Lekking: the manager as an ape

I learned a new word today: lek. It means a gathering of males for competitive breeding displays. My discovery was triggered by Jeffrey Braithwaite’s paper Lekking displays in contemporary organizations: Ethologically oriented, evolutionary and cross-species accounts of male dominance (DOI: 10.1108/14777260810898732), published in the Journal of Health Organisation and Management.

The topic of the paper will come as no surprise to anyone who has met with management. To quote Braithwaite’s findings:

Within the organizational lek male managers display mainly by power dressing, positioning, and exercising power and influence via verbal and behavioural means.

Who would have thought that all that management sophistication was just a primitive mating display!

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