Wednesday, June 30, 2010

A science of success?

The basic premisse behind researching and teaching business management is: scientific method can uncover the right way to do business. This is not too far away from the unspoken premisse behind the grip that economists have over government policies: they claim that their science can tell how to manage society's scarce resources.

How right is that? As far as I know, and I've been studying business management for the last 5 years, there is no empirical evidence backing any of these claims.

Management fads come and go, new gurus rise and than fall, but no permanent advance is made. Granted, business management has improved so much in the last couple of decades. Management as a science is a bit more than a hundred years old, and one can surely see how much the office environment has evolved in this time.

But whose merit is this? Are the management researchers and professors trully creating value? Maybe, the competition alone would drive evolution, and 'management science' is holding it back. Maybe it can and has served as a catalyst? This should be an interesting debate. I will be looking into getting some folks together at my College to get into this, and if it happens, will be reporting results here.

There is so much to argue over, including the sociological context of business, the conflicts between capital and work, between stock holders and managers and external stakeholders. But I won't get into this. Just wanted to rant about how useless business management education can be. On the other hand, I'm neck deep into it, so it would do me well to try and see things in another way: How can my business management education serve me?

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