Note by James R. Martin, Ph.D., CMA
Professor Emeritus, University of South Florida
According to Mintzberg, "Conventional MBA programs train the wrong people in the wrong ways with the wrong consequences."
"Management is where art and craft and science meet," and most MBA programs simply provide "training in analytical skills for analytical jobs… like investment banking and consulting."
Whatever you do, don’t confuse an MBA with a license to manage. "If people want to be managers, there’s a better route to it: get into an industry, know it, prove yourself, get promoted into a managerial position-and then, go to a program that uses managerial experience explicitly-not other people’s cases, but your own experience."
Ricardo Semler proposes that the jury is still out on whether management constitutes a science, but Mintzberg counters emphatically: "There are no natural surgeons. But there are all kinds of natural managers, people who are hugely successful and never spent a day in management class. It’s not a science or a profession. It’s a practice."
Mintzberg recommends a "natural managerial program," where soft skills and ethical approaches blend imperceptibly with analysis. "The idea you can parachute in and manage anything is absolute nonsense."
See Mintzberg on U-Tube for a video about this book and many others.
Also see Mintzberg, H. 2014. Rebalancing Society: Radical Renewal Beyond Left, Right, and Center. http://www.mintzberg.org/
Hayes, R. H. and W. J. Abernathy. 2007. Managing our way to economic decline. Harvard Business Review (July-August): 138-149. (This is a reprint of their 1980 article with a retrospect by Hayes on page 141). Part of the problem was created by the increase in the percentage of corporate Presidents with finance and legal backgrounds and the increase in managers hired from outside the company. Hayes and Abernathy refer to them as pseudoprofessionals. These are people who have no special expertise in any particular industry or technology, but run the company using financial controls, portfolio concepts and a market-driven, follow-the-leader strategy. They attempt to simplify and quantify complicated business situations at the profit center level. (Johnson referred to it as remote control management). This over simplification and emphasis on the separate parts of the company creates a serious problem. Someone at a higher top management level needs to integrate all aspects of the business situation to make informed decisions. Someone who understands the company and the industry, someone who has a holistic or systems view. (Summary).
Johnson, H. T. 1989. Professors, customers, and value: bringing a global perspective to management accounting education. Proceedings of the Third Annual Management Accounting Symposium. Sarasota: American Accounting Association: 7-20. (Summary).
Johnson, H. T. 1992. Relevance Regained: From Top-Down Control to Bottom-up Empowerment. The Free Press. (Summary).
Kamenetz, A. 2009. Who needs Harvard? Free online courses, Wiki universities, Facebook-style tutoring networks - American higher education is being transformed by a cadre of web-savvy edupunks. Fast Company (September): 84-89. (Summary).
Katzenbach, J. R. and J. A. Santamaria. 1999. Firing up the front line. Harvard Business Review (May-June): 107-117. (Summary). The authors discuss five unique practices used by the Marine Corps).
Koontz, H. 1961. The management theory jungle. The Journal of the Academy of Management 4(3): 174-188. (Summary).
Martin, J. R. Not dated. Henry Fayol's theory of management. Management And Accounting Web. https://maaw.info/NoteOnFayol'sTheory.htm
Martin, J. R. Not dated. Russell Ackoff quotes and f-laws. Management And Accounting Web. https://maaw.info/RussellAckoff.htm
Mintzberg, H. and L. Van der Heyden. 1999. Organigraphs: Drawing how companies really work. Harvard Business Review (September-October): 87-94. (Summary).
Pappano, L. 2011. The master's as the new bachelor's: Call it credentials inflation. A four-year degree may not cut it anymore. The New York Times Education Life (July 24): 16-18. (Summary).
Schoemaker, P. J. H., S. Krupp and S. Howland. 2013. Strategic leadership: The essential skills. Harvard Business Review (January/February): 131-134. (Self Test on Strategic Leadership).
Simon, C. C. 2011. R.O.I.: Is graduate school worth the investment? The New York Times Education Life (July 24): 18-19. (Summary).
Wademan, D. 2005. The best advice I ever got. Harvard Business Review (January): 35-44. (Summary).