Gustavo Ballvé on September 9th, 2010
Corporate Strategy, Food for thought, Home

The Wall Street Journal ran a story called “The End of Management” recently. Any recollections of Francis Fukuyama’s “The End of History” are not unjustified. The author’s two-part argument goes like this: part one centers on associating the word “corporation” with “bureaucracy” – meaning resistance to change at a time when change comes ever faster. Part two is about innovations in technology allowing for mass collaboration, crowdsourcing and so on – which leads to less need for management’s traditional structures, rules and “transaction costs” as he puts it. Sure enough, both parts make sense. But…

…Think of the Ambev => InBev => Anheuser-Busch InBev story, which was all about actively managing processes and ultimately – and more importantly – managing a culture that defied bureaucracy/ convention and incentivized employees to innovate and solve problems. Since it’s not the only management excellence story around, it makes you wonder about the author’s definition of the word. In the end, it’s clear that what different people call “management” will make them say “end of management” or “management’s golden age”. Semantics, semantics.

Finally, why would you have to choose a “side” anyway?

The following video has the author expanding his views a little bit.

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