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Jose Bento da Silva and Ioanna Iordanou

Bento da Silva and Iordanou’s chapter transports us forwards in time from ancient civilizations to a distinct (historical) epoch, the sixteenth century, from which we are able to apprehend seminal ideas of organizing and the emergence of a new managerial mindset. The chapter starts by offering a rationale as to why Jesuit and Venetian forms of organizing are important to reflect upon with regard to the ‘origins of organizing’. This is followed by an overview of previous historical studies of the Society of Jesus and the Venetian Central Intelligence Agency and their relation to organizing and organization theory. The authors lead us to see in Jesuits and Venetians the origins and genealogical rise of managerialist practices and assemblages, asserting boldly that the emergence of modern governmentality cannot be detached from the emergence of modern managerialism. One of the key insights offered in this chapter is that ‘governmentality’, in a Foucauldian sense, emerges precisely at this moment in the sixteenth century as a contrast to the heretofore dominant idea of a sovereign monarch (as typified, for example, in Machiavelli’s The Prince).