Canberra Skeptics: An Introduction to MPS (Management PseudoScience): Or Why a Hard Nose is No Protection for a Soft Head

A Canberra Skeptics Lecture

Speaker: John Smyrk

Date: 13 December 2011

Time: 6:00-7:30pm

Location: Optus Lecture Theatre, CSIRO Discovery Science Centre,
Clunies Ross Street Acton ACT 2601

Free Admission

The field of management has provided particularly rich soil for the cultivation and propagation of nonsense.  This observation lies in sharp contrast to the common perceptions of managers as cold, hard, evidence-based decision makers.  Entire cottage industries have sprung up around popular publications of authors whose works range from sound, well-argued scientific studies through to the patently absurd.  In this talk John will explore a number of quite distinct forms of, what he calls, “Management PseudoScience (MPS)”:  including Myers-Briggs, In Search of Excellence and subliminal advertising.

For reasons that will become clear on the day, he requests that everyone bring a 50¢ piece.

John (a Novocastrian) is a Visiting Fellow in the Research School of Business at the ANU where he teaches project management and participates in a related research program.  He is also in private practice as a project management consultant.  Amongst his clients are the ABS and the World Bank.

Dinner will follow the lecture (venue tbc).  To RSVP for dinner please email:

For further information about Canberra Skeptics please visit our website: