Business philosophies and popular management theories

Business philosophies and popular management theories

__NOTOC__A business philosophy or popular management theory is any of a range of approaches to accounting, marketing, public relations, operations, training, labor relations, executive time management, investment, and/or corporate governance claimed (by their proponents, and sometimes only by their proponents and selected clients) to improve business performance in some measurable or otherwise provable way.

These management theories often have their own vocabulary (jargon). They sometimes depend on the business insights of a single guru. They rarely have the sophistication or internal consistency to qualify as a school of philosophy in the conventional sense - some (branded "biz-cults") resemble a cult religion. They tend to have in common high-cost consulting fees to consult with the "business gurus" who have created the "philosophy". Only rarely do such schools transmit to any trusted students the capacity to teach others - one of the key requirements of any legitimate non-esoteric school of thought or academic discipline.

Most of these theories tend to experience a limited period of popularity (about 5 to 10 years). Then they disappear from the popular consciousness. Occasionally one has lasting value and gets incorporated into textbooks and into academic management thought. For every theory that gets incorporated into strategic management textbooks about a hundred remain forgotten. Many theories tend either to have too narrow a focus to build a complete corporate strategy on, or appear too general and abstract for applicability to specific situations. The management-talk circuit fuels the low success rate: in that circuit hundreds of self-appointed gurus queue in turn to sell their books and to explain their "revolutionary" and "groundbreaking" theories to audiences of business executives for phenomenal fees.

Note too, however, that management theories often undergo testing in the real world. Disciples apply or attempt to apply such theories, and find them sometimes consistently applicable over time, sometimes merely an "idea "du jour". The relevant and valuable principles become recognized, and in this way may get incorporated into academic management thought.

ee also

*Philosophy of business
*Management consulting
*Strategic management
*Management fad
* Requisite Organization


* Albran, Kellogg "The Profit" : This work parodies the master-devotee relationship. Albran humorously examines relationships with "gurus" (whether business, political or religious), tendency to take the role of followers, and our drive to find answers outside of ourselves.

* Micklethwait, John; Wooldridge, Adrian. The Witch Doctors: Making Sense of the Management Gurus. ISBN 0-8129-2988-8

* Wheen, Francis "How Mumbo-Jumbo Conquered the World" (2004) ISBN 0-00-714096-7

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