The Roots Of Corporate Work Culture In Soviet USSR

Image: Bogdan Costea

In 1935 a Soviet miner named Alexei Stakhanov set a record by extracting 102 tonnes of coal in a single shift, compared to the shift average of 7 tonnes. Stakhanov was hailed as the new standard for super workers in Soviet Russia and used to create a new movement called Stakhanovism to promote workers giving their all in the service of their work. Eighty-five years later, this cult of work is alive and well in the corporate workplace where employees are expected to hand over their lives to their jobs and play the corporate power & optics games that are rife in that environment. In The Conversation this week, Bogdan Costea and Peter Watt published a great piece on the history of Stakhanovism and how that led the way for the corporate culture of the 21st century.


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