Having fun with business jokes, we continue 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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What you do with someone else’s data.

do-nothing decision

Say no more.


We hesitate to offer even a tentative definition.


A position attractive to astute consumers unconvinced by branding.


Being linguistically sensitive when rightsizing or outsourcing.


Thinking that managers matter. (Having a vision.)

drill down

To actually find out what’s below the surface of a problem. As in mining, data-mining, biopsies and autopsies, some of the information will necessarily be destroyed in the process; this is the Observer Effect.

(See data-mining)

driver, personal

Your auto motive.

due diligence

Approving of what you are buying.

(See caveat emptor)


Archaic concept connoting an obligation to do the right thing, now performed only by garbage collectors.


An example, for instance.

early riser

The early bird catches the worm, but the early worm gets eaten.


  1. An internet-based form of value creation in which the usual economic and accounting measures do not apply, except if you need cash, in which case you are forced into a state of involuntary recreation.
  2. Eeking out a living in the virtual world.


  1. An invalid, non-theoretical and incorrect ‘discipline’: there are no constants of human behaviour, measures of quantity are historical and utility is not intersubjectively comparable.
  2. Making assumptions about assumptions, and assigning number to them.


(adjective) Parsimonious.


  1. The study of the logical implications of human action.
  2. The multiple of economic.

economies of scale

The argument, put forward by economists, that buying, selling or making lots of the same thing makes the whole process profitable, when fewer numbers would be sub-economic.


  1. It depends.
  2. An economic mist.
  3. Something the economy missed.

EDP (Electronic Data Processing)

  1. Warehousing irrelevant information.
  2. Losing irrelevant information alphabetically.


What people use to develop a talent for training, and the ability to see through and go beyond 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 comedian.com.au 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: www.comedian.com.au. I’m based in Sydney and travel widely.