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Managers Not MBAs: A Hard Look at the Soft Practice of Managing and Management Development
Synopses & Reviews
The trouble with ""management"" education, says author Henry Mintzberg, is that it is business education, and leaves a distorted impression of management. In Managers Not MBAs, he offers a new definition of management as a blend of craft (experience), art (insight), and science (analysis). An education that overemphasizes science encourages a style of managing the author calls ""calculating,"" or if the graduates believe themselves to be artists, the related style ""heroic."" According to the book, neither heroes nor technocrats in positions of influence are useful - what's really needed are balanced, dedicated people who practice a style that can be called ""engaging."" Such people believe their purpose is to leave behind stronger organizations, not just higher share prices. Managers Not MBAs explains in detail how to cultivate such managers, and how they can transform the business world and, ultimately, society.
"Two decades ago, Mintzberg, a professor at McGill University who was then teaching MBAs at MIT, discovered a profound 'disconnect between the practice of management... and what went on in classrooms.' Since that time, he has dedicated himself to the problems of management and management education, both of which he believes are 'deeply troubled,' and the latter of which has become the wrong that he, with help from colleagues around the world, must right. Using words like 'arrogance,' 'mindless' and 'exploitation,' Mintzberg outlines just what is wrong with MBAs (the people and the degrees) and why the degree he's developed is rooted in the real world and, as such, is far more relevant and valuable to students, companies and the business world at large. Strong economies are based on good management, not on good business schools, Mintzberg believes, and because the top companies employ the top MBAs and the top MBAs (not to mention the mediocre and bottom-level degree-holders) are, or so he says, the products of an out-of-touch and unrealistic graduate program, then the effects of this miseducation can be felt far beyond the classroom walls. Mintzberg's argument is clearly researched and set forth in a progressively logical and even convincing way. Managers and manager wannabes will be intrigued and can certainly learn a thing or two as long as they, as Mintzberg himself urges in his teachings, consider the source of the education. (June)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Book News Annotation:
Mintzberg (management studies, McGill U., Montreal) has long been outspoken in his criticism of the disconnect between conventional MBA programs and real world management. In 1996, he was instrumental in forming a collaborative educational partnership with several educators and their institutions from around the world, the International Masters Program in Practicing Management (IMPM), as an alternative approach to the field. In this text, Mintzberg continues to articulate his ongoing concerns about what is wrong with management education and practice, and how it could be changed. For developers, educators, managers, MBA applicants, students, and graduates.
Annotation ©2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Mintzberg explains in detail how to cultivate balanced, dedicated managers who practice a style that can be called ""engaging,"" and how they can transform the business world and, ultimately, society.
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