Ranking Business Gurus: The Librarian’s Dilemma

Tom Davenport has done it again. He’s come up with a list of top business gurus in Rupert Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal.

Using the same methodology he used in his book, Tom tells us that things have changed. These are the new Big Idea boys in business.
Why all boys? Because the business world still seems to be sexist? Or maybe the women thinkers aren’t focusing on “selling” their ideas as much? Where’s Dorothy Leonard-Barton? Or Tammy Erickson, for that matter?
The Times has its own list of business gurus.
Accenture still points to the 50 Gurus that Tom Davenport came up for them a few years ago.
God is in the details. The issue I have is that Tom and H.J. have not really taken into account how Google works. They’re measuring quantity, not quality.
In terms of popularity, no one uses Lexis Nexis or the SSCI database, except for academics and librarians. So I’ve got to discount those two components of the guru index.
Let’s get less academic and try to measure who’s really getting attention. (By the way, Tom has a great book on that subject as well).
So to measure real-time popularity, here’s what I propose: let’s measure the influence network for each of these management gurus. Let’s see how far their reach extends in the ecosystem they’ve built with their ideas. Let’s look at who’s linking to them. Let’s look at their site traffic. Let’s compare their ecosystem rankings. Let’s take Google, Yahoo, and the blogs into account.
Stay tuned. We’re going to have some fun using our ecosystem mapping tool.

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