakes. Much discussed when companies fail; something to do with people who are meant to reign in out-of-control CEOs, except when those executives are doing  well and not getting caught.

corporate language

(See buzz words, jargon and weasel words)

corporate social responsibility

  1. Insurance against unknown future risks, paid by corporations to the broader community, so that an adverse impact upon any section of society can be reduced due to a base level of goodwill towards the firm.
  2. Supplementary subliminal advertising to groups sceptical – or even skeptical – of mainstream media

(See philanthropy)


An amoral, unelected entity, accountable to changing and changeable stakeholders, whose aim is to maximise shareholder value at all costs. If it was an animal, it would be a Rottweiler, and you’d shoot it as a genetically violent threat to society.


Production at pains to be profitable.

cost accountant

A reverse prophet.

cost-benefit analysis

The cost of analysing benefits divided by the benefits of analysing costs.

cost centre

Any strategic organisational unit not directly involved in bottom-line activities; all are expendable.

cost effectiveness

A feeble attempt to justify poor purchasing decisions on the basis that the benefits will be seen down the track.

cost of capital

The real price of money.


The selling and buying of unwanted advice.


  1. A manager who sabotages performance with personality.
  2. A polite leader.

(See moral courage)


Cocaine up.


  1. The ability to think outside the square.
  2. The capacity to invent the square.
  3. The propensity to play with the sides of the square, thereby eliminating its squareness.
  4. The ability to think outside the square.
  5. An obsession with all sorts of quasi-geometric iterations while avoiding work.


Money available to spend, which if you had it you wouldn’t, because when you did  you did, and you don’t want to go down that path again.


A insufficiency of excuses.

crisis management



  1. Stakeholder.
  2. Shareholder.
  3. Opinion holder.
  4. Funded retiree.
  5. Politician, especially at election time.

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Rodney Marks

I’m an Australian corporate comedian, performing comic hoaxes at business events. If you like these blogs, you’ll like my live comedy. If you don’t like these blogs, you still might like my live comedy.

Add to your bookmarks, and one day: book Marks. I don’t do cheap jokes, and I’m freer than you think. I’m comical not anatomical, economical not astronomical.

For more info – and to contact me directly – see my LinkedIn profile, and website: I’m based in Sydney and travel widely.