CHAPTER 1 What Use is Theory?



Relating Theory to Practice

Each of the authors has heard managers argue that theory is for academics; experience is what counts. Some managers seem to pride themselves on their disdain of theory. These same managers then go on to quote their own views of management, and that good leadership is just common sense, but what is common sense other than an implicit theory?

All capable managers use such implicit theories every day, often with success. When this is done exceptionally well, we may refer to the person as a charismatic leader, which always carries a hint of mystery.

On the other hand, some scholars articulate theories, but never put them to the test of practice. These are the academic theories often ...

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