Here we continue continuing with the continuation of 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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A predictive activity popular since Biblical times, and even before, which is a testament to its popularity. The chances of success have remained constant for millennia.


  1. Strangers at first sight.
  2. Taking the Zen out of xenophobia.


  1. Any driver slower than you.
  2. Someone who speaks management as a second language.


A boss with a better shirt than a first-line supervisor, but who still has no power.

formal organisation

One where ‘casual Friday’ was tried and convicted, but not executed.


  1. What some make and others spend.
  2. When income exceeds expenditure.


The linking of small franchisees to make them operate like one large business, by giving franchisees all the risk and middle managers the authority of executives and the responsibility of the front-line workers, while the franchisor yields the highest returns.


  1. The myth that managers are worth what they pay themselves.
  2. Freudian slip.

free market

Where goods are sold to people who want them at prices they are prepared to pay. You can see how different government is.

free-trade agreement

  1. Truce between governments.
  2. Trade without government intervention.

friendly fire

In the military, this refers to the accidental killing of troops from one’s own side. In business, this organisationally self-destructive behaviour is often provoked by managers whose sloppy and corrupt style goes unnoticed in a crisis. ‘We made that decision in the fog of war‘ is the favourite excuse of the friendly fire manager.

full disclosure



The rudiments and building blocks of a management practice, without which it would be rootless, insubstantial, vacuous, facile and gratuitous. No-one knows what these elusive elements are, but when articulated and elucidated, everything will be made clear.


You should ask.


  1. Invented by managers for fun.
  2. Simulation stimulation situation.
  3. Re: veal.
  4. The theory that criminals only have dilemmas when they become prisoners.


On forms, often confused with sex, which is not an option.

general manager

So called because he’s not good at anything in particular.

(See specialist)


  1. The official language of public relations consultants.
  2. Capital communiqués.
  3. Like gibber.
  4. Malevolent retractable patois.


Aspirational assertion of intent to sell or work further afield, such as in the next office building.


Something to gloss over.


The line of failed past objectives that form a trajectory of future points to aim for.

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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.