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Humiliation and shame caused by inhumane management practices : case study (Cali-Colombia)





Inhumane Administrative Practices (IAP) refer to certain systematic, calculated and planned violent exercises on the part of management, by which the termination of contracts with workers who are considered to be replaceable or are disruptive to the instrumental ends of an organization are possible. The theoretical perspective of IAP presented here examines and details strategies, actions, omissions and other administrative acts through which workers are mistreated, humiliated and shamed, so that they passively submit to productive dynamics, reject the possibility to join unions, accept “voluntary work arrangements”, or quit their labor affiliation. IAP is characterized, therefore, by the use of intimidation and degrading methods that injure the humanity of workers in the context of a production logic centered on the laws of the market and maximization of profits. IAP in organizations does not go against the essential condition of human behavior; therefore, it is not carried out from a generalist perspective, but rather from the specificity of place and prescribed timeframes. For this reason the practices through which IAP violates workers' humanity are characterized at the local level. In this study, conceptual reference in humanities are applied and are fundamental to examine the relationship of labor subordination, which, while it is possible to eliminate, is a continually weakening factor because of an abuse of power that fails to recognize working people as individuals who are dignified, free, equal, autonomous, respectable and therefore, individuals who have the right to a good life.The creation of a theoretical framework, then, seeks to contribute to the epistemological foundation that provides new analytical elements to the science of management in order to focus concrete practices of workplace violence far from the philosophical perspective of a modern culture with ideological, legal and political foundations that recognize the human condition of every person. Ethnographic fieldwork was carried out in the organization C-Colombia between 1993-2005 and is presented in two accounts: one from the perspective of management and another from the perspective of workers. The result demonstrates that power and authority in this enterprise was always applied with disregard to psychological human suffering. This behavior is a product of mistreatment and humiliation of workers, and is incapable of applying alternative approaches to those of narcissistic and productionist ends, in order to resolve problems that could be dealt with technically and morally in a more dignified manner.Key words: Inhumanity, work, enterprise, inhumane administrative practices, workplace violence, humiliation, mistreatment, shame.

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