The Management Myth: study Philosophy not an MBA

1 minute read

During the seven years that I worked as a management consultant, I spent a lot of time trying to look older than I was. I became pretty good at furrowing my brow and putting on somber expressions. Those who saw through my disguise assumed I made up for my youth with a fabulous education in management. They were wrong about that. I don’t have an M.B.A. I have a doctoral degree in philosophy—nineteenth-century German philosophy, to be precise.

I formed of the M.B.A. experience was that it involved taking two years out of your life and going deeply into debt, all for the sake of learning how to keep a straight face while using phrases like “out-of-the-box thinking,” “win-win situation,” and “core competencies.”

What they don’t seem to teach you in business school is that “the five forces” and “the seven Cs” and every other generic framework for problem solving are heuristics: they can lead you to solutions, but they cannot make you think.

— Matthew Stewart (2006) The Management Myth

Great piece, with good insights and suggestions, from top to bottom. And don’t miss the middle part about the “management science” founder, Taylor. I’ve then read a few part of his book, and it scared me thinking that he’s the founder of the discipline.

And here’s the related book (hat tip to @toadi).