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Opening Pandora's box: the unintended consequences of Stephen Covey's Effectiveness Movement

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>04/2011
<mark>Journal</mark>Management Learning
Issue number2
Number of pages15
Pages (from-to)183-197
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


A number of critics have analysed management guru 'texts' and their analysis suggests that we have much to fear from them. This article, by contrast, explores a customer service intervention in a UK bank that drew on 'some' of the ideas of the management guru, Stephen Covey. The article highlights that guru texts do not translate from the page to practice in an unproblematic way. This is because they must be interpreted and are filtered through existing social contexts. Second, the ideas are often flawed and third, they meet with resistance. The central argument is that management gurus are less powerful than many critics assume because neither gurus nor managers are able to control how their ideas are consumed.