Talk:Business philosophies and popular management theories

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SUGGESTION : rename this page "Popular management theories". "Business philosophy" suggests the article is about the philosophy of business, a legitimate branch of philosophy,user:mydogategodshat

I have never heard of this "branch". There is business ethics but is there business epistemology and business metaphysics? Probably there is an ontology associated with business. But this would be poor philosophy. EofT
The philosphy of business is a legitimate subject (or at least that is what they tell you when they teach it to you in MBA courses). It deals with the philosophical, political, and ethical underpinnings of business and economics. It asks questions like what the social role of business should be, if indeed it should have one at all. It deals with questions of individualism vs collectivism, freewill, enlightened self interest, and natural rights. Some philosophers, like B Manderville, Butler, Shaftsberry, and F Hutcheson (Adam Smiths Professor at the University of Glassgow), were contributors. You are correct that it is composed mostly of ethics and political philosophy and has little epistemology, ontology, or metaphysics. - user:mydogategodshat
Since ethics and political philosophy have both been changing lately, I wonder, could you review them both, and be sure that these philosophers are mentioned, and on the list of ethicists if applicable? Also I hope individualism vs collectivism, free will, enlightened self-interest, and natural rights are all there and on the list of ethics topics soon. And that more specialized legal articles like intellectual rights and economic ones like intellectual capital and guild are properly related to them. A big job, but, so far you are the only one to even know about all these characters, so who better to undertake it? EofT

but that is not what the page is about. It seems to be about those popular management theorys that pop-up every 5 years or so and are then quickly forgotten.user:mydogategodshat

An entire encyclopedia could be filled with those. This article seems to be only about those that have some lasting value, like Experience Economy and Natural Capitalism,
maybe they have lasting value, maybe they don't. Its very subjective. user:mydogategodshat
Those two, and NC in particular, seem to have become *very* popular, in part because they both advanced ideas like natural capital and the centrality of service economy - the way everything can or should be seen in that way. It appears there is little resistance in economics to both of those movements. EofT
or about the way the business environment creates scams like those of Arthur Andersen.
Now that has lasting value: It warns us about scams like Enron
It is not about random theories.
Not random . . . Maybe. What patterns do you see?
Mostly the above: 1. to service economy and full cost accounting sa for what states do, 2. to natural capital and public bad analysis and 3. to education (imparting of instructional capital to individual capital) as the driver in economies - the so-called human capital debate. Business seems to be coming more and more to grips with those questions. EofT
So if you want to create a new article, do so.

The problem I see with this article is that it is very subjective which popular theories to include. Just because a theory is popular,ie, non-acedemic, dosn't necesarily mean the theory is without merit. user:mydogategodshat

Clinton sent copies of the book "Natural Capitalism" to the whole Democratic National Committee. Experience Economy is quoted very ofteby serious business theorists. A lot of people believed in Arthur Andersen. The bar for being mentioned in this article is thus actually quite high. EofT

I could add numerous theories to this list (strategy of the dolphin, Peter principle, marketing warfare, Tom Peters' excellence) but I'm sure many people would disagree with me on some of my picks.user:mydogategodshat

Then add them, and let folks disagree. I know exactly what all four mean, so, clearly, there is some resonance there. I think they all satisfy the bar as set. EofT
But I thought the policy of Wilipedia was to suppress purely subjective articles. They feel that the encyclpedia is a place for knowledge (maybe even wisdom), but not mere opinion. - user:mydogategodshat

Unless someone has some ideas on how to get around this, I suggest this article is best forgotten. - - mydogategodshat

Just add the ones you think have merit, and count on the wiki process to sort it out. EofT

What I would like to see in this article a clear set of criteria on how to decide what popular management theories to include and an explanation of why each theory is included. user:mydogategodshat

OK, what I have done is change the title so it reflects both the business philosophies of these gurus and the popular management theories that arise from them. I have mentioned the subjective nature of any example contained on the list. I have tried to make the criteria for what to include in the list more explicit. And I have added a number of popular management theories from the previous 30 years that might qualify. I hope that salvages the article. mydogategodshat 05:20, 17 Aug 2003 (UTC)

Yes, all good. I wouldn't call it "salvage", but, it's pretty good. Make sure business philosophy is a redirect and philosophy of business (which should have the definition you outlined above) at least mentions it up front and distinguishes this article properly as a "non-philosopher's track" for managers in the field dealing with these questions. EofT

Removed from article[edit]

I have removed the quote below from the article because it is too subjective. If you ask 100 people the theories that should be mentioned you would get 100 very different lists with little overlap. The complete list would eventually contain every managemnt theory from Biblical times to the present. mydogategodshat 19:13, 13 Aug 2004 (UTC)

It is a highly subjective exercise deciding what theories to include in this list. Some of these theories will likely have lasting merit. Only time will tell.
One would be the Experience Economy thesis. Others include the Peter Principle and The Dilbert Principle. Some would include marketing warfare strategies and the Strategy of the Dolphin.
Tom Peter's "Excellence" theories could meet the criteria for being included in the list.
Proponents of the Theory of Constraints (e.g. its originator, Eliyahu M. Goldratt) claim it is an effective organization performance improvement approach, incorporating the practice of scientific critical thinking, but it could meet the criteria.
Reengineering might turn out to be a short term popular business philosophy.
Widely regarded approaches like agile software development might be included, but they tend to be more focused strictly on software engineering, and do not claim to be applicable to solve broader problems in all types of business.
Natural Capitalism, as another example, tends to confine its claims to improving natural resource and energy use to create a more efficient service economy. These make very sober and limited claims and do not apply to all businesses. They are to that degree probably also more credible.
Another example might be Arthur Andersen, a management consulting and accounting firm, which touted its methodology as a cure for most of what corporate or government clients identified as wrong with them. This methodology was taught to thousands of young Andersen recruits over decades, and expanded to fill several thick books. People outside Andersen rarely understood it. Just prior to the Year 2000 problem the firm split, and its management consulting arm broke away to become Accenture. In 2001 the accounting arm went down in the Enron accounting scandals, giving rise to loud cries for accounting reform. Accounting, by definition, is supposed to be the most tangible and reliable set of practices in business.
Accordingly, some doubt the viability or real value of Accenture's methods as well. Since the Andersen school of business philosophy was probably the most developed such school, the question of whether there is any legitimate work in such generally-applicable methodologies has arisen. The term mythodology came into use briefly to describe such overly-broad methods.


This article seems to take a very dim view of its topic. It should be more neutral. Powers 14:09, 19 July 2006 (UTC)

Comparing management approaches[edit]

Most management approaches served a legitimate purpose given the context of their time. Many are still relevant today, but applying them sensibly requires knowing the models' strengths and weaknesses. ProvenModels allows you to sort and filter through this vast field of past management models in a comprehensive way. Alberta74 (talkcontribs) 08:02, 25 April 2007 (UTC).

NPOV agreed[edit]

I find this article to very skewed and slanted. I read these "definitions" and expect them to be more factual, more objective. I definitely take exception with this article as being very subjective. Milo cobra (talk) 21:14, 18 February 2009 (UTC)