Scribble and Quibble in Management is a humorous presentation of Manik Kher’s work experiences in the corporate sector and everyday life.
Kher, a full time researcher in Industrial Sociology, has earlier written books dealing with issues in technological adaptations, industrial relations and work culture.
But this book is different and is full of satirical pieces which are an offshoot of Kher’s interactions with people in industries and corporate offices which she visited as a researcher.
They are written in a light manner and make for an interesting read. The 125-page book has 45 chapters which are laid out well with each not crossing three pages.
Anil Upalekar’s caricatures are aptly added to some chapters.
The titles of some chapters are No End of Mango Trees, Management Theory at Home, How to Crib, Kitchen Engineering, Understanding Diplomacy, Status Symbols and Conference-itis.
Each chapter reflects a face of someone we may come across in everyday life and brings a natural smile. This is a stark contrast to general management books that are serious and too theoretic in nature.
Kher’s observations are subtle and they are put in a humorous form in the book (Ex: If you are very efficient and dependable, you will perhaps not get any recognition. But your boss will go out of his way to be nice to you only if you have the capacity to bring work to a standstill’, ‘Efficiency and nastiness are two sides of the same coin, ‘The boss knows the secretary he keeps’ and ‘Decisions are best taken when they are delayed. Hence unless you excel in postponing decisions under some pretext or the other, you cannot call yourself a bureaucrat’).
In a chapter titled From Toilet to Rest Room, she writes I have realised that toilets speak volumes of your economic well being, be it a house, corporate office or a factory. Believe me or not, before reading the balance sheet of a company, I can have one look at the toilet and tell you the economic condition of the business. Stinking and broke flushes with stolen taps? Then it has to be a sick public sector company. Toilets with marble floors, hand dryers, toilet papers and liquid papers are associated with flourishing businesses… Toilets tell you of work culture prevailing in at the work place.
The subtle humour in the book has its roots in the discrepancies of people’s speech and action, their insincerity, ways of showing off, nosey-parkering, etc and this makes it lively. A must read for fun-loving people.