Theory vs. Practical: Smart Entrepreneurs Don’t Take Sides

art1“I don’t believe in sitting in class to learn about management and how to do business. All they teach is theory. I would rather be out there doing the practical stuff,” said a young man on discovering that I was taking MBA classes. When he was done, I quietly asked him, “Why can’t you do both?”

You don’t have to do an MBA to succeed in business, but what I don’t support is the disdain that some folks have for the theories of management.

The young man would have found some of my management classes useful because at that point he could barely pay his staff and was making grave business mistakes. His disdain for theory was simply not smart.

Peter F. Drucker, the father of modern management explained that, “…Every practice rests on theory, even if the practitioners themselves are unaware of it. Entrepreneurship rests on a theory of economy and society…”

Theory doesn’t make practice insignificant. Rather, it gives people the basis to research, test and refine ideas in order to get better at their trade. Also, theories prove that results are systemic – and that’s the truth.


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