The Case For and Against the Use of Management Tools and Techniques

  • Andrew Cox
  • Chris Lonsdale
  • Joe Sanderson
  • Glyn Watson


The amusing quote above might lead one to conclude that business managers are the unwitting dupes of unscrupulous academics and consultants selling snake oil. Yet the major argument in this volume, which reports the findings from a survey of the use and performance of business management tools and techniques across 237 firms in 16 different industrial sectors, is that managers are not always as gullible as some may believe (Micklethwaite & Wooldridge, 1996). Indeed, the research reported here shows that there is a definite link between the willingness of managers to use management tools and techniques and the risks that have to be managed given the functions and the types of industry sectors that they operate in. This implies that there is evidence of practitioners being able to understand when specific tools and techniques are appropriate (the right tools for the job) and also when they are not (the wrong tools for the job).


Supply Chain Management Management Tool Business Management Industry Sector Harvard Business Review 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Abrahamson, E. (1996) ‘Management Fashion’ Academy of Management Review, 21(1).Google Scholar
  2. Abrahamson, E. & Fairchild, G. (1999) ‘Management Fashion: Lifecycles, Triggers, and Collective Learning Processes’ Administrative Science Quarterly, 44.Google Scholar
  3. Brindle, M. & Stearns, P. (2001) Facing Up to Management Faddism: A New Look At an Old Face, West Point, US and London, UK.Google Scholar
  4. Cox, A. (1997) Business Success (Helpston, UK: Earlsgate Press).Google Scholar
  5. Cox, A. et al. (2001) ‘The Power Perspective in Procurement and Supply Management’, The Journal of Supply Chain Management, Vol. 37, No. 2, Spring.Google Scholar
  6. Cox, A. et al. (2002) Supply Chains, Markets and Power: Mapping Buyer and Supplier Power Regimes, London: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Cox, A. et al. (2003) Supply Chain Management: A Guide to Best Practice, London: Financial Times/Prentice Hall.Google Scholar
  8. Cox, A. et al. (2004a) Business Relationships for Competitive Advantage, Basingstoke & New York: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  9. Cox A. et al. (2004b) ‘Power Regimes and Supply Chain Management’, Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, October.Google Scholar
  10. Cox, A., Sanderson, J. & Watson, G. (2000), Power Regimes: Mapping the DNA of Business and Supply Chain Relationships (Helpston, UK: Earlsgate Press).Google Scholar
  11. Chandler, A. D. (1962) Strategy and Structure, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  12. Christensen, C. & Raynor, M. (2003) ‘Why Hard-Nosed Executives Should Care About Management Theory’ Harvard Business Review, September.Google Scholar
  13. Collins, D. (2000) Management Fads and Buzzwords: Critical-Practical Perspectives, London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  14. Hamel, G. & Prahalad, C. K. (1993) ‘Strategy as Stretch and Leverage’, Harvard Business Review, March/April.Google Scholar
  15. Micklethwaite, J. & Wooldridge, A. (1996) The Witch Doctors, London: Heinemann.Google Scholar
  16. O’Shea, J. & Madigan, C. (1997) Dangerous Company: Management Consultants and the Businesses They Save and Ruin, New York: Time Books.Google Scholar
  17. Porter, M. E. (1980) Competitive Advantage: Creating and Sustaining Superior Performance, New York: Free Press.Google Scholar
  18. Spell, C. (2001) ‘Management Fashions: Where Do They Come from, and Are They Old Wine in New Bottles?’ Journal of Management Enquiry, 10(4).Google Scholar
  19. Whittington, R. (2000) What is Strategy and Does it Matter? London: Thomson Learning.Google Scholar
  20. Willer, D. & WiIler, J. (1973) Systematic Empiricism: A Critique of a Pseudo-Science, New York: Prentice Hall.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Andrew Cox, Chris Lonsdale, Joe Sanderson and Glyn Watson 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andrew Cox
  • Chris Lonsdale
  • Joe Sanderson
  • Glyn Watson

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations