Rethinking Business, the Person, and Work: Elton Mayo and Some Anthropological Contributions by Leonardo Polo

  • Silvia Martino


We are immersed in a change of era with new scenarios of labor flexibility, agile, learning, colaborative, with sophisticated technologies. Faced with these challenges, companies - and their members - do not seem to find the dynamism of human life that leads them to be adaptive and innovative. It seems to us that this is due to a reductive and static vision with which companies are understood and managed. How to rethink the life of the company and the meaning of work to keep pace with our times?

To understand the situation and make a proposal, we will take a tour through authors and Management Schools and how they explain business reality to us. Then we will put its authors and proposals in dialogue with the anthropological approach of Leonardo Polo. Finally, we will try to ensure that some of Polo's anthropological assumptions and keys give depth to the understanding of the company and that reductive perspectives can be overcome so that it is an agent of change for people and today's society. In this second article we are going to discuss what was stated by Elton Mayo and some reductive aspects of his proposals. We will present the contributions that Polo can give us about work as a task and mission. Mayo places emphasis on the external and psychological conditions that workers may have to improve productivity measured in terms of quality and quantity of things they produce and not on the growth of the person in the company and the development of the organization. If the company is understood as a dynamic process that marks a direction for the future, the company is a place of social change and hope. There will be growth of its members, it perfects itself and - due to its systemic nature - it also improves the environment with which it is linked.

Dec 18, 2023
How to Cite
MARTINO, Silvia. Rethinking Business, the Person, and Work: Elton Mayo and Some Anthropological Contributions by Leonardo Polo. Colloquia, Academic Journal of Culture and Thought, [S.l.], v. 10, p. 173-195, dec. 2023. ISSN 1390-8731. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 21 apr. 2024. doi: