Sunday, January 22, 2012

Book review "The Management Myth" by Matthew Stewart

Book review by Philip Delves Broughton

In the book review, two things are prominently mentioned. One, management has a focus on efficiency which is the Taylor's prescription and second, fresh MBA graduates go in to consulting and successful business people pay for their inappropriate service. Matthew Stewart worked in consulting organization.

But what is interesting is the background of Stewart which is philosophy. He want to argue for infusion of philosophy into management thought. He can do it without unduly criticisizing Taylor. Taylor contributed an idea at that point in time and it did not prevent any body else from developing the theory from any other perspective and expanding the theory. Certainly Taylor has not proposed grand business theory. He proposed the theory of relations, roles and responsibilities between managements and operators. Theories generally relate specific events and the events are very narrowly focused. So Taylor need not be criticized for his focus on shop management and management of methods and operators.

Regarding the practices of consulting companies, may be Stewart is right, but the solution lies in correcting the current practice rather than criticizing the need for management consulting.

In the context of narrow focus and broad focus of management theories, an interesting reading will be
The Search for a General Theory of Japanese Management by Masaki Hayashi.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing the review here with us.