The business schools had their own incentives to channel students into high-paying fields like finance, thanks to the rising importance of school rankings, which heavily weighted starting salaries. The career offices at places like Harvard, Stanford, and Chicago institutionalized the process—for example, by making it easier for Wall Street outfits and consulting firms to recruit on campus. A recent Harvard Business School case study about General Electric shows that the company had so much trouble competing for MBAs that it decided to woo top graduates from non-elite schools rather than settle for elite-school graduates in the bottom half or bottom quarter of their classes.
No surprise then that, over time, the faculty and curriculum at the Harvards and Stanfords of the world began to evolve. “If you look at the distribution of faculty at leading business schools,” says Khurana, “they’re mostly in finance. … Business schools are responsive to changes in the external environment.” Which meant that, even if a student aspired to become a top operations man (or woman) at a big industrial company, the infrastructure to teach him didn’t really exist.
The Chief Executive Officers' Club of Boston is a non-profit organization that creates a nurturing environment for CEOs dedicated to improving the quality and profitability of their enterprises through shared experience and personal growth.
Hayes, Robert H., and William J. Abernathy. "Managing our way to economic decline." Harvard Business Review 58.4 (1980): 67-77.
Hayes, Robert H., and William J. Abernathy. "Managing Our Way to Economic Decline." Harvard Business Review
85.7/8 (2007): 138-149
So if a new “Managing Our Way” article were written today, it would have to go beyond its call for managers to re-embrace the traditional basics – to invest, innovate, lead, and create value where none existed before. It would have to encourage them to be pioneers in creating and implementing a new set of essentials to prevail in today’s networked, virtual world.
The creation and management of an underclass is already a done deal. The brave new world of techno-driven abundance -- if by abundance you mean only more commodities -- looks to look like this:THE ALPHAS: A relatively small number of tenders of hightech, allied with essential tenders of people (entertainers, politicians, clergy, military officers, journalists, police chiefs, etc.). They will continue to work -- harder, in many cases, than anybody -- to keep the system, and each other, working.
THE BETAS: In lieu of the old-time middle class and middle management which, as Rifkin explains, are obsolete, there will be a social control class of police, security guards, social "workers," schoolteachers, daycare workers, clinical psychologists, with-it parents, etc. It merits special attention that the more robust and aggressive members of what used to be the working class will be coopted to police those they left behind (as one Gilded Age robber baron put it, "I can hire one-half the working class to kill the other half"). Thus the underclass loses its leaders even as it's distracted by the phantasm of upward mobility.
THE GAMMAS: The vast majority of the population, what Nicola Tesla called "meat-machines," what Lee Kuan Yew calls "digits," what Jeremy Rifkin is too embarrassed to call anything. They cannot be controlled, as the other classes can, by work, because they don't work. They will be managed by bread and circuses. The bread consists of modest transfer payments maintaining the useless poor at subsistence level as helpless wards of the state. The circuses will be provided by the awesome techno-spectacles of what, in the wake of the Gulf War, can only be called the military-entertainment complex. Hollywood and tne Pentagon will always be there for each other.
Gammas form a mass, not a class, a simple aggregation of homologous multitudes, as Marx characterized the peasantry, "just as potatoes in a bag form a bag of potatoes." They enjoy certain inalienable rights -- to change channels, to check their E-Mail, to vote -- and a few others of no practical consequence. Wars, professional sports, elections and advertising campaigns afford them the opportunity to identify with like-minded spectators. It doesn't matter how they divide themselves up as long as they do. As they really are all the same any differentiation they seize upon is arbitrary, but any differentiation will do. They choose up teams by race, gender, hobby, generation, diet, religion, every which way but loose. In conditions of collective subservience, these distinctions have exactly, and only, the significance of a boys' tree-house with a "No Girls" sign posted outside. Gammas are essentially fans, and the self-activity of fans is exhausted in their formation of fan-clubs. They are potatoes who bag themselves.
THE DELTAS: This set-up will engender its own contradictions class societies always do. Bill Gates to the contrary notwithstanding, frictionless capitalism is an oxymoron. There'll be plenty of potholes on the information superhighway. Every class will contribute a portion of drop-outs, deviants and dissidents. Some will rebel from principle, some from pathology, some from both. And their rebellion will be functional as long as it doesn't get out of hand. The Deltas, the recalcitrants and unassimilables, will furnish work for the Betas and tabloid-type entertainment for the Gammas. In an ever more boring, predictable world, crazies and criminals will provide the zest, the risk, the mystery which the consciousness industry is increasingly inadequate to simulate. VR, morphing, computer graphics -- all very impressive, for awhile, but there's nothing like a whiff of fear, the scent of real blood, like the spectacles nobody did better than the Romans and the Aztecs. The show they call "America's Most Wanted" -- that's a double entrendre. Societies don't necessarily get, as some say, the criminals they deserve, but nowadays they get the criminals they want.
Because anyone can dig a ditch. Understanding whether the ditch will make you money is a lot harder.I'm guessing you don't own a shovel, right?
Because anyone can dig a ditch. Understanding whether the ditch will make you money is a lot harder.
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