Experts at the Sloan School developed a list of business predictions for the 21st century. Along with the impact of unraveling the genetic code and the effect computers will have on the brain, Management Prof. Simon Johnson has some big news for men. “I think the necktie is finished.”
Today’s business role models, he says, are Internet entrepreneurs and Silicon Valley venture capitalists, many of whom do not wear ties. An open collar says “daring, risk-taking CEO,” while a tie says “middle management.” A T-shirt says “hot stock options,” but a tie says “401(k)plan.”
Johnson predicts that as consulting and accounting firms integrate with technology firms and venture-capital that have already incorporated a casual culture, ties will become less common.
Because Johnson is not a techno-millionaire himself, he says, he often still wears a tie. “Maybe one day I’ll earn the right to take it off. I’d like that.”