The McNamara Policy

The approach of reducing deeply human processes to a mere figure became known as the McNamara Fallacy, a term coined by the sociologist Circa  !972, the sociologist Daniel Yankelovitch coined the term the McNamara Fallacy.

Robert McNamara was an exceptional man. He graduated from Harvard in 1939 and went on to become the first President of Ford Motor Company from outside of the Ford family.  Shortly after that he was chosen as the Secretary of Defense under the Kennedy administration, a position he held for seven years. Later, in his life, he served as the President of the World Bank.  

It was during his time in the White House, which coincided with the Vietnam War that his insistence in using body counts as measure of success and ignoring human element and other social factors became known as the McNamara fallacy.

It can be described in four points:

  1. Measure whatever can be easily measured.
  2. Disregard that which cannot be measured easily.
  3. Presume that which cannot be measured easily is not important.
  4. Presume that which cannot be measured easily does not exist.

It easy to ignore the things that cannot be measured. Do wary of falling prey to this fallacy.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.