Thursday, January 28, 2010

Falling out of love with business?

It will be interesting to see whether the Economist's prediction of a cultural shift toward less positive attitudes toward careers in business and those who undertake them that will persist beyond the current downturn.

It is pretty strongly worded stuff by Economist standards. This bit in particular stood out:

This is not going to be a little recessionary dip. It will be a more fundamental reappraisal. The magical myth of the MBA has for some time left the facts behind. In future, those who stump up will do so because they want to learn the skills, not because they think they are buying entry into a cool and exclusive club.

Some good things will follow from this. There will be fewer smart Alecs who think they know it all pouring into companies. There has been a bear market in management bullshit since the credit crunch began, but so far this has been on the demand side—managers have been too intent on staying in work to talk much jargon. In 2010 the decline of the MBA will cut off the supply of bullshit at source. Pretentious ideas about business will be in retreat. [emphasis added]

And yet, the private sector is much, much more than management consultants, the Apprentice, and Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.

I think that this recession, like all others since the 1930s, will turn out to be a transitory shock both in terms of GDP growth and in terms of attitudes.

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