In 1996, having completed a two-year research study, longtime
Economist journalists and editors John Micklethwait and Adrian
Wooldridge published The Witch Doctors, an explosive critique of
management theory and its legions of evangelists and followers. The
book became a bestseller, widely praised by reviewers and devoured
by readers confused by the buzzwords and concepts the management
"industry" creates. At the time, ideas about "reengineering," "the
search for excellence," "quality," and "chaos" both energized and
haunted the world of business, just as "the long tail," "black
swans," "the tipping point," "the war for talent," and "corporate
responsibility" do today.
For decades, since the rise of MBA programs on campuses across
the country, the field of management has operated in a dubious
space. Many of its framers clamor for respect within the academy
while making millions of dollars pedaling ideas, some brilliant and
some nonsensical, in speeches, consulting arrangements, and
Although The Witch Doctors was a damning critique ("a scalpel
job," according to the Wall Street Journal), it also argued that
much of management theory is valuable--making companies more
effi-cient and productive, improving organizational life for
workers, and providing sound ways for companies to innovate while
defending more entrenched plans. Building upon all that made the
original such a phenomenal success, this fully revised and updated
edition, Masters of Management, takes into account the rise of the
Internet, the growing power of emerging markets, the Great
Recession of 2008, and the more recent developments in management
theory. The result is an indispensable volume for any manager.
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