Simon Caulkin in the Guardian:
The wrong thing that the entire management industry has spent the past 40 years trying to put right is mass production command and control. 'We are committed,' as [the distinguished systems theorist Russ] Ackoff also notes, 'to a market economy at the national [macro] level, and to a non-market, centrally planned, hierarchically managed [micro] economy within most corporations.'
We know that central planning doesn't - can't - work. But, my goodness, that doesn't stop people trying. The result is an increasingly vicious circle in which each effort to control the uncontrollable simply destabilises the system further, provoking yet more frantic efforts to get things back in hand. So the end of management becomes control rather than creation of resources. ...
In the private sector the ratchet is reflected in the ever greater sacrifice that seems to demanded for every new unit of 'progress' - tighter performance management, less job security, not even a pension in retirement. In the public sector, look no further than the NHS, spending terrifying amounts on reorganisation after reorganisation with no attendant increase in productivity, and managers everywhere so busy chasing targets that they have no time to do the work that matters to patients.