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A new take on the MBA

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A new take on the MBA [#permalink] New post 27 Apr 2009, 12:40
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... the best article I've read thus far on the "science" of management.

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During the seven years that I worked as a management consultant, I spent a lot of time trying to look older than I was. I became pretty good at furrowing my brow and putting on somber expressions. Those who saw through my disguise assumed I made up for my youth with a fabulous education in management. They were wrong about that. I don’t have an M.B.A. I have a doctoral degree in philosophy—nineteenth-century German philosophy, to be precise. Before I took a job telling managers of large corporations things that they arguably should have known already, my work experience was limited to part-time gigs tutoring surly undergraduates in the ways of Hegel and Nietzsche and to a handful of summer jobs, mostly in the less appetizing ends of the fast-food industry.


Link: http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/print/200606/stewart-business
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Re: A new take on the MBA [#permalink] New post 27 Apr 2009, 15:21
Nice!
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Re: A new take on the MBA [#permalink] New post 27 Apr 2009, 16:40
Interesting read!
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Re: A new take on the MBA [#permalink] New post 27 Apr 2009, 16:49
Well, you can usually count on those who studied philosophy to boil anything down to the underlying basic assumptions in *any* subject - whether it's management, political ideology, economic theory, or culture.

There's a difference between wisdom and knowledge, and the purpose of business education is imparting knowledge (however imperfect it is). Wisdom is something that hopefully we pick up in our own lives (or in studying/examining the lives of others). And as we know, "knowledge" is fluid and temporary - what we "know" about the physical world certainly changes - from Copernicus to Einstein. On the other hand, wisdom is usually tied to fundamental and eternal truths about ourselves as humans and how we interact and behave -- it's all there already in our literature that spans all cultures, from religious texts, to the great philosophers, playwrights, authors, and so forth.

Technology and knowledge certainly changes, but we as humans never really change. And
And a lot of the wisdom about how and why we behave the way we do has pretty much been written already.

We just repackage it, again and again. It's not just limited to business/management theory. Even Shakespeare did that -- most of his plays were "adaptations" of historical events or were derivations of stories that have been around for centuries (Midsummer Night's Dream being the exception as the only one that scholars can't seem to find any preexisting story). The difference is, Shakespeare did such a great job of it you'd *think* Richard III or Macbeth were complete works of fiction (as opposed to taking historical events and amplifying/altering it for dramatic effect - we can blame Hollywood all we want for bastardizing history in movies, but hey, even Hollywood wasn't the first to do that. Shakespeare did it, as did the Ancient Greek playwrights).
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Re: A new take on the MBA [#permalink] New post 12 Jan 2010, 16:59
I need some wisdom then. Like the guy in the movie 'catch me if you can', he can take any job and pretend to be good at it.
Re: A new take on the MBA   [#permalink] 12 Jan 2010, 16:59
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