In their quest for efficiency, the culture and managerialist practices of many contemporary institutions are not only toxic to the psychological wellbeing of their employees, but ironically, they also end up decreasing efficiency.
A hyper-rationalist, scientistic, bio-medicalised conception of the human condition has come to dominate all aspects of social life from psychology to contemporary managerialist practices, from social and health care to education. Professionals and institutions are increasingly being required by New Public Managerialists to produce evidence to justify their activities. Social policy itself claims to be evidence-based.
And so it has come to pass that only the countable counts. Governments, regulators and managers are in thrall to targets and outcomes in the name of economic efficiency, which in turn has resulted in the fetishization of measurement.
In a climate of deregulation and marketization, cost cutting masquerades as efficiency. This leads to unrealistically burdensome workloads and increased responsibility combined with diminishing autonomy. All this takes place within a coercive regime of accountability through which performance is continually audited.
The stress levels produced whilst trying to survive in this sort of milieu manifests in the form of domestic difficulties, psychological crises and physical illnesses. Habitually, these difficulties are pathologized and individualized and reframed as mental disorders, to be treated by CBT or medication.
The rationales for the whole endeavour are provided by Neoliberalism and its sanctification of the Market.
Hyper-rationality, Managerialism and the Fetishization of Measurement
3rd Limbus Critical Psychotherapy Conference