As a result, this highlights that by ‘restoration’, American managers should adhere to re-engineering as this what they are reputed for. For instance, American managers are proficient at moving in unfamiliar territory: “It’s why re-engineering happened here before it took root in Europe or Japan. We’re good at remaking everything around us. Now we as managers have to remake ourselves” (Champy, 1994). However, this highlights that managers are being fixed to the pragmatic master analogue that they need to stick to re engineering if they want to survive.
For instance, “Re-engineering is new, and it has to be done” (Drucker, 1993). As a result, this will hinder the invention of new techniques and strategies if these managers do not break from the past. This is as revealed by Senge (1999) who suggests that people should leave their mistakes in the past and embrace technology which is rapidly developing and that they should keep up with its ever changing nature. Social creations also exist that gurus use to enhance their popularity and capital other than religious imagery.
The management gurus’ can draw attention to their audience with marketing strategies and product material. The media is a dominating force in society today influencing and deceiving the public into conforming to social norms. Similarly, management fashions are actively changing and the management gurus likewise are convincing managers to taking appropriate courses of action within their organization. It is clear that management gurus’ are victims of the ‘media-machine’ seducing managers into adopting their strategies.
For instance, Covey has skilfully constructed through a number of media (Cragan and Shields, 1992). He has also used his well-rooted religious background in Mormonism to convey a righteous analogue through the media. This emphasizes the ‘right’ way things should be done, as the guru stresses in his ‘law of the farm’ (Covey et. al. , 1994). This suggests that we should avoid shortcuts and return to the natural laws of doing things. For instance, “Cramming doesn’t work in a natural system, like a farm.
That’s the fundamental difference between a social and natural system. A social system is based on values, a natural system based on principles. In the short term, cramming may appear to work in a social system. You can work for the “quick fixes” and techniques with apparent success. But in the long term, the law of the farm governs in all arenas of life” (Covey et al. , 1994). Furthermore, in reality it is not possible to ‘microwave’ anything in life if success is in view.
It is obvious that principles such as ‘going back to the farm’ stated by Covey have infiltrated the media, increasing his popularity. In this instance, Clark and Greatbatch (2000) state that: “The book and spin-off products such as tapes, video cassette, train-the-trainer programs and survey instruments have become powerful tools not only for making consultants visible in an increasingly crowded marketplace but also for legitimizing the consultant in the eyes of their customers”.
In addition, Covey’s work has also proven to be particularly popular among the training and organizational community. This is stated by Director (1997): “6 percent picked ‘The Seven Habits’ as the book that had most influenced their live. Thus with such vast product mediums and media coverage, the gurus’ followers are left with no option but to conform to the norm and give approval to the techniques popularized, because of the great pressure they have been placed under because of the great ‘buzz’ it has developed.
Perhaps these techniques have had a positive impact on society as it has helped America return to its former glory in the past. On the other hand, this pressure leaves the followers with barely any room for them to investigate into the validity of the management gurus’ techniques they invested into, being blinded by the ‘hype’ of the management gurus’ success. Perhaps these followers are victims of narcissism. It appears that the gurus are compelled to consistently release new product material to remain in the limelight and maintain their social status being at their popularity pinnacle.
For instance, Tom Peters et al. (1982) book “In Search of Excellence” was highly in demand and provided a variety of inspiring and entertaining case studies about companies in America that have succeeded regardless of threats from foreign competition. However, five years after the publication of “In Search of Excellence” two-thirds of the 43 companies that had demonstrated superiority for at least 20 years had slipped, expired or were in serious difficulty (Pascale. 1990).
As a result, it can be deduced that the flaws of the book was exposed a while after the ‘buzz’ had died down. Therefore it seems the management gurus were not paying attention to the accuracy of the material but rather focusing on replenishing retailers with new material, hence quantity and not quality. It is should be the other way around. Nevertheless they have managed to delay criticism by masking their flaws by bombarding consumers with their media attention, deceiving them into thinking their material is ‘right’ as everyone else is purchasing it.
This self-centeredness has driven gurus’ to selfishness, being ignorant of the possible harm and negative effects on their consumers. This is dangerous for the management gurus’ long-term survival. In summary, it is clear that all the management gurus’ have each gained popularity with the fashions they have created. Covey has systematically supported this statement by how things should be ‘morally’ done with his ‘back to the farm’ theory. It is also evident that these gurus’ have appealed to their followers in several ways.
In this instance, Covey has appealed to his audience with a righteous analogue as a ‘saviour’. I would also approve that there are some management gurus’ that exist that have particularly shined in society as influential leaders. In review of character themes, Covey has gained popularity by successfully conveying his righteous analogue of going back to natural laws to the media with his religious imagery as discussed earlier, whilst he has also managed to create a charismatic ‘buzz’ around his strategies and techniques through his social creations.
Although the works of the management gurus’ have contributed to our understanding of management techniques, the management gurus’ success could be a magnification of the actual effectiveness of their products. Flaws discovered in these gurus’ products has kept their followers in constant pursuit of identification as these gurus’ are consistently releasing new products to mask the flaws of the previous releases. They claim that their latest project is rather the accurate one. Therefore it is questionable if management gurus’ are popular for the right reasons.