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Beyond the Hype: Rediscovering the Essence of Management Hardcover – January, 1992


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 249 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard Business School Press; Apparent First Editon edition (January 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 087584331X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0875843315
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.1 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,318,586 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Countering established business planning and design approaches, the authors, faculty members of the Harvard Business School, propose a more "robust," action-oriented manager, characterized as flexible, pragmatic and skilled in the use of language. Research based on wide-ranging, on-site interviews examine, dissect and reconstruct the managerial dynamics in various companies. Although the authors, who use "she" and "her" as general referential pronoun, disclaim academic jargon, their theoretical, clause-ridden syntax often contradicts rather than highlights the book's central call for direct, effective communication.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Craig L. Howe on August 1, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Shunning the latest concepts, the authors argue, managers do today what they have always done: mobilize action.

Great leadership is achieved by targeting appropriate actions, communicating it using simple and inspiring rhetoric and then getting it done. "Silver bullets," they argue, do not exist. Despite the proclamations of publicity-conscious consultants and revenue-hungry book publishers, the essence of management remains what it has always been:

1. Using and Understanding Rhetoric
2. Taking Action
3. Recognizing Individual Identities.

The book's first section posits that management relies on a classical definition of rhetoric. Managers live in a universe where language is used not only to communicate but also to persuade and to create. It acts as a powerful force that is always at work in an organization.

Almost every situation a manager faces during the course of his or her day has something to do with rhetoric: one-on-one conversations, team meetings, presentations to large and small audiences, memos, articles, project proposals, appropriate requests, strategic plans, vision statements. In each, managers wrestle with language in their quest to find solutions and the correct courses of action.

Second, despite the "flavor of the month" phenomenon common in our organizations, every decision revolves around meeting short-term objectives while retaining long-term flexibility.

Finally, managers depend on their people. Their ability to recognize unique talents and abilities plays a direct role in the success of their plans and ventures.

This is a book of uncommon wisdom. In my mind it is a sin that it has been allowed to go out of print. Good management comes from targeting correct action and communicating it to the proper people. The formula does not change. It is a message that any serious manager should read and cement into the cornerstone of his or her managerial style.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By The Inquirer on November 29, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Since I am the first to review this book, I must assume that this book has never gotten the recognition that it deserves. It is from my point of view one of the dozen most useful books on management that I have run across. Combining this with Sayle's The Working Leader will allow someone who is seriously interested to appreciate the real work of the manager. This probably isn't a page turner for most readers, but it was for me. It is demanding and thought provoking. Yes, insight does require work.
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By HighlyDiscerning on December 11, 2014
Format: Paperback
"Beyond The Hype" by Robert G. Eccles and Nitin Nohria does not live up to the promise of its title. The author's fear (page 4) that managers will be unable to "harness" new information could have been arrested had they explained their concepts better. This book is another example of academians attempting to find something new under the sun or to break forth with a new twist to an old idea that will have a significant affect on the outcome of human events, which they fail to do. They continue the common theme of all business writers of ushering in a new era of change (which they identify on page 20) with the idea that things are different than they used to be and that the challenges of the future will be greater than those of the present or the past (though they do caution the reader that this has always been the case). There is much repetitive discussion throughout the book about the importance of rhetoric (surprise, how what Leaders say and the way they say it has an influence on their followers and the outcome of any enterprise) and taking robust action (as if everyone actually believed that leaders could just sit on their hands and collect their paychecks) lest the sleepy-headed or bored-to-tears reader should forget. A good number of pages are dedicated to telling the reader what should be done and what the problems are according to the authors, but very little on how or what to do to overcome these somewhat obvious hurdles. Little processed wood pulp is expended on what leaders need do to motivate their followers and how they can improve their leadership skills. "Beyond" does have its more lucid moments though you will rarely find Eccles and Nohria quoted in other management texts, but if you are looking for something actionable or advanced supervisory DNA go elsewhere.
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