Magazine article Management Today

Best Practice in a Violent World

Magazine article Management Today

Best Practice in a Violent World

Article excerpt

If the contract killing, fight-fixing and drug dealing in Pulp Fiction are simply viewed as specialised commercial activities, the management sub-text becomes clear

Pulp Fiction established Quentin Tarantino as a mainstream director, without compromising his cult credentials. Its four interlinked plots follow a pair of low grade hitmen, Vince and Jules; Butch, a boxer who has been paid by Marsellus Wallace (the local Mr Big) to throw a fight but won't; Marsellus' stunning wife, Mia; and a supporting cast of sundry lowlifes. Although the violent themes may initially appear distasteful, closer study reveals that the contract killing, fight-fixing and drug dealing are simply specialised commercial activities. Once this has been taken on board, the business viewer will be able to fully appreciate the film's richly rewarding management sub-text.

Strategic alliances

Locked in mortal combat, Butch and Marsellus are captured by a pair of hillbillies with decidedly deviant intentions. While the trailer-trash twosome are engaged in unwholesome, non-consenting congress with Marsellus, Butch escapes, but returns to rescue his enemy. Butch guesses - correctly - that forming a temporary, strategic partnership now will later result in the nullification of the contract on his life.

After-sales service

Understandably nervous before taking his boss's wife out, Vince pops round to his drag dealer's house where he is talked into paying $500 a gram for superior heroin. Such is the dealer's confidence in his 'super premium' product (a no-quibbles returns policy, for instance) that Vince cheerfully pays over the odds. …

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