ah bartleby! ah humanity!


So, this semester I launched that graduate readings class on “organization theory in novels” — thanks a million to orgheads for their brilliant suggestions!

I have some quite exceptional graduate students in the class (there’s only six of us), and our first session today was fantastic. We started with a shorter reading, Melville’s Bartleby, The Scrivener: A Story of Wall-street.  Boy—Melville’s essay is beautifully written, funny, and packed with insights into all kinds of organizational and managerial issues: job design, equity, incentives and motivation, purpose, responsibility and morality, emotion and social interaction, etc.  In fact, in retrospect we perhaps should have narrowed our discussion to a few themes, but in all, I thoroughly recommend the essay for purposes of discussing various organizational issues.  (Perhaps I’ll post more specifically on a few themes in the future.)

Next? Hermann Hesse’s Siddhartha.

Written by teppo

January 16, 2009 at 11:04 pm

Posted in books, education

One Response

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  1. Great idea: Bartleby! I led a reading/discussion group about that story for my department’s technical/support staff (about 8 people in adminstrative not academic positions) about a year ago. It was great fun. We rounded it out by watching the movie. As I recall we focused on the theme of self-management.


    Thomas Basbøll

    January 17, 2009 at 8:20 am

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