Cover image for Corporate cults : the insidious lure of the all-consuming organization
Corporate cults : the insidious lure of the all-consuming organization
Arnott, Dave, 1954-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : American Management Association, [2000]

Physical Description:
xiv, 240 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
HD58.7 .A763 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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This eye-opening text aims to change the way people look at their companies and at themselves. It documents the manipulative, cult-like tactics that organizations use to get employees to relinquish increasing amounts of time and energy, as well as the reasons that people themselves to become enculted. It offers candid advice on how to break free of the all-consuming company and re-build a healthy private life.

Author Notes

Dave Arnott is a professor of management at Dallas Baptist University. Each year he delivers dozens of speeches and conducts numerous seminars on the relationship between the individual and the organization. His seminal article The Organizational Community: Cult or Culture opened a floodgate of response and established his reputation as the leading expert on corporate cults. He lives in Dallas, Texas.


Reviews 2

Library Journal Review

What's the similarity between the Branch Davidians and Southwest Airlines? According to business columnist Arnott (management, Dallas Baptist Univ.), both organizations are cults, one religious, the other corporate. In this unique, fascinating look at organizational dynamics, Arnott shows that the many controlling tactics corporations use are similar to those used by well-known religious cults, e.g., charismatic leadership, separation from community, and a demand for unwavering devotion to the cult. The author's personal experiences with some of these organizations enrich this disturbing analysis of how "culted companies" require employees to pledge unconditional obedience to leaders, subsume their identities, invest all their "free" time and energy in the corporation, and consider family and community expendable. In addition, personal insights into those who find meaning in what they do instead of who they are and practical strategies for restoring a more normal balance among work, family, and community make this an important book. Highly recommended for business collections and all university libraries.ÄDale F. Farris, Groves, TX (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

American workers spend more time on the job than workers in any other industrialized country. According to Arnott, an academic (Dallas Baptist Univ.) and consultant, "Work has become too important." American corporations create cultures that become corporate "cults," demanding intense commitment from employees at the expense of individuality, family, and community. Arnott defines cults by three elements: devotion, charismatic leadership, and separation from community. Generation X workers are particularly susceptible to cults because their values are more diffuse than those of previous generations and their careers may have greater appeal than other social values. The author contends that companies build cults by selecting employees who fit into the organizational family and who subsequently achieve success based on personality and involvement rather than task competence. Employment in such a setting satisfies a variety of emotional and personal needs, such as Halloween celebrations and free dry cleaning service. In his "cult test," Arnott proposes 20 questions to measure how cult-like an organization is; he advises workers with high scores to aim for more independence in their work lives. Overall, the book is a pragmatic, convincing, and readable look at the ways modern corporations can exercise profound influence over their employees. Recommended for public, academic, and professional library collections. R. L. Hogler; Colorado State University