Almost 100 years ago, the French industrialist Henri Fayol claimed that organizations were so much alike that they should all be managed in a similar fashion. This book describes how Fayol's notion of general management has spawned a diverse management literature, including some fanciful genres. When it comes to actually managing, the notion of general management seems unrealistic. Managerial practice remains people-oriented, organization specific, and situation specific - with no management science in sight. This is a disappointing situation for those who favor the notion of general management. Academics, authors of management textbooks, management consultants, and management gurus keep recommending new accounting methods, or more enthusiastic managers. Hardly anybody is unaffected by Henri Fayol's notion of general management, and many depend on it for their living. But few recognize the immense influence - or the unfeasibility - of Fayol's top-down perspective. There are many Fayolists who disown Frederick Taylor's bottom-up approach to management from sheer habit. What if Taylor was right, after all?
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