Masters of Management: How the Business Gurus and Their Ideas Have Changed the World – for Better and for Worse

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 … [ Read more ]

The Witch Doctors: Making Sense of the Management Gurus

Management theory is a worldwide growth industry these days. Terrified of falling behind, business executives flock from one management guru to another in search of a competitive edge. Catchwords such as “chaos,” “excellence,” and “quality” echo in corporate halls and bounce around boardrooms the world over. Which ideas and theories are sound, and which are ultimately useless fads? John Micklethwait and Adrian Wooldridge spent two … [ Read more ]

The Company: A Short History of a Revolutionary Idea

Considering the astounding impact companies have had on every corner of civilization, it’s amazing that the development of the institution has been largely unexamined. Economist editors Micklethwait and Wooldridge present a compact and timely book that deftly sketches the history of the company. They trace its progress from Assyrian partnership agreements through the 16th- and 17th-century European “charter companies” that opened trade with distant parts … [ Read more ]

The Art and Practice of Japanese Management

“Japan’s extraordinary postwar industrial success was defined by lean production, consensus and continuous improvement. But lately it has been the country’s perceived weak points, such as lifetime employment and over-regulation, that have come to the forefront of the debate on Japanese management. But new ideas are emerging with the younger, more flexible generation of Japanese managers, which means there will still be plenty for the … [ Read more ]