Henry Mintzberg

Basically my objection is that MBA programs claim to be creating managers and they are not. The MBA is really about business, which would be fine except that people leave these programs thinking they’ve been trained to do management. I think every MBA should have a skull and crossbones stamped on their forehead and underneath should be written: “Warning: not prepared to manage”.

And the issue is not just that they are not trained to manage, but that they are given a totally wrong impression of what managing is; namely decision-making by analysis. The impression they get from what they’ve studied is that people skills don’t really matter.

So they come out with this distorted view. I’ve seen it over and over again where people have MBAs and go into managerial positions and don’t know what they are doing. So basically they write reports and plans and do all sorts of information processing things and pretend that it’s management. It’s killing organizations, and I think it’s getting worse over time.

I’m critical of management programs that promise boot camps. Managers live boot camps every day of their lives. What they need is to slow down and reflect.

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