Turmoil in Donald Trump's campaign is eroding his claim to be a great manager — one of the key boasts he's made in his bid for the presidency.

Critics, including academics, Republican political strategists and at least one former Trump operative say that the seemingly constant hirings and firings at the top of Team Trump, and a failure to plan for the general election, undermine the idea that he is a talented boss.

In all, it adds up to a repudiation of the businessman's claim that he'd bring excellent management and negotiating skills to Washington.

"There is a strategic incoherence," said Lara Brown, program director of the Graduate School of Political Management's political management program at George Washington University and the author of the book Jockeying for the American Presidency.

"Decision making was a very slow process within the Trump campaign," added a Republican familiar with the inner workings of the Trump campaign. "In an industry where time is at a premium, key programs and projects were held up unnecessarily."

Trump had never run for office prior to launching his presidential bid in June of 2015.

But the New York real estate developer and reality television star deflected critics who questioned his inexperience by pointing to his wealth and private sector success.

The government's myriad domestic and foreign policy challenges, Trump said, could easily be solved by replacing "stupid" leaders in Washington with someone who possessed his keen management and negotiating skills.

But critics are questioning Trump's abilities after watching his performance atop his presidential campaign. Trump is known for managing even minor campaign details that most candidates tend to delegate.

Trump this summer cycled through senior staff at critical junctures. First, he fired campaign manager Corey Lewandowski just four weeks before the GOP convention.

Then, Trump demoted Lewandowski's replacement, Paul Manafort, who ultimately resigned, three weeks after the convention ended, replacing him in favor of two individuals with no experience running a major campaign: Breitbart News executive chairman Steve Bannon and GOP pollster Kellyanne Conway.

This led to confusion at the top of Trump's campaign, and resulted in a campaign that was never able to settle on, and execute, a coherent game plan for defeating Democrat Hillary Clinton. Her campaign manager, Robby Mook, and other senior staff, have been on the job since Day 1.

Trump's running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, disagrees. He said in an interview with CNN that Trump's willingness to make changes was a sign of excellent management.

"The key to Donald Trump's success in business, I think, is also going to continue to be a key for his extraordinary success in his campaign — and that is bringing the right men and women around him, putting the right combination together. That's exactly what a great CEO does, and that's what Donald Trump is doing in this campaign," Pence said Monday.

Clinton continues to lead Trump in most national and battleground polls despite political baggage of her own. Potential scandals over her use of a private email server while serving as secretary of state, and her interaction with her family's charitable foundation while at the State Department, still dog her candidacy.

But Trump dug himself a hole by picking a fight with the parents of a war hero who died in battle, appearing to cozy up to Russian strongman Vladimir Putin, and using inartful, yet easily avoidable, rhetoric to criticize Clinton and President Obama. It played right into Clinton's charges that he is temperamentally unfit to serve as commander in chief

Clinton's lead is not insurmountable.

But it might be, because Trump failed to plan for the general election and assemble a campaign prepared to compete head-to-head with the Clinton's modern, data-driven turnout machine that thrives on field organizing even as it invests hundreds of millions of dollars television, radio and digital advertising.

Trump effectively secured the Republican nomination on May 3 with a victory in the Indiana primary. But it's as though his campaign went into hibernation after that.

Other than continuing to hold big rallies, Trump didn't raise money, didn't hire field organizers, didn't begin advertising on television, didn't try and coalesce the GOP behind him — he didn't do much of anything until he fired Lewandowski on June 21.

Trump is largely relying on the Republican National Committee for data analytics and field personnel, choosing even this late in the game to maintain a relatively small staff of under 100 at Trump Tower in Manhattan, compared to Clinton's army of more than 700 that has put a premium on data and field.

Brown said Trump's biggest sin is being "politically ignorant" and not knowing the difference between the competitive GOP primary, which he managed to win with minimal advertising or field operations, and the general election.

Republican operative Liesl Hickey, the former executive director of the National Republican Congressional Committee who advised Jeb Bush's super PAC in the presidential primary, said it all gets back to the leadership exhibited by the candidate.

"Smart candidates hire experienced staff," she said. "Every time you change leadership, you are somewhat starting from scratch. That makes running a campaign very difficult."