10 Fabulous James G. March Quotes

James G. March is best known for his research on organizations and the behavioral theories associated with organizational decision making. He has authored and contributed to dozens of books during his career. Here are some of the best James G. March quotes ever documented.

“By glorifying imagination, we entice the innocent into unwitting self-destruction.”

“I am not now, nor I have ever been, relevant.”

“If a manager asks an academic consultant what to do and that consultant answers, then the consultant should be fired. No academic has the experience to know the context of a managerial problem well enough to give specific advice about a specific situation.”

“Intelligence normally entails two interrelated but somewhat different components. The first involves effective adaptation to an environment.”

“Most fantasies lead us astray, and most of the consequences of imagination for individuals and individual organizations are disastrous.”

“No organization works if the toilets don’t work, but I don’t believe that finding solutions to business problems is my job.”


“The second component of intelligence involves the elegance of interpretations of the experiences of life.”

“There is, as a result, much that can be viewed as unjust in a system that induces imagination among individuals and individual organizations in order to allow a larger system to choose among alternative experiments.”

“They [human beings] are unwilling to gamble that God made those people who are skilled at rational argumentation uniquely virtuous. They protect themselves and others from cleverness by obscuring their preferences.”

“Unfortunately, the gains for imagination are not free.”

Here is a clip of James G. March, Emeritus Professor at Stanford as he appears in this series of interviews to discuss his work on the field of management with Doctoral students.

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