A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from April 03, 2012
“The first myth of management is that it exists”

Business author Robert Heller coined a popular management saying (later named “Heller’s Law") with the subtitle of his book, The Great Executive Dream: The first myth of management is that it exists (1972). Heller also added, “The second myth of management is that success equals skill.”

“Johnson’s Corollary to Heller’s Law: Nobody really knows what is going on anywhere within your organization” was developed by 1979. An article in the June 2006 issue of The Atlantic, “The Myth of Management” by Matthew Stewart, questioned the value of management education and asked, “Why does management education exist?”


OCLC WorldCat record
The great executive dream; the first myth of management is that it exists.
Author: Robert Heller
Publisher: New York, Delacorte Press [1972]
Edition/Format:  Book : English

Google News Archive
9 November 1979, St. Joseph (MO) Gazette, “Finally—a law for everything” by Steve Huff, pg. 4A, col. 3:
Johnson’s Corollary to Heller’s Law: Nobody really knows what is going on anywhere within your organization.
(From Paul Dickson’s book, The Official Rules—ed.)

Google Books
Murphy’s Law (26th Anniversary Edition)
By Arthur Bloch
New York, NY: Perigee
2003
Pg. 47:
Heller’s Law
The first myth of management is that it exists.
Johnson’s Corollary
Nobody really knows what is going on anywhere within the organization.

The Atlantic
June 2006
The Management Myth
Most of management theory is inane, writes our correspondent, the founder of a consulting firm. If you want to succeed in business, don’t get an M.B.A. Study philosophy instead

By Matthew Stewart

Google Books
What Liberals Believe:
Thousands of quotes on why America needs to be rescued from greedy corporations, homophobes, racists, imperialists, xenophobes, and religious extremists

By William P. Martin
New York, NY: Skyhorse Pub.
2008
Pg. 154:
The first myth of management is that it exists. The second myth of management is that success equals skill.
-- Robert Heller, The Great Executive Dream (1972)

Chief Happiness Officer, Alexander Kjerulf
The myth of management
April 27, 2009 @ 7:47 am · Filed under Leadership
You’ve gotta read this article by Matthew Stewart. Seriously! Go read it!!

The money quote:

After I left the consulting business, in a reversal of the usual order of things, I decided to check out the management literature…

As I plowed through tomes on competitive strategy, business process re-engineering, and the like, not once did I catch myself thinking, Damn! If only I had known this sooner! Instead, I found myself thinking things I never thought I’d think, like, I’d rather be reading Heidegger! It was a disturbing experience. It thickened the mystery around the question that had nagged me from the start of my business career: Why does management education exist?

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityWork/Businesses • (0) Comments • Tuesday, April 03, 2012 • Permalink