Real World Doesn’t Always Fit Neatly Into Academic Frameworks

Balance is needed between the personal and impersonal sides of business.
I recently read an article at reminding managers to beware "overmeasurement." Focusing too much on measurement can result in "depersonalization, a decrease in trust, and a false sense that costs and risks are actually being managed," the author writes. (Read the column here.)
We Deliver Distribution News to Your Inbox
Sign up below to receive MDM Update, your free weekly distribution news update by email.


Distributors have long run their businesses with customer relationships front of mind. Many recognize and respect the power of dinner and a handshake. Day-to-day, I speak with distributors and suppliers and am always impressed with the level of passion and care they have for their businesses and their customers. It really is like no other industry I have covered.
On the flip side, I am working nights on my MBA at the University of Colorado’s Leeds School of Business. In my current Corporate Strategy course, I am bombarded with impersonal frameworks and measurement tools to be used to analyze and reveal answers for better business management and growth. While these frameworks and tools are certainly useful when used in the right ways at the right times, the real world does not usually fit neatly into these frameworks. Adaptation is always necessary.
The key: a balance between what distributors do well – relationships – and what academics do well – providing a starting point and structure to planning.

About the Author
Recommended Reading
Leave a Reply

Leave a Comment

Sign Up for the MDM Update Newsletter

The MDM update newsletter is your best source for news and trends in the wholesale distribution industry.


articles left

Want more Premium content from MDM?

Subscribe today and get:

  • New issues twice each month
  • Unlimited access to, including 10+ years of archived data
  • Current trends analysis, market data and economic updates
  • Discounts on select store products and events

Subscribe to continue reading

MDM Premium Subscribers get:

  • Unlimited access to
  • 1 year digital subscription, with new issues twice a month
  • Trends analysis, market data and quarterly economic updates
  • Deals on select store products and events



You have one free article remaining

Subscribe to MDM Premium to get unlimited access. Your subscription includes:

  • Two new issues a month
  • Access to 10+ years of archived data on
  • Quarterly economic updates, trends analysis and market data
  • Store and event discounts

To continue reading, you must be an MDM Premium subscriber.

Join other distribution executives who use MDM Premium to optimize their business. Our insights and analysis help you enter the right new markets, turbocharge your sales and marketing efforts, identify business partners that help you scale, and stay ahead of your competitors.

Register for full access

By providing your email, you agree to receive announcements from us and our partners for our newsletter, events, surveys, and partner resources per MDM Terms & Conditions. You can withdraw consent at any time.