The Management Myth: Why the Experts Keep Getting it Wrong

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W. W. Norton & Company, 2009 - Business & Economics - 343 pages

If CEOS, consultants, top managers, and other financial wizards are so smart, how come they screw up so badly? Why is there no correlation whatsoever between a business school education and success in business? Why might you be better off studying something as irrelevant as—philosophy?

In The Management Myth, Stewart offers:

  • An insightful romp through the entire history of thinking about management, with memorable sketches of Frederick Winslow Taylor, Elton Mayo, Peter Drucker, Michael Porter, Tom Peters, and other management celebrities
  • A devastating critique of pseudoscience in management theory, from the scientific management movement to the contemporary disciplines of strategy and organizational behavior
  • A swashbuckling account of the rise and much-anticipated fall of management consulting, laced with personal tales about cryptic PowerPoint presentations; the bait-and-hold techniques that keep clients paying to be told what they already know; and the colorful internal politics at his own ill-fated consulting firm, where rivals for power found imaginative uses for an in-house shrink
  • Historical perspective on why so many CEOs make so much more than they deserve
  • A clear explanation of why the MBA usually amounts to so much BS

With wit and wisdom, Stewart makes an electrifying case that the questions and insights of management theorists belong not to the sciences but to philosophy, and that, in the final analysis, “a good manager is nothing more or less than a good and well-educated person.”

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User Review  - KSchimmel - LibraryThing

I loved this because it described aspects of my own life in the eighties as "management consulting" became a big deal. Humorous because it is so true! Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - tuke - LibraryThing

I don't know who you are, but if you live in the business world, you should read this book. I have worked with many MBAs and people who read books like In Search of Excellence, From Good to Great ... Read full review

About the author (2009)

Matthew Stewart is the author of Nature's God: The Heretical Origins of the American Republic, The Courtier and the Heretic: Leibniz, Spinoza, and the Fate of God in the Modern World and The Management Myth: Debunking the Modern Philosophy of Business. He lives in Boston, Massachusetts.

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