The epistemology of power in the classic/ rationalist management

Abstract This article analyzes the epistemological fundamentals of power in classical-rationalistic management, describing them as approaches based on its main authors: Barnard, Simon, Drucker, Crozier and Mintzberg. It also highlights the rationality and the values that support this management, especially, taking into account that reflections about power related to organizational objectives have been little elaborated by the North American management theorists. The article presents a theoretical review of the philosophical doctrine whose principal scholar is Vilfredo Pareto. Analysis of instrumental rationality as an epistemological basis for strategic management shows how the interactions between the human and non-human are established through the presence of art and science, including in its later stage social cybernetics in terms of social oscillation and organizational balance/imbalance. In this way, managerial narrative assumes human rationality forms and builds systems of transversal knowledge in a technical instrumental logic. More than questioning the acute asymmetries of organizational power, management has been focused on guiding and training managers, enterprises and organizations by using technologies of domination, under emblems of functional authority supported by communicational devices, and more recently, in inter and trans-organizational networks. Therein lies its strength and legitimacy, more than the foundation of an explicit political frame.