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Patagonia Management Philosophy

Human Resources Philosophy of Patagonia

Yvon Chouinard, the founder of the equipment and gear company Patagonia, developed a management philosophy which is slightly different from other management theories, but guarantees positive results. To begin with, this management philosophy advocates that a company should hire employees that have ability to put questions, people with independent judgment, who are headstrong instead of being obedient and following any order without evaluating it first (Chouinard, 2005). Usually, workers that should be employed according to this theory would be rejected in a typical company because they are claimed to be unemployable, as discussed in this philosophical research paper.


Chouinard’s management philosophy states that no single employee has a full answer to any of the company’s problems, or rather, every employee has a part of the solution. This philosophy acknowledges that each employee is intelligent, and together they can provide solutions to the company’s acute problems only if they are allowed to take a stand. The philosophy discourages choosing one person to seek solutions as that will provide the company with a narrow strategy.

The management philosophy suggests that managers should not be robots that just sit in front of their computers the whole day; instead, they should demonstrate leadership (Hornocker, 2010). Chouinard philosophy views a manager as a person who is open to the employees, one who is ready to learn from the co-workers, spend most of the time with colleagues and who is easily accessible to the subordinates.

Such management strategy is also applicable to the day-to-day life. In his philosophy, Chouinard advocates that employees should be open-minded, question the authority, make independent judgments and defend their position under any circumstances (Chouinard, 2005). In my daily life, I attested the truth of this idea. When I was in high school, I almost got myself expelled. When it came to selecting people to represent the school in contests and symposiums, our teachers selected the candidates based on the previous year’s performance and the rest of the students agreed with it.

However, I approached the principal and argued that the group of students should be selected not for their previous performance but by a simple paper that should reveal the leaders who would represent the school. I persuaded those who had been already selected to represent the school to decline the offer and everything came to a standstill. The teachers claimed I was inciting the students, but when they finally tried out my idea, our school ranked first in the contest.

Patagonia management philosophy makes a lot of sense to me; I feel that this is how all companies should be run. The content of this philosophy and how it is put into practice show its efficiency. In my view, even in the day-to-day life, people should apply this approach. I agree with this philosophy because most of the companies’ failures recorded today are due to organizational culture, common procedures and uniformed ways of completing tasks which denies the employees the freedom to decide on their own (Sherman & Schultz, 1998). The employees end up blindly following the instructions, while they should be stand-alone thinkers.


Additionally, I find Patagonia management philosophy timely and think it should be rolled out in each and every organization because no single employee possesses absolute knowledge. Employees should be exposed to an enabling environment where they can take part in finding solutions to the company’s problems as opposed to depending on one person or a restricted group of people. Therefore, as employees, stand-alone thinkers they can offer great solutions to any problems that come up and ensure the company’s growth.

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