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Managers not MBAs

Managers not MBAs

A Hard Look at the soft practice of managing and management development

Henry Mintzberg

May 2004, Paperback, 480 pages
ISBN13: 9780273663249
ISBN10: 0273663240
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"Managers Not MBAs throws a stone into the often complacent world of management education. It should be required reading for anyone who has the qualification, who wants one, or just wanders what all the fuss is about."
The Economist

"Managers not MBAs goes beyond polemic. The book is also a rousing manifesto for the thoroughgoing reform of management education and how we think about it." Michael Skapinker, Managment Editor, Financial Times

Fast Company

called Henry Mintzberg "one of the most original minds in management."

The Financial Times website ranked him the 7th top management thinker in the world.

Tom Peters named his book The Rise and Fall of Strategic Planning "my favorite management book in the last 25 years… no contest."

Now, in this sweeping critique of how managers are educated and how, as a consequence, management is practiced, Henry Mintzberg offers thoughtful and controversial ideas for reforming both.

"The MBA trains the wrong people in the wrong ways with the wrong consequences." Mintzberg writes. "Using the classroom to help develop people already practicing management is a fine idea, but pretending to create managers out of people who have never managed is a sham."

Because conventional MBA programs are designed for people without managerial experience, they overemphasize analysis and denigrate experience. That leaves a distorted impression of management, which has had a corrupting influence on its practice.

Leaders cannot be created in a classroom. They arise in context. But people who already practice management can significantly improve their effectiveness given the opportunity to learn thoughtfully from their own experience.

Mintzberg calls for a more engaging approach to managing and a more reflective approach to management education. He also outlines how business schools can become true schools of management.

"This book offers profound thoughts on management education and development. It should be recommended reading for MBA students and faculties. It will excite and exasperate readers, but it will never bore them." Management Today

"Henry Mintzberg is that rare thing, a humane business school academic. For three decades he has been debunking some of the most corrosive myths about management, and doing so in a style that is both sophisticated and uplifting.

This important book fundamentally challenges many of today's orthodoxies about how businesses should be run. He might just be able to save us all from ourselves." Accounting & Business Magazine

Introduction

Part I: Not MBAs

Chapter 1: The Wrong People

Management as a Practice

"Experience" in MBA Admissions

Wrong Time?

The Applications Charade

The Will to Manage versus the Zest for Business

Chapter 2: The Wrong Ways

A Brief History of Business Education

Questioning the Content

The Domination of the Business Functions

And Whatever Happened to Management?

M

anagement by Analysis

Where Are the Soft Skills?

Questioning the Methods

Meanwhile, Back at Harvard’s Cases

The Case for Cases

Learning from Bok

Convergence in Business Education

Chapter 3: Wrong Consequences I: Corruption of the Educational Process

Some Student Reactions

to MBA Studies

Confidence – Competence = Arrogance

The Mindless Marketing of Critical Thinking

The Schools’ Own Top Line

Chapter 4: Wrong Consequences II: Corruption of Managerial Practice

First: The Leap to the "Real" World

Next: The End Run around Managing

Result: The Bottom Line for the MBA—Performance at the Top

Chapter 5: Wrong Consequences III: Corruption of Established Organizations

Chapter 6: Wreong Consequences IV: Corruption of Our Social Insitutions

Chapter 7: New MBA?

Part II: Developing Managers

Chapter 8: Management Development

Chapter 9: Developing Management Education

  • Mintzberg's first major new work for years.
  • The book every manager with an MBA should read.
  • The book every manager without an MBA wants to read.
  • Provocative and agenda setting.

Expert Reviews

"Managers Not MBAs adds an extra spark to the debate."

The Guardian, February 2005

"Managers Not MBAs throws a stone into the often complacent world of management education. It should be required reading for anyone who has the qualification, who wants one, or just wanders what all the fuss is about."
The E
conomist

"Managers not MBAs goes beyond polemic. The book is also a rousing manifesto for the thoroughgoing reform of management education and how we think about it." Michael Skapinker, Management Editor, Financial Times

"This book offers profound thoughts on management education and development. It should be recommended reading for MBA students and faculties. It will excite and exasperate readers, but it will never bore them."

Management Today

“In this provocative work [Mintzberg] challenges the very basics of business education.” Business Week

"... a powerful statement and a terrific read. Mintzberg is a fine writer with a caustic turn of phrase and to make his case he draws on inside knowledge, both as a member of the academy ... and a distinguished strategy researcher in his own right." The Observer

"Henry Mintzberg is that rare thing, a humane business school academic. For three decades he has been debunking some of the most corrosive myths about management, and doing so in a style that is both sophisticated and uplifting.

This important book fundamentally challenges many of today's orthodoxies about how businesses should be run. He might just be able to save us all from ourselves." Accounting & Business Magazine

“In Managers Not MBAs, Mintzberg 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.”

Institute of Management Studies, Book of the Month, June

"When it comes to management, Mintzberg’s opinion matters: for thirty years he has been one of the foremost, and certainly one of the most radical, thinkers and writers on the subject."

People Management, August 2004

"One of the world’s most respected management gurus finally squares up to demolish one of the most sacred cows of business education … This book should make a lasting contribution to the evolution of management education.”

Director, June 2004

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