The myth of management

You’ve gotta read this article by Matthew Stewart. Seriously! Go read it!!

The money quote:

After I left the consulting business, in a reversal of the usual order of things, I decided to check out the management literature…

As I plowed through tomes on competitive strategy, business process re-engineering, and the like, not once did I catch myself thinking, Damn! If only I had known this sooner! Instead, I found myself thinking things I never thought Id think, like, Id rather be reading Heidegger! It was a disturbing experience. It thickened the mystery around the question that had nagged me from the start of my business career: Why does management education exist?

The article gives us the most thorough deconstruction of the whole field of management and the magical, unscientific thinking behind it.

6 thoughts on “The myth of management”

  1. Bad management education exists as well as good. I’ve seen great material, Jim Rohn for example and I have seen terrible advice also. It’s like everything in life. The danger of being to cynical is that you close yourself to material that might well be truly great.

  2. I agree to the point that there is a lot of rubbish in the field of management books. However there are also true gems in this sector.

    My recommendation: read books by successful people in the field, bios etc., and not from people who never were entrepreneurs or at least worked successfully in the field of management.

    Academic advice is useful but I prefer 1st hand information on the path to personal success and not theoretical approaches without the risk of total failure.

  3. The post was quite detailed, I found myself disagreeing with the tone even though I was in agreement with most of the content. I think however there is a key perspective missing. Education in any discipline is about teaching people how to learn and to expand their mindset. This is significantly enhanced or destroyed based on the quality of the teacher. So I would not wash all “business schools and management training” with the same brush. I write this with a biased opinion holding both an undergrad in business and an MBA. I was fortunate to have some outstanding teachers and feel that I greatly benefited from the experience.


  4. Management is needed. Many “managers” are not. The problem with modern management ids that too many of its practitioners are arseholes. And “know-nothing” arseholes at that, Luckily for them the cult has made many of them unaccountable.

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