Re: The Management Myth
Posted: Feb 19, 2010 4:30 PM
> > And those MBA programs do
> > seem to be creating people who are doing damage, not
> > to business but to the world.
> Let's see if I can rephrase. I was born into the working
> world just down Storrow Drive from The B-School, and knew
> and worked with more than a few of its graduates. While
> not the first B-School (Wharton, as I've mentioned
> earlier), by the 1960's it earned the mantel of archetype.
> (It didn't hurt that A.D. Little was just across the
> e bridge.) Quantitative analysis was never the hallmark
> of The B-School; that belonged to the Sloan School across
> the Charles at MIT. (The B-School is in Boston.) The
> B-School stressed the case study method, and its point was
> that a Manager could manage any activity without regard to
> subject matter expertise; which could be bought in the
> form of underlings.
> This notion that management is both separate and superior
> (attested to by that MBA, for sure) to all other skills in
> the organization is the source of the evil. It's not
> Taylor, but the psychology of entitlement. It is a fact
> that the MBA, as exemplified by The B-School, was created
> as an advanced degree for experienced managers without
> profession, i.e. not an engineer or scientist or the like.
> It was intended as a merit badge to counter the general
> l lack of professional credentials of old boy network
> promoted middle managers vis-a-vis the, often, highly
> trained staff they were assigned to manage.
> The MBA has everything to do with face validity and
> nothing whatsoever with science or psuedo-science. Think
> of it as finishing school for 30-ish white guys. It was
> only later, the 1970's, that one could even go to The
> B-School straight away from the BA/BS; one had to *be* a
> So, you're right (in my experience) that the MBA cabal has
> wreaked havoc; I'd wager that the movers and shakers of
> The Great Recession were widely of that ilk. It is not
> Taylor that made it happen, but rather a form of
> tribalism. Those of The B-School Tribe (or fraternity)
> "networked" better than the engineers and scientists. It
> didn't hurt that the fundamental course work of the MBA is
> accounting; always, always cry the bottom line in decision
Robert, every time I read what you write, I pretty much find it very insightful (even if I don't agree). I always disliked the suggestion that Taylor was the harbringer of evil. I've read this before in books about programming, such as Naked Objects.
Separate question: Where would you say Hammer's "Re-engineering the Corporation" falls?
Today, it seems like Redmonks is also a slightly better IT thinktank than Gartner, which mostly seems to just make up B.S.
Bill Venners and Frank,
I don't know if Robert wants a soapbox ("blahg") on Artima, but give him one if he's willing!