Over at The First Post, TAC contributor Philip Delves Broughton
has a fun piece on the most dangerous letters in the American lexicon: Harvard MBA. His argument rings very true in light of America’s current plight.
And Broughton–who has an interesting review in the next issue of TAC, about which more later–is something of an expert on this subject, having not only been awarded a Harvard MBA himself but written a book about it, too.
Here’s some of the good stuff,
How come this supposedly brilliant elite, trained in management, risk and reward, have so devastated the economy?
Part of the reason is that the MBA does not actually train anyone to do anything. It’s interesting. You learn something about all the various business functions. You become more confident in meetings where people yammer on about ROIs and Monte Carlo analyses. And you might even emerge capable of building a ten-year financial projection.
But whereas a youth training scheme in car repair or a plumbing apprenticeship might actually teach you to repair a car or fix a leak, the MBA does nothing more than give you some ideas for how to approach a problem. Which is why so many of the most successful business people, Bill Gates and Rupert Murdoch to name just two, never bothered with a formal business education…
MBAs in the public mind have become expert at extracting value from an economy, through fees, bonuses and exorbitant salaries, without knowing how to build value. They use their management voodoo to suck the blood of the real value creators in an economy. But really they are of less practical use to society than a decent carpenter or accountant.