While the article suggests that Machiavelli writings allowed for self interest in individuals to be harnessed to the common organisational goals, this can be somewhat confronting when the self interest behaviour is higher up the hierarchy within the business. While self interest and the common goals of the organisation may be aligned, with trade restrictions, legal frameworks and ethical and moral corporate behaviours becoming more scrutinised, it is important the organisation does not project an “ends justifies the means mentality” and even if they keep it hidden as Machiavelli would suggest, in modern times, how quickly would it become exposed in times of crisis or even celebration? Buttery and Richter found that the best way to manage complex business organizations is not through corrupting best management practice with the ideology of Machiavelli but to foster visionary well communicated business principles and practices.
The article focuses on Machiavellian need for power, and stronghold and one central leader maintaining charge through change. In modern organisations this sort of approach is often frowned upon and not seen as sustainable. A more modern approach so for a leader to surround themselves with good, knowledgeable and ambitious people working towards the macro organisation common goals, but also their micro departmental goals. This provides a more sustainable option for the organisation to flourish beyond the main leader. A recent example is that of former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd. Often referred to as Machiavellian leader, who portrayed a very different persona behind closed doors compared to in public. The public face showed was “…compassionate, faithful to his word, kind, guileless, and devout.” (The Prince, Chapter XVIII, pp. 57) And although as leader he should have indeed had these qualities, he did not necessarily have them, as long as he appeared to have them. He was also prepared to do wrong and break his word if the need arose.
He was quick to make large sweeping changes and make profound political statements, such as the apology to the stolen generation. He worked off the belief that if there was an obstacle, simply remove it. However, by maintaining complete control and decision making, those below him, become disgruntled at being worked harder than normally expected, being blocked form decision making, and started to rebel, mainly through the media.
Slowly the insurgence and discontent grew to a point where a leadership challenge happened. This situation led to the current government holding a slender minority parliament based on the preferences of...