Here are some more original management jokes that constitute 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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The belief that all beliefs are better if explained, except the belief in demystification.


Hair-trigger response to media enquiries.


Reorganising failed groupings in the hope that shuffling the card deck will produce a better hand. Promoted by managers incapable of improving profits or efficiencies, in order to put their stamp on an organisation and so move up the ladder.


What happens to your money as a result of inflation, itself caused by governments printing money, so that whilst there is more of it about, each unit is worth less.


An economic term for a recession that hits you personally. Also a psychological term for what happens to you after you’re hit by the economic effect.


Government allowing business to make its own mistakes.


Heretic who questions the religion of management.


(See deviant above, and antonymise)


Listen to me and nod if you agree.


Deciding whether to use decision theory.


A male manager who subscribes to the opera, and sometimes even goes with his own wife.


Certification of continuous improvement along a continuum of graduated degrees, which shows nothing but proof of payment.


  1. The ability to smile while saying nothing at length, in several languages, to people you detest.
  2. A sea of diplomas.


  1. Something that you give, but never receive.
  2. Where we’re heading, as determined by the straight line from where we’ve been, through where we are now and into the infinite future.
  3. An excuse for a conference ever since some Roman asked: Quo vadis?


  1. To systematise conjointly and coequally, using converging and diverging parallel lines.
  2. To categorise.
  3. To cloud.
  4. To clarify.
  5. To classify.


  1. Someone who believes that the originator of the latest management fad is a guru.
  2. A junior manager with ambition.


The power that a guru has over a disciple to suspend thinking and engage in whimsical rule-following.


In contradistinction to full disclosure, this is the selective revealing of self-serving data.

discounted cash flow

The sum of money received over time, after it has been ravaged by ongoing devaluation.


  1. The subversive acknowledgement of differences.
  2. A quality that allows for the recognition of quality.


A word best left in the dictionary.


A work relationship with no intermediaries, such as when manufacturers deal directly with customers. The nature of this concept is disconcerting to managers managing to manage managerial management practices, as it exposes their role for what it is: not an expeditor, facilitator or even catalyst, but rather a hindrance, obstruction and impediment to serving the organisation and customer.


An allocation that you receive in order to head off retribution.


Due diligence.


  1. An amount of money just large enough to stop you from selling your shares.
  2. The end of the divide.

divine plan

A plan of which you’re unaware.

division of labour

Workflow arrangement designed by top management to ensure that an inverse relationship exists between the value of work done and remuneration for it.

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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.