Masters of Management : How the Business Gurus and Their Ideas Have Changed the World—for Better and for Worse
Fifteen years ago, after, having completed a two-year research study, long-time Economist journalists and editors John Micklethwait and Adrian Wooldridge published an explosive critique of management theory and its legions of evangelists and followers. Their work became a bestseller, widely praised by reviewers and devoured by readers confused by the buzzwords and concepts created by the management “industry.” When the book was published, ideas about “re-engineering,” “the search for excellence,” “quality,” and “chaos” both energized and haunted the world of business, just as “the long tail,” “black swans,” “the tipping point,” “the war for talent,” and “corporate responsibility” do today.
For decades, since the ascendance of MBA programs, the field of management has operated in a dubious space—as many of its framers clamor for respect within the academy while making millions pedalling ideas, some brilliant and some nonsensical, in speeches, consulting arrangements, and books. While the original book offered a damning critique, it also argued that much of management theory is valuable—making companies more efficient and productive, improving organizational life for workers, and providing sound ways for innovation while defending more entrenched plans.
Updated to include the rise and fall of the Internet boom, the Great Recession of 2008, and the more recent developments in management theory, Masters of Management is a valuable crash course in the many ideas it dissects.
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