Friday, September 19, 2008

Management as Alchemy

Recently, I was reading about a management writer who regarded the bulk of management theories as the modern equivalent of alchemy. He felt that few, if any, of the widely-praised concepts were solidly grounded in research.

I confess to having a sizable amount of sympathy with his position.

Which raises this question: Which management and/or leadership books would you regard as hocus-pocus?


Kurt Harden said...

Most of them. I read a fair number of management books for a variety of reasons - assigned by work or some community organization, strong recommendation or the need to address some specific management issue. I find most of them to be less-than-filling. I learn more about management from good authors and philosophers. I'll bet that a great management curriculum could be built out of the management lessons of Aristotle, Cicero, Shakespeare, etc. "Great Business Lessons" would be my title.

Michael Wade said...

There is a lot of fluff out there. Going back to the classics makes sense.

Unknown said...

Great post Michael. One that jumps to mind that is based on research (I know I'm answering the wrong question) is Good to Great by Jim Collins (I think Built to Last as well). Great book and based on extensive research about what separates great organizations from those that are just good.

Michael Wade said...


Thanks. I like the Jim Collins books. He's more into management "architecture" than quick fixes.