Angela Montgomery wrote an article titled What’s Wrong with Business Schools? A Systems View.

« The problem is, the subject matters get taught in silos, and that in itself reflects a paradigm of organization that needs to change. You can’t teach students as if marketing were a separate subject from strategy, or that production is disconnected from sales. Everything is interconnected, interdependent. So is the way you measure things. You need managers who understand that and know how to operate in an interdependent context. On top of that, universities themselves are organized hierarchically and in silos, so even if they wanted to be more systemic in their approach, that can’t happen on a practical basis because of all the organizational barriers. It’s not about adding on another course about sustainability or systems thinking. That’s just another silo. Everything is more complex now, but most business schools are not teaching how to manage complexity. Students are taught by academics who don’t go beyond their own areas of expertise, and a lot of that teaching is based on case studies. So what students are picking up is information, but not the ability to think critically and systemically, or solve the kinds of problems they’ll inevitably encounter in a company. »

Angela Montgomery is co-author of Quality, Involvement, Flow: The Systemic Organization.

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