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Philosophy of Management

Volume 6, Issue 1, 2007

Transforming Rationalities

Kazem Chaharbaghi, Victor Newman
Pages 135-146

Cruel Comforters
Management Gurus as Outsourced Thinkers

The influence of popular management gurus derives from two factors: the willingness of their management audience to outsource or subcontract thinking and the ability of gurus to deliver apparently relatively simple messages to an audience that probably does not want or need to think deeply, while retaining their leadership status. As managers look to management gurus to provide them only with reasons to be, to behave or act as opposed to reasons to think, per se, the nature of a popular guru’s output can never address the unseen innovating process which true leadership demands. As a result, popular management gurus are not in a position to promote insights, awakening or higher consciousness in others and cannot fulfil the traditional raison d’être of a guru as an enlightened being. The output of popular management gurus probably communicates more about their audience than it usefully communicates about the guru’s thinking.

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