Skip to comments.Bogus Theories, Bad for Business The follies of ‘management science’...
Posted on 08/06/2009 8:24:39 AM PDT by AreaMan
Bogus Theories, Bad for Business The follies of management science and the consulting that promotes it.
By PHILIP DELVES BROUGHTON
Three years ago, Matthew Stewart published a provocative article in The Atlantic magazine blasting modern management theory and education. His advice to anyone considering an MBA was dont go to business school, study philosophy.The secrets of business, he said, were to be found in history, literature and the classic ruminations on life and existence, not in the half-baked ramblings of business academics, consultants and gurus. In The Management Myth, he expands the Atlantic article into a devastating bombardment of managerial thinking and the profession of management consulting. As a former management consultant, Mr. Stewart lived long enough in the belly of the beast to know its nature.
Mr. Stewart quotes Bruce Henderson, the founder of the Boston Consulting Group, who describes consulting as the most improbable business on earth and who goes on to ask: Can you think of anything less improbable [sic] than taking the worlds most successful firms, leaders in their businesses, and hiring people just fresh out of school and telling them how to run their businesses, and they are willing to pay millions of dollars for their advice?
Yet jobs at consulting firms are still the brass ring for many graduates from elite schools. Chief executives continue to blow shareholder money on teams of outside consultants, and business schools and corporate managers routinely promote management as a sciencewhich might all be fine, Mr. Stewart says, if the effects of management consulting were trivial.
(Excerpt) Read more at online.wsj.com ...
Agree with the reviewer’s comments on Michael Porter...
All of the successful consultants I have known have simply
asked the employees what needed to be done make improvements then reworded these recommendations into PHD Piled Higher and Deeper.
Why couldn’t the employees make the recommendations internally? Politics. Almost all business organizations are set up to punish those that make internal recommendations,especially those that make their supervisors look foolish.
And, if the recommendation succeeds the credit will likely go to someone else. However if it fails, then the employee gets the shaft.
Concur. Michael Porter is a gas bag. Someone did a study on the companies that Porter tauts as excellent and they underperfomed (in terms of stock returns) the companies he said were not excellent.
Management as a field has always been a joke. University of Chicago focuses on accounting and finance almost exclusively. Management faculties as business schools are like welfare cases — they produce lousy research, no student wants to take their courses, and they fight brutally to change the rules to get more raises, and other perquisites against any reasonable model of resource allocation.
A consultant is someone who knows 100 ways to make love but doesn't have a girlfriend.
Hiring consultants to "discover" what you already know and implement it, allows you to get what you want done while shifting the political backlash to the consultants.
I see you truly understand consulting. In this role they are quite valuable.
That and if the consultants are young and cute, then the morale of middle-aged managers can be temporarily improved ... at least until the wives find out.
MBA gas bags bump for later..........