Management guru

Huczynski, Andrzej Antoni (1991) Management guru. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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This thesis considers how the reader can become a management guru. To this end, it examines the history of management ideas in the period 1890-1990, and identifies those which have achieved widespread popularity. A management idea is the generic term used to refer to any research finding, theory, concept, framework or prescription that maintains currency within the world of management and management education and training.

The thesis accounts for the popularity of these ideas. It argues that four sets of factors contribute to the establishment of the popularity of a management idea. First, the idea has to be timely, that is, in tune with social, economic and political concerns of the period. Second, it has to achieve a high level of visibility in order to gain managers’ awareness of its existence. Third, it should address the relatively stable and enduring set of managerial needs. Fourth, the idea should, in its content and design, be perceived by the managers as capable of fulfilling those needs.

Five literature reviews were carried out. The first identified the six most popular management idea "families". The second was a historical review of the social, economic and political factors which formed the historical milieus from which these idea families evolved. The third literature review uncovered twelve recurring features of these popular management ideas. The fourth examined managers’ needs for such ideas, and the fifth examined how management ideas were marketed by companies and consultants.

These literature reviews produced a set of hypotheses, some of which were tested in the empirical part of the study. These related primarily to the link between management needs and the characteristics of the ideas themselves. Both business school academics’ and managers’ reactions to different management ideas were assessed from a phenomenological perspective. This utilised self-completed questionnaires and the analysis of interview transcripts. The research conclusions are that the popularity of a management idea can both be predicted and planned for by enterprising and aspiring management gurus, be they business school faculty or management consultants. The application of the principles described in this thesis should secure for them, both fame and fortune.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
Colleges/Schools: College of Social Sciences
Supervisor's Name: Beaumont, Prof. Phil
Date of Award: 1991
Depositing User: Mrs Marie Cairney
Unique ID: glathesis:1991-40920
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 10 Jan 2019 14:32
Last Modified: 10 Jan 2019 14:32

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