The Economy Doesn’t Need a Reset, and Neither Does Management Theory


Policymakers, commentators, and academics have called for a Great Reset, a deepseated overhaul of the organization of the global economy. Some suggest that management theory needs a reset of its own. We argue that Great Reset proponents fail to appreciate the power of markets to bring about desirable social outcomes and are overly sanguine about what governments can do to alleviate alleged market failures. These views also drive the increasing enthusiasm for stakeholder governance, an increased government role in innovation, and the call for new metrics for assessing outcomes, all part of the Great Reset narrative. And yet, concentrating more decision power in the hands of governments, implementing diffuse metrics, and diluting effective ownership can hamper the functioning of markets, encourage crony capitalism, and reduce the resources that are available for dealing with grand challenges. Existing management theory provides powerful tools for understanding the benefits and costs of alternative institutional arrangements; abandoning these tools will push management theory to the sideline in policy debates.