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The Management Myth: Why the "Experts" Keep Getting it Wrong


Matthew Stewart



9780393065534
Retail Price: $27.95
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Format: Hardcover, 304pp.
ISBN: 9780393065534
Publisher: W.W. Norton & Co.
Pub. Date: August 10, 2009

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Description and Reviews
From The Publisher:

Don’t go to business school. Study philosophy. Fresh from Oxford with a degree in philosophy and no particular interest in business, Matthew Stewart might not have seemed a likely candidate to become a consultant. But soon he was telling veteran managers how to run their companies.

Striking fear into the hearts of clients with his sharp analytical tools, Stewart lived in hotel rooms and got fat on expense account cuisine—until, finally, he decided to turn the consultant’s merciless, penetrating eye on the management industry itself. Alongside his devastating critique of management “philosophy” from Frederick Taylor to Tom Peters, Stewart provides a bitingly funny account of his own days in a management consulting firm.

Combining hands-on experience with the theoretical underpinnings of contemporary fads in efficiency improvement, empowerment, and strategy, Stewart knows his stuff, and thus he lays bare how little consultants have really done for the business of others—while making a killing for themselves.



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Stewart (The Courtier and the Heretic) reflects on his unconventional path to becoming a successful management consultant-despite a complete lack of business knowledge or experience, let alone an MBA. He offers an insider's perspective on the industry, revealing the astonishingly high routine consultant fees and the absurdity of leading firms depending on consultants fresh out of school to tell them how to run their business. Following in the footsteps of "shamans," consultants "envelop their work with an aura of sacred mystery" and "outrageously unjustified" levels of self-confidence to add to their perceived expertise. Gleefully revealing the magician's tricks, Stewart takes readers on a whirlwind tour of how this industry came to be a powerhouse. Filled with fascinating insider anecdotes and featuring a who's who in the consulting world, including Peter Drucker, Michael Porter and Bruce Henderson, this wry, absorbing book will enlighten executives about the value consultants actually bring to their clients. (Aug.) Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
—Publishers Weekly



 
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About the Author

Matthew Stewart is a former management consultant and the author of the acclaimed The Courtier and the Heretic: Leibniz, Spinoza, and the Fate of God in the Modern World. He lives with his family in Santa Barbara, California.



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