Scientific Management On the Rise?

BusinessWeek has an interesting article by Roger Martin, where he questions some of the trends proposed by the consulting firm McKinsey. More specifically the article criticizes McKinsey’s views about Scientific Management. Quoting Mckinsey:

“Management will go from art to science. Bigger, more complex companies demand new tools to run and manage them. Indeed, improved technology and statistical-control tools have given rise to new management approaches that make even mega-institutions viable. Long gone is the day of the “gut instinct” management style. Today’s business leaders are adopting algorithmic decision-making techniques and using highly sophisticated software to run their organizations. Scientific management is moving from a skill that creates competitive advantage to an ante that gives companies the right to play the game.”

According to Roger Martin algorithms, software and complex statistical processes certainly can help business practices, but they will never substitute the human factors – or the “gut” as Jack Welch would say.

Do you agree?

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