The authors of the paper did discover a wide range of approaches, with some managers going on gut instinct and others using very formalised processes.
But the researchers found that bosses who use more structured processes tend to lead bigger and faster-growing firms (which way causality runs is not clear).
They also tend to make decisions more slowly.
Mr Musk and his acolytes are in a different camp: fast, informal and aggressive.
Reports are already surfacing of fired Twitter workers being asked to come back.
He is unorthodox in another way, too.
Peter Drucker, a doyen among management thinkers, described the CEO as being the person in the organisation who bridges the outside world and the inner workings of the company.
No one else in the firm is in a position to combine these perspectives, Mr Drucker wrote.
Mr Musk is not so much bridging this gap as making the distinction between the inside and outside of the company irrelevant.
His personal brand and wealth is inextricably linked with the other firms he runs.
At Twitter he is going even further, tossing out product ideas on his own Twitter feed, polling the audience for their views and offering real-time commentary on how things are going.
And Twitter itself is a platform on which everyone else—users, ex-employees, the people who founded the firm, policymakers and pundits—weighs in publicly to say how things are going.
There is not much of an inside to talk of.
You might object that Mr Musk is a one-off, and so is this deal.
When he first made his offer to buy Twitter, he explicitly said that it was not because of an economic rationale.
He later tried to wriggle out of the transaction entirely.
The story of a billionaire owner of a social-media platform has little in common with the challenges that preoccupy the salaried executives of most public firms.
Maybe so, but if Mr Musk makes another success of his latest venture by being brutal to his workforce, skipping the PowerPoint sessions and managing through memes, the MBA will still need a bit of an update.