Management theory is becoming a compendium of dead ideas


Business Gurus and entrepreneurializm? What business Gurus? and what entrepreneurializm?

First, there are too business Gurus! and second, the idea that we live in an age of entrepreneurializm is slowly but surely becoming stale and will die soon!

Gurus including Peter Drucker and Tom Peters have long preached the virtues of enterprise. Governments have tried to encourage it as an offset to the anticipated decline of big companies. The evidence tells a totally different story. In America the rate of business creation has declined since the late 1970s. In some recent years more companies died than were born.

In Europe high-growth companies are still rare and most startups stay small, in part because bureaucratic tax systems punish outfits that employ above a certain number of workers, and also because entrepreneurs care more about work-life balance than growth for its own sake. A large number of business people who were drawn in by the cult of entrepreneurship encountered only failure and now eke out marginal existences with little provision for their old age.

Most of today’s management theories are organised around four basic ideas, and repeated ad nauseam in every business book you read, business blogs or business event you attend, that bear almost no relation to reality. Actually they are made of assumptions and not based on facts!

Business schools are the cathedrals of capitalism. Consultants are its travelling friars. Just as the clergy in the Middle Ages spoke in Latin to give their words an air of authority, management theorists speak in mumbo-jumbo. The gurus have lost touch with the real world they seek to rule. Management theory is ripe for a Reformation of its own.

It’s time to burn the antiquated books of past day management theories and bring in renewal, adapt to the 21st century.

via @TheEconomist