We continue with 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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People in the workplace, so-called because a Human Resource is easier to under-resource, ignore, downsize, rightsize or outsource.

human relations

My relatives, but not yours; your relatives, but not mine.

human resource

Person available for manipulation by the organisation.

human resource (HR) manager

Someone whose job it is to divide the workforce into misanthropes, misandronists and misogynists.


Manager who knows the PA’s name.


  1. A factor in the productivity of workers, which says that unless you pay folk well, they won’t be motivated to do well, but that paying people really well doesn’t marginally increase output. Not fashionable among remuneration committees voting themselves large bonuses, nor among behavioural scientists who’ve looked at the original research methodology.
  2. What organisations have when the clean out their HR departments.
  3. Washing your hands after sacking someone.
  4. Washing your hands after outsourcing someone’s role.
  5. Washing your hands after offshoring someone’s role.
  6. Washing your hands after downsizing someone’s role.
  7. Washing your hands after rightsizing someone’s role.
  8. Washing your hands after outsourcing someone’s role.
  9. Washing your hands after shaking a subordinate‘s hand.
  10. Washing your hands after shaking a superior‘s hand.
  11. Washing your hands after shaking a peer‘s hand.
  12. Washing your hands after shaking a customer‘s hand.
  13. Washing your hands after shaking a client‘s hand.
  14. Washing one of your hands after touching the other one.


Manager who claims he’s a leader.


The finding of management consultants.

hysteria (derived from the Greek word for uterus)

  1. A form of melodrama invented by men to cope with the female sense of humour.
  2. A form of melodrama invented by women to cope with the male sense of humour.


The supreme object of love.


  1. Giving people numbers instead of names. This is actually a more personalised form of identification, as numbers are more numerous than names.
  2. Good for the ego.
  3. Necessary for the superego.


My deal.


  1. What managers outsource.
  2. The belief that managers think that they think.
  3. Only ever thought of when you don’t have any.


When you become your business card.


  1. Ideas – but not ideals – used to promote management as a profession.
  2. What managers follow.
  3. What leaders suspect.


  1. Someone who thinks an MBA is important.
  2. What a manager thinks the consumer is.

i.e. (inarticulateness explained)

Admission that you have failed to communicate clearly the first time, and that you are looking to blame and patronise the reader by re-stating your original point in simpler language. In other words, ‘in other words’.


The state of knowing that you know nothing, which is more than others know.

(see idiot)


  1. Entry criterion for admission to an MBA programme.
  2. Entry criterion for admission to an MBA program.


Seeing your team nodding in agreement when they’re nodding off.


The ability to think with your mind’s eye about something not actually present. Not recommended to be used whilst operating heavy machinery or driving. Or anywhere in the corporate world.


Postmodern amorality.


Something best left to middle management, as its accountability quotient is dangerously high for the CEO, the COO, the CFO, the CIO, the CMO and so on.


Traditionally come from overseas.


Managerial self-development.


One hundredth of a dollar.

incentive system

Yelling: ‘Work harder, you bastards!’ When this is deemed politically incorrect, more emotionally damaging structures are put in place, such as the practice of the least efficient managers being routinely de-hired.

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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.