Cover image for Flawed advice and the management trap : how managers can know they're getting good advice and when they're not
Flawed advice and the management trap : how managers can know they're getting good advice and when they're not
Argyris, Chris, 1923-2013.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Oxford : New York : Oxford University Press, 2000.
Physical Description:
ix, 262 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Format :


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HD69.C6 A698 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Flawed Advice and the Management Trap: How Managers Can Know When They're Getting Good Advice and When They're Not is the first book to show how and why so much of today's business advice is flawed, and how managers and executives can better evaluate advice given to their firms Practitioners and scholars agree that businesses in the coming millennium will be managed differently than firms of the 20th century. And getting there from here, according to today's best advice, will require creative change. In this pioneering work, Argyris, one of the world's leadingorganizational thinkers, reviews a wide array of business advice from the best and brightest thinkers and consultants and concludes that as appealing as their ideas may be, most of them are simply not workable. They are too full of abstract claims, logical gaps, and inconsistencies, to be useful.And ironically, even when their recommendations are implemented correctly, the result is often failure. Why do these gaps in logic exist, and how can they be more effectively discovered? Applying a disciplined critique to numerous representative examples of advice about leadership, learning,change, and employee commitment, Argyris shows readers how to be more critical of the advice they are given, how to learn new approaches for appraising employee performance, and how to generate an internal commitment to values and better strategy. In our ever expanding global market, innovative business advice is at a premium, and giving this advice has become a lucrative industry in and of itself. This book provides the critical lens necessary to evaluate which advice is best for your organization.

Author Notes

Chris Argyris was born in 1923. He holds an A.B in psychology from Clark University, an M.A. in psychology and economics from Kansas University, and a Ph.D in organizational behavior from Cornell University. He has taught at Yale University and at Harvard, where he currently is the James Bryand Conent professor in the graduate schools of business administration and education.

Argyris has written more than 20 books that aspire to enable readers to create organizations and deal with management and the changing face of the corporate world. Organizational Learning II : Theory, Method and Practice, Overcoming Organizational Defenses, and Integrating the Individual and the Organization are a few of his more notable titles.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 1

Booklist Review

Argyris and Donald Schon's Organizational Learning: A Theory of Action Perspective (1978) is the precursor to the so-called learning organization, but Argyris' influence on management thinking goes back to his Personality and Organization (1957). He is now a Harvard professor emeritus, has written more than 30 books, and shows no sign of slowing down or mellowing. Last year in the Harvard Business Review, he likened employee empowerment to "the emperor's new clothes." Now he argues that much of the advice provided to organizations and managers today is not "actionable"; it does not work! "It is," he says, "simply too full of abstract claims, inconsistencies, and logical gaps." Argyris is willing to use concrete examples to make his case; he finds inconsistencies in the advice of such current sacred cows as Steven Covey, John Kotter, and Jack Welch. Argyris describes the organizational consequences of using inconsistent advice, explains why bad advice persists, and shows how to find models that do work. Most important, he advises how to critique advice and appraise both individual and group performance. --David Rouse