Managers Not MBAs: A Hard Look at the Soft Practice of Managing and Management Development
Thirty years ago, Mintzberg's bestseller "The Nature of Managerial Work sought to dispel the myths of the disconnected, overly analytical manager by observing a week in the lives of five chief executives. In a sense, "Managers Not MBAs is the sequel, delving as it does into current practice and the need for developing much better managers. The book examines what is wrong with both management education and management itself, and how both could be changed. Mintzberg explores the concept of management as a practice blending craft (experience) with art (insight) and some science (analysis). Conventional education in this realm, he says, encourages a "calculating" approach by overemphasizing the science, and a "heroic" approach by overstressing the art. Mintzberg argues instead for training balanced, dedicated managers who practice an "engaging" style, believing that their purpose is to leave behind stronger organizations, not just higher share prices.
Developing true schools of management.
By Bill Godfrey - February 22, 2005
Mintzberg has a formidable reputation as an educator and writer on management. Unlike Drucker who is a pillar of the managerial establishment, Mintzberg is an iconoclast, turning a very sceptical pen on many of the most cherished tenets of management belief.
He chooses his targets carefully. His attacks are devastating in their accuracy and detail, but he always spends more time constructing the new than destroying the old. His solutions are notable for their common sense and the fact that they are grounded in experience of the real world, rather than in fashionable theory. Because his targets are ones that are dear to the establishment heart (what could be closer than the value of strategic planning and of the MBA as a qualification for high business office?) his books tend to be blockbusters, bringing together a formidable amount of evidence for his case from many sources. However, the central ideas are relatively simple and are expressed in colloquial and engaging... read more
Half Critique/Half Advertisement -- But well said
By John-Paul Morgante - May 23, 2005
Mintzberg's reputation in the OD and Strategy world is stellar. His views are often debated but never rejected out-of-hand. He is always salient and grounded. This offering is no exception.
The first half of the book is a well-reasoned critique of the traditional MBA - and the schools that have offered them. His analysis of the dire consequences that has been wrought by the MBA may be a bit overblown but you cannot deny his logic and his reasoning and must, at least, take a careful look at the possible damages that an MBA (without requisite management skills) can do.
The second half of the book is where I was sadly disappointed. It is written as a means to offer a possible solution to the mess mad by traditional MBA's but it reads more like a 200 page advertisement for the IMPM program that he and other colleagues have been offering for the last few years. It is unfortunate that he appears to be offering a "prescription" (a concept he blasts in this very... read more
To MBA or Not To MBA, that is the question.
By T SANTOSO "Creating WOW and AHA!" - October 1, 2004
In short, Henry Mintzberg is critisizing the MBA education, which has a lot of truth inside. I am an entrepreneur strating up several small businesses and have been doing it for 17 years, and recently got my MBA education. This book is interesting and amusing. But here is my 2c: I honestly think MBA teaches a lot of great materials and is very useful in a lot of situation. We learn about the fundamentals of business in general way and not being "specialized" (that is what Phd for). After learning the basic fundamentals you start to see the business world in a more elevated way, most of my classmates think that they see the whole business with a much fesher perspective. Now, there is also a dangerous side of being an MBA, that we started to think we can solve all problems and get the best solution without deep understanding of the deeper side of the business. And a lot of people becoming more arogant ;-), demanding more salary, etc etc. MBA is also a great place for "switching points",... read more