Management: just a giant hoax?

Aug 30 2005 by Brian Amble Print This Article

Picking up on research last week which found that 'management' just interferes with our ability to do our work properly and that most workers do their best work when managers get out of the way, Simon Caulkin delivered this great piece in Sunday's Observer systematically debunking management-speak as the drivel that it so often is.

Ö although the official story of management over the past 20 years is one of transformed professionalism through re-engineering, core competencies, customer relationship management, outsourcing and shareholder value, the reality for customers has not changed. We still spend 20 minutes getting a reply from a call centre and tear our hair trying to make a new gadget function.

In fact, like 'excellence' and 'delight', any management superlative is suspect and should probably be shot on sight. 'Best practice', for example. Best practice doesn't exist except in the world of ideals, and never will, because it is contingent. It implies there's one right way, which is a mirage, and that anyone using it has reached nirvana.

The Observer | Adrift in a parallel universe