The Fast Subject - Management and Leadership

2753 words 12 pages
‘The Fast Subject’ is a concept that many managers struggle to really get their head round. Chosen as one of the best in class, I’m proud to publish this fine example of a leadership essay from one of the top universities in the UK.

How the concept ‘fast subject’ (Thrift, 2000) embodies the idealised cultural image of success for management in the 21st century.

Thrift’s (2000) paper portrays a very distinct idea of the modern Western world; both as a whole and the world of work. It is key to remember that management feeds from the wider cultural environment – the world; it is not standing alone by itself. We need to know what is going on in the world to see what is going on in management, for example, assessment centres could be seen
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The job will not necessarily be as good as it sounds, but the words and pictures used appeal to the ‘fast subject’. Even those graduates with no interest in the world of management would find this appealing as the language used spills out into the rest of our culture as the language of a successful subject.

In modern society, there is increasing focus on the self; the improvement of the self, with models such as Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and reaching self-actualisation. We want to succeed at work, but to also have time to have a social life and spend the money we earn – this is one measure of success; we want to have time to have everything. Cadbury promises a graduate scheme that is “individual” and “personalised” therefore that must mean the ‘fast subject’ can not only thrive at work but they can also go out into the world and show it how successful they are, with their cars, homes and technologies. The text itself actually says “you’ll succeed”, which implies Cadbury (like the rest of the world) knows the measure of success and that it is applicable to all ‘fast subjects’.

The final point to make is that there is a disclaimer at the top of the page, stating “no gorillas were harmed in the making of this advert” which is an obvious point, so why make it? This goes back to the cool and trendy culture that we live in where we appreciate humour and making things that little bit less serious.


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