The Devil and the Modern Manager

In: Business and Management

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The Devil and the Modern Manager

The Devil and the Modern Manager
Organizational lessons from the Inferno – first part of Dante’s Divine Comedy

By Mainak Sankar Maiti (1730 words)

Fig 1 – “The Abyss of Hell” by Sandro Botticelli1

Introduction
Dante Alighieri wrote the epic poem “Divine Comedy” (Italian: Divina Commedia) in the period 1308 A.D to 1321 A.D. Considered one of the greatest works on World literature, the poem is an allegorical representation of man’s journey towards God. The poem is divided in three parts: Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso. Of all the three parts, Inferno remains the most celebrated and the most influential till date. Numerous artworks and books have been inspired by the Inferno. The works inspired by the Inferno range
1|P age

The Devil and the Modern Manager

from the Renaissance painter Botticelli’s illustrations of the hell to modern computer games. More than seven hundred years have passed; however, the Inferno continues to enthral readers all around the world. But, does the Inferno have anything in store for a manager seeking to achieve organizational efficiency? Dante’s macabre vision of hell was brought to life by Botticelli in his infamous painting “The Map of Hell” or, “The Abyss of Hell”, which remains one of the most fear-invoking artworks of all time. But, can that work invoke some new thoughts in the mind of a management student and expand his span of thinking, his horizons?

Hell – the Model Organization
“Organizational structure is more than boxes on a chart; it is a pattern of interactions and coordination that links the technology, tasks, and human components of the organization to ensure that the organization accomplishes its purposes.” Dante had written the epic while in exile, after he fell foul with the bitter factional struggles of the Florentine republic. The poem describes his own journey…...

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