This book provides a concise, critical expert overview of the elite group of consultants, analysts and commentators known as 'management gurus'.
Often dismissed as lacking in substance, this volume demonstrates that gurus must be taken seriously given their impact on the world of management. Noting that the gurus are very much products of the 1980s, the book accounts for the rise of this group while challenging those who have attempted to personify - to name and acclaim - the gurus. Reviewing the research on management gurus the book proceeds from a consideration of 'guru theory' to offer an analysis of 'the guru industry' and 'guru speak'. Building upon this analysis the book offers a critical engagement with those who have sought to understand gurus as performance artists.
Concluding with a radical agenda for future research which situates management's gurus within the frame of stand-up comedy, this book will enlighten and entertain scholars across the business disciplines and beyond.
David Collins is Professor in Management and Dean of the Suffolk Business School, University of Suffolk, UK.
Introduction. Two: Who are the Gurus? The Limits of Personification. Three: Guru Theory. Four: The Guru Industry. Five: Guru Speak. Six: Reframing Research on Guru Performance.