Yuval Noah Harari uses this term in his excellent Homo Deus book to describe the narrow view that we have about minds and consciousness. We know far less, or very little, about other non WEIRD parts of mankind when it comes to studies in this area. In short, we have a very biased view of the human condition.
This narrow bias could be extended to pretty much everything. Certainly, when it comes to management education and models, our view is equally WEIRD.
Have we learnt anything from other parts of the world, other forms of, say, mobilization of people, other ways of organizing? A bit, but not mainstream. Anthropology could have been a good provider to organizational ‘business’. Transcultural studies could have opened the windows a little bit more, but only provided lots of anecdotes. So, yes, we are a bit stuck in WEIRD. Not a big thing if your company operates in WEIRD countries, but not terribly satisfactory if you call yourself ‘global’. But of course, most of the time we are not really global, we are just WEIRD.
The top business schools are WEIRD, the world of management is WEIRD and you are probably WEIRD too.
I know you won’t lose sleep about this. But Harari made me think about how narrow our world is. Yes, my clients are WEIRD and I am WEIRD but we need to be braver in our understanding of the human condition, even if we are practicing in WEIRD territories.
How WEIRD is it to talk about this?
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