Tyler Cowen takes a stab at answering a reader question about why corporate communications is laden with so much BS:
People disagree in corporations, often virulently, or they would disagree if enough real debates were allowed to reach the surface. The use of broad generalities, in rhetoric, masks such potential disagreements and helps maintain corporate order and authority. Since it is hard to oppose fluffy generalities in any very specific way, a common strategy is to stack everyone’s opinion or points into an incoherent whole. Disagreement is then less likely to become a focal point within the corporation and warring coalitions are less likely to form.
I definitely agree with his theory that financial incentives can cut through the BS:
When direct financial incentives can work well, such as in sales (bonuses) or in some parts of finance, there is much more straight talk. Disagreement and candor can flourish, because the $$ keep the workers on a common track.