Steer Clear of Unsound Management Theories

You've got a problem: a decline in profitability, a rise in workforce turnover, product-development delays. The management books and articles piled in your office are rife with conflicting theories about solutions.

How to sift through the contradictions and avoid unsound theories? One strategy is to beware theories urging revolutionary change throughout your business. No single finding applies to all companies in all situations. You need to know what, when, and why to change something--as well as what should stay the same. And don't consider positive research findings the last word. The most valuable knowledge comes when researchers refine a theory to explain situations in which it previously failed.

By washingtonpost.com Editors  |  October 16, 2008; 7:30 AM ET  | Category:  Management Tip of the Day
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