open organizational design

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What We (Think We) Know about Meritocracies

"Meritocracy," writes Christopher Hayes in his 2012 book Twilight of the Elites, "represents a rare point of consensus in our increasingly polarized politics. It undergirds our debates, but is never itself the subject of them, because belief in it is so widely shared." Meritocratic thinking, in other words, is prevalent today; thinking rigorously about meritocracy, however, is much more rare. That kind of unspoken consensus—however tenuous and fraught in practice—makes tracing and tracking something called "meritocracy" all the more important. And indeed, interest in meritocracy as an explicit object of analysis and debate is intensifying, particularly in discussions examining open-style organizational designs and leadership practices...

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