A guide to management theories, fads, and the gurus who promote them examines the various theories and their real-world implications for businesses and their employees
Management gurus - high-powered consulting firms, business school professors, motivational speakers who never graduated from high school - are latterday witch doctors, each promising the cure for what ails corporate America. These men and women are the sales reps for an industry that exists exclusively to peddle freshly laid management advice to petrified executives. According to one recent study, 72 percent of managers believe that the right management tools can help ensure business success, even though 70 percent also say most of the tools promise more than they deliver. Often, the results are thousands of people losing their jobs or having their work lives irrevocably altered. But thousands of companies continue to grasp at the newest concept du jour - until the next sure thing comes along.The irony is that some of the gurus' ideas and prescriptions really can rescue or renovate your company. But until you have read The Witch Doctors, your chances of figuring out which ideas belong in your hot file and which in your circular file are slim indeed.Micklethwait and Wooldridge have organized The Witch Doctors around the management problems that plague today's corporations. They examine the promise and the problems of reengineering, and analyze what - and who - is driving the current boom in the management industry. The authors profile Peter Drucker and Tom Peters, helping you decide what the uber-gurus can teach you and what they can't. They proceed to look deeply into the social and corporate implications of every major conundrum managers and workers face today. Through unbiased, often contrarian investigations of knowledge, learning, and innovation, strategy and vision, the future of the workplace, shareholder versus stakeholder capitalism, globalization, and Japanese management, Micklethwait and Wooldridge tell you what works, what fails, and what the future may hold for those who act and those who wait. Two groundbreaking chapters examine the inroads management theory is making in the public sector, and the unexpected paths Asian managers are blazing through the world economy.