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Managerialism is the belief that organizations have more similarities than differences, and thus the performance of all organisations can be optimised by the application of generic management skills and theory. To a practitioner of managerialism, there is little difference in the skills required to run a college, an advertising agency or an oil rig.[1] Experience and skills pertinent to an organisation's core business are considered secondary.

The term can be used disparagingly to describe organisations perceived to have a preponderance or excess of managerial techniques, solutions, rules and personnel, especially if these seem to run counter to the common sense of observers. It is said that the MBA degree is intended to provide generic skills to a new class of managers not wedded to a particular industry or professional sector.[How to reference and link to summary or text]

The term can also be used pejoratively as in the definition of a management caste. Robert R. Locke defines it accordingly as "What occurs when a special group, called management, ensconces itself systemically in an organization and deprives owners and employees of their decision-making power (including the distribution of emolument), and justifies that takeover on the grounds of the managing group's education and exclusive possession of the codified bodies of knowledge and know-how necessary to the efficient running of the organization." [2] This view is further considered in the forthcoming book (as of September 2011) "Confronting Managerialism: How The Business Elite and Their Schools Threw Our Lives Out of Balance" [3] by Locke and J.-C. Spender, and "The Collapse of the American Management Mystique" (Oxford, OUP).



  1. Quiggin, John Word for Wednesday: managerialism (definition). URL accessed on 2008-01-14.
  2. Managerialism and the Demise of the Big Three, Real-world Economics Review. URL accessed on 2011-09-26.
  3. Confronting Managerialism: How The Business Elite and Their Schools Threw Our Lives Out of Balance. URL accessed on 2011-09-26.

See alsoEdit

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