Origins of Humanistic Management in Italy: the ockhamist organization

In the first half of the Nineties, Marco Minghetti  has published a series of essays that describe the beginning of a “new managerial domain in which branches, that once were separated, converse linking and changing each other”. However, he wrote in 1993 on Mondo Economico, “the birth of the new domain, is possible only within the business organization that is being established now. At the same time, it is necessary for the correct functioning of this new organizational model.

The main feature of the new organization I am referring to is its being “flat”, quick, interfunctional, reticular. In one word, the organization commonly defined as “post-taylorist”, based, therefore, not on highest possible division of work, rather on the opposite principle, i.e. highest possible compacting of work and reduction of not strictly necessary entities. For this reason, the post-taylorist organization can be defined also as “ockhamist organization”.

The famous sentence “entia non sunt moltiplicanda sine necessitate” (“Entities should not be multiplied unnecessarily) has been ascribed exactly to the philosopher William of Ockham (1300-1347). It is the Ockham’s razor, that historians of philosophy themselves define “the principle of economy”. It is therefore clear that, if the taylorist organization is characterized by a centrifugal motion, that tends to distinguish and multiply specializations, in the ockhamist organization all managerial branches are subject to a centripetal process, due to which they are attracted one towards the other. The highest compacting of work gives therefore origin to a trend towards interdisciplinarity and the phenomenon we have defined as new managerial domain”.

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