Monday, February 17, 2014

Problem with meritocracy

The problem I feel with the emphasis on meritocracy is that it focuses on promoting individuals according to merit. I have 2 concerns over 2 words in that sentence. Individuals and Merit.

Let's talk about individuals. Most, if not all bosses, should know that the company success does not lie in individuals. Its the result of group/team effort. No man is an island and everyone in one way or another contributes to the overall result. Therefore, emphasis on an individual I feel is outdated because team work is where 1 + 1 = 11. No matter how good an individual is, that is only 1 person. The collective output will definitely be far greater than an individual output.

The issue I have with merit is that it does not define what is merit. The problem with merit is that it is very subjective. If someone always tend to say yes to the boss but at the operations level, that person is a tyrant causing high turnover but somehow getting things done because of a selected few who can bear that person's nonsense, is that considered as merit?

Next is the process of getting the merit. If there are selected certificates or schools that produces great result or is in high demand, what is stopping from those organisations or schools to pick and choose the individuals that can take part to maintain that exclusivity. Doesn't that restrict people who has "merit" to a selected few, mostly the famous and rich?

I never like the word meritocracy and I think teamwork and overall result should be more of a emphasis than concentrating on an individual. Meritocracy, personally to me, just promotes individualism, which will not lead to greater heights because it just focus on an individual.

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