[thechat] discussion question: corporate vs nonprofit sectors

John Handelaar johnhandelaar at googlemail.com
Sat Sep 22 12:10:11 CDT 2007

On 22/09/2007, Erika <ekm at seastorm.com> wrote:
> Who is more cut-throat, the academic/nonprofit sector or the corporate
> sector?  I mean, in particular within an organization.  And why?

It wasn't a popular point of view when last I espoused it to former
nonprofit colleagues, but I'm absolutely certain that I never worked
in a more egalitarian, more progressive and less prejudiced
environment than in the "superbanks" like Lehman Bros and Morgan
Stanley where I worked as an editor during college summer breaks.

They only care about money and profit.  Crappy internal politicking
and institutional racism are obstacles to the acquisition of money.
Whether that applies over there I dunno, but it was certainly true in
their London outposts.

Conversely the campaign group I spent seven years in spent more than
half of its time and energy either trying to herd its own cats, or in
fights to the death involving internal caucuses of opinion and/or
external left groups piggybacking on our size and reputation.

And useless people gravitate towards them (and to almost any public
sector workplace) like flies on shit, because it's almost impossible
to get fired no matter how much of a moron you are.

Similarly, I distinctly recall gleefully writing glowing references
for the most entrenched fools on our staff, and occasionally
successfully passing them off to Greenpeace or Amnesty.  Then slumping
my head in my hands as they did the same thing back to us.


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