Responses to Governance: Governing Corporations, Societies, and the World

Responses to Governance: Governing Corporations, Societies, and the World

Responses to Governance: Governing Corporations, Societies, and the World

Responses to Governance: Governing Corporations, Societies, and the World

Excerpt

Sed quis custodiet ipsos Custodes.

Decimus Junius Juvenalis (Juvenal), first century AD

To explore the realm of governance is to force the recognition that competing ways of life, and their consequences, are manifestations of particular, and often opposed, sets of beliefs. The quotation from Juvenal, the Roman satirist, with which this Preface is headed can be freely translated as “but who will govern the governors?” It is exemplified by the traumatic events of September 11, 2001, in New York, a chilling reminder of the extremes to which nihilistic acts of rebellion can be carried in the pursuit of beliefs and as responses to what are perceived to be unjust and intrusive processes of governance. That traumatic act, emanating as it did from a singular mutation of the governed, will echo down the ages as a spectacular act of opprobrium. It has provoked a series of retaliatory responses by those attempting to restore the established order, which will have far-reaching consequences for the whole of humanity. History provides many examples of extremist behavior (Breton et al. 2001) that, over the centuries, philosophers, in their quest for the meaning of truth, and, more latterly, psychologists have sought to explain. Any such explanations, if indeed there can be explanations, are beyond the scope of this study.

The focus of this book is to provide a behaviorist perspective on governance. Its concern is with the governed's responses to those who seek to govern them—their governors—and the counterresponses that they induce from the governors. It takes as axiomatic that the governed are not a homogenized and amorphous 'them' in the 'them-us' dichotomy, reduced to what Carlyle called a dead logic formula, and thereby, for the purpose of this study, leaving all the relevant questions begging. The governed are not a disembodied abstraction; they are an aggregate of real and feeling men and women. In a corporation, they . . .

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