Mushroom management

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Mushroom management is a term used to describe a situation where management does not communicate properly with staff members, either purposefully or accidentally.[1][2] The term alludes to management treating their staff like mushrooms in that they "keep them in the dark, feed them bullshit, watch them grow".[3][4][5] The statement infers that management is making decisions without consulting the staff affected by those decisions, and possibly not even informing the staff until well after such decisions are made.[6]

This phenomenon is an anti-pattern most commonly found in organizations which have a strict hierarchy and barriers to cross-organizational communication (especially those with a stovepipe organization) but can be found in any organization.


  1. ^ Steve Lance, Jeff Woll (2006). The Little Blue Book of Advertising. Penguin. p. 47. 
  2. ^ Mark Easterby-Smith, Richard Thorpe, Paul Jackson (2014). Management Research. SAGE Publications Ltd. p. 14. ISBN 0857021176. 
  3. ^ Draeger, Robert W. (2011). Does a CEO sh*t in the toilet?. ISBN 978-1462000241. 
  4. ^ Laplante, Phillip A. (2013). Requirements Engineering for Software and Systems, Second Edition. CRC Press. p. 216. ISBN 9781466560819. 
  5. ^ Lyons, Thomas S. (2012). Social Entrepreneurship: How Businesses Can Transform Society. ABC-CLIO. ISBN 0313393419. 
  6. ^ Colin J. Neill, Philip A. Laplante, Joanna F. DeFranco (2011). Antipatterns: Managing Software Organizations and People, Second Edition. CRC Press. pp. 121–125. ISBN 1439861862. 

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