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Business Management BS

(No, this is not about a "bachelor of science" degree in business management. But wait. Maybe it is!)

In the June 2006 issue of The Atlantic, there is an article on business management. The author, Daniel Stewart, decided after some experience in hiring MBA graduates, that:

... the impression 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.” 

In his article "The Management Myth", Stewart (who says a part of his work history is "telling managers of large corporations things that they arguably should have known already") poses the question "Why does management education exist?" 

My own experience with so called management experts is that they are worthless, whether they carry the title consultant, CEO, or whatever. (I do not mean to refer to those who simply go about their business, but I am talking about those who think the answer to everything is always some fad, trick, or anything else other than genuine work and skill.) They generally are too stupid to do anything else, so they advise, lead, or manage others. They fall perfectly into the category of "unskilled and unaware of it."

In these cases, the workers would do better work if their leader simply didn't show up for work. These types of "leaders" do not produce anything of value for the businesses that hire them. They only get in the way of people who do create value.

In addition to the question of why management eduction exists, we can add the question of why so many business persons persist in using ineffective methods of managing and leading. This article blames it on cargo cult management, and I believe that is largely correct. It's good reading--check it out.

Below are links to pages that discuss some bad business practices by bad leaders, executives, managers, and consultants.