Managers, Martians & Monsters

by Jonathan M. Freiman, Ph.D.

Verdict: MANAGERS, MARTIANS & MONSTERS compares dangerous characters and scenarios from classic science fiction and horror movies to everyday occurrences in today’s workplace.

IR Rating

 
 

3.5

IR Rating

Through the analysis of seven classic thrillers from the 1930s through the 1950s, this book reveals various monsters lurking in the workplace. Some films serve as more logical launching points than others, but all make entertaining introductions to each chapter.

The author compares grandiose expectations of a lovesick madman in The Raven with CEOs and an Olympic coach who expected more and got it in the first chapter. Chapter two explores narcissism at work, using Dr. Morbius, an arrogant scientist and controlling father, from Forbidden Planet as a comparison.

The third chapter looks at executive ethics citing The Picture of Dorian Gray as an example of physical manifestations of mental corruption. In this case, Freiman extends the metaphor to outward behavior rather than physical appearance, citing business leaders including Ken Lay (Enron), Bernard Ebbers (WorldCom), and Bernard Madoff (BLMIS) as examples.

Chapter four uses Invasion of the Body Snatchers to examine consulting firms attempting to control companies, followed by the next chapter in which Tower of London reveals planning strategies for the next generation of leadership. Chapter six concerns creating urgency for change with the desperate situation in The Day the Earth Stood Still.

The final chapter, “Danger in the Workplace – The Wolfman,” looks at physical violence in the workplace, beyond the negative activities associated with spiritually challenged narcissists from chapter two or ethically challenged executives from chapter three.

At just 109 pages, this book contains several flaws, despite its creative concept, fluent writing style, and extensive references. “Do’s and Don’ts” are used in some chapters and not others (and have inconsistent styles when they do appear), and the index lists people alphabetically by first names rather than last names. In addition, the book lacks a much-needed conclusion, which could have linked the chapters with an overall summary and final analysis.

MANAGERS, MARTIANS & MONSTERS compares dangerous characters and scenarios from classic science fiction and horror movies to everyday occurrences in today’s workplace. Backed by research and a career in production and human resource management, the book offers helpful advice for a variety of problems people might encounter on the job.

Reviewed by Carol Michaels for IndieReader.

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