THE YAM FACTOR: and other insights into the lives and customs of the executive tribes of America by Martin Page

THE YAM FACTOR: and other insights into the lives and customs of the executive tribes of America

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A hokey, hocus-pocus survey of corporation ""tribology"" in which Holiday Inn, Xerox, General Motors, Bethlehem Steel and other titans of American capitalism are shown to be the kissing cousins of !Kuk Bushmen, Siberian Koryako, Ashanti warriors and other preliterate savages. The search for anthropological equivalencies takes Page through some mildly amusing considerations of the taboos, rituals and sacred ceremonies which govern the behavior of the men of the power elite. A look at hierarchies shows that the Council of Elders corresponds to the Board of Directors with lesser bigwigs invested with titles like ""general manager,"" ""plant manager"" and ""foreman."" Typical taboos prohibit chiefs from taking their meals in the presence of commoners in the company cafeteria or permitting their hair to reach the back of the collar. Status symbols are nothing more than the ""ukumoga"" of the East African Nyakyusa -- they have larger cattle-byres to display conspicuous consumption; we have the multiple-car garage. In both cases the Malinowski Awe Test may be applied to see who rates. The comparative research is there to help you get more fun (and profit) out of corporate activity through a better appreciation of folklore, symbol, tribute, and tribal synergy (team spirit). Those needing further assistance should consult the Witch Doctor defined in the glossary as a ""practitioner of the art of producing plausible explanations for inexplicable misfortunes."" Otherwise known as the management consultant. Essentially the same gimmick that Anthony Jay used in Corporation Man (1971) but muchly elaborated.

Pub Date: June 9th, 1972
Publisher: Doubleday