Summary of The Management Myth

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8 Overall

8 Applicability

8 Innovation

8 Style


Each year, a thousand or so new business books join the tens of thousands already published. In many, the authors – often, “business gurus” or consultants – sell their advice with a level of certainty approaching fact. Former consultant Matthew Stewart takes a different view: He demolishes the notion of management as science. From Frederick Winslow Taylor’s stopwatches and measuring tapes to Tom Peters’s “eight fundamental principles” for excellence, Stewart exposes the flawed research and outright deceptive traits of popular management gurus and consulting firms. Stewart emphasizes the negative over the positive, and has a lot of fun weaving in his own hilarious and sometimes tragic years as a strategy consultant. While management consulting – like most fields – has both genuine experts and brazen charlatans, anyone considering hiring a consultant, becoming one or implementing the latest, greatest business idea should read this first.  

In this summary, you will learn

  • Why, despite claims to the contrary, management is not science;
  • How management consultants and gurus mislead, lie and manipulate to sell books, services and speeches; and
  • Why consultants thrive, despite consistent debunking of every fad and phony theory they push.

About the Author

Matthew Stewart, PhD, studied philosophy at Princeton and Oxford universities, and writes for The Atlantic and other publications.



Neither a Science Nor a Profession

Hundreds of thousands of people earn MBAs annually, but people with MBAs tend to perform worse in business than those without business degrees. Management consultants – typically, new MBAs – flood the workplace, inventing theories and practices. But business isn’t a science, a technology or a profession. Its false prophets mislead organizations and society; they obscure what really makes organizations successful.

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    Daniel Oneufer 3 months ago
     "...fads aren’t likely to end as long as business schools remain centers of useless training rather than of education." Well put!
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    Katie BOURDET 3 months ago
    Glad to see written what I've felt for some time!