Sunday, April 19, 2009

Worth a listen from 'Background Briefing' - MBA: Mostly Bloody Awful!

'Something happened to management culture decades ago and now being a Master of Business Administration, especially from Harvard, is rather on the nose. MBA, it's being said, can also stand for 'Mediocre but Arrogant', or 'Management by Accident'.

This report by Stephen Crittenden features Henry Mintzberg:

'McGill University Professor Henry Mintzberg says what we call a financial crisis is really at its core a crisis of management, and not just a crisis of management, but a crisis of management culture.'

And quotes Russell Ackoff:

'In 1986, when Russell Ackoff, a pioneer of management education, retired as Professor at the Wharton Business School, he was asked what were the benefits of a business education. With savage irony he replied that there were three. The first was to equip students with a vocabulary that enabled them to talk with authority about subjects they did not understand. The second was to give students principles that would demonstrate their ability to withstand any amount of disconfirming evidence. The third was to give students a ticket of admission to a job where they could learn something about management.'

The following references provide further background.

Title: The Puritan Gift: Reclaiming the American Dream Amidst Global Financial Chaos
Author: Kenneth Hopper and William Hooper
Publisher: I.B. Taurus 2009

Title: Managers not MBAs: A Hard Look at the Soft Practice of Managing and Management Development
Author: Henry Mintzberg
Publisher: Berrett-Koehler, San Francisco, 2004

Title: From Higher Aims to Hired Hands:The Social Transformation of American Business Schools and the Unfulfilled Promise of Management as a Profession
Author: Rakesh Khurana
Publisher: Princetone University Press, 2007

Title: Business Schools Share the Blame for Enron
Author: Sumantra Ghoshal
Publisher: Financial Times, 17 July 2003

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Really, really good. Thanks a lot for it and link to podcast.