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Managing Hardcover – September 1, 2009


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Berrett-Koehler Publishers (September 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1576753409
  • ISBN-13: 978-1576753408
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.4 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #123,646 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Academic Mintzberg, ranked nine on the "Top 20 Business Thinkers" list of the Wall Street Journal and 16 on the Financial Times' "The Thinkers 50" list, bases this book on information developed from spending a day each with 29 managers in a variety of fields. Observing, interviewing, and reviewing the managers' diaries, Mintzberg shares what he learned from his research--what happened in each manager's day--and then interprets why it happened. Industries of these managers include business, government, health care, and the social sector--from the managing director of a high-tech company to an orchestra conductor to the manager of a refugee camp. These 29 pictures of management as practiced illustrate the varied realities of managing. Mintzberg concludes, "to be effective in any managerial position, there is a need for thoughtfulness--not dogma, not greed risen to some high art, not fashionable technique, not "me too" strategies, not all that `leadership' hype, just plain old judgment." This is an excellent, must-read book for managers and aspiring managers. -- Mary Whaley --Booklist, Sep 2009.

About the Author

Henry Mintzberg is Cleghorn Professor of Management Studies at McGill University in Montreal and the winner of awards from the most prestigious academic and practitioner institutions in management (Harvard Business Review, Academy of Management, Association of Management Consulting Firms, and others).

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Customer Reviews

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Every manager and every management student should read this book.
Michael W. Drafke
Everyone can get the basics right but it is the subtleties that result from knowledge and real life experience that result in exceptional levels of performance.
J. Brown
I've read hundreds of books on the subject, but this one with the very simple title, is quite possibly the most relevent one of the bunch.
Larry Underwood

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

33 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Jason Ambrose on January 4, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I will have to respectfully disagree with the other reviewers here. While Mr. Mintzberg presents a very comprehensive picture of all aspects of managing, the synthesis of those thoughts and his conclusions were so qualified that, in the end, the book was vaguely descriptive of what is probably intuitively obvious to managers rather than insightful or instructive. In that sense, the book was as provocatively simple yet unsatisfying as the title for me.
I can see how there might be value to a reader who, suffering from the frenetic lifestyle described in the book, seeks a frame of reference to reflect on their circumstances, draw some comfort that they are not alone, and then ultimately embark on their own introspection about how to be better managers. I was hoping for an outcome that was perhaps more assertive in its conclusions. I found what was there to be too obvious ("All too often, when managers don't know what to do, they drive their subordinates to 'perform'") or to be characterized as, "you just have to know" ("Over time managing has to function in a dynamic balance"; "management may not be a science, but it does need some of the order of science, whihle being rooted in the practicality of craft, with some of the zest of art").
It may have some value to a reader as a starting point, but I personally did not come away with a sense of completion. I felt like I was prepared well for a message that never materialized.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Larry Underwood on October 8, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Thirty-five years ago (today) I hooked on with a company (Enterprise Rent-a-Car) as a "Management Trainee", having no idea where that would eventually lead me. As I rose up the ranks, I eventually became a successful General Manager, made a lot of dough, and was given the golden parachute out the door after a nice 26 year run. When I retired (on 010101), I felt like I was a pretty good manager.

After reading Henry Mintzberg's remarkable study into the complex world of "management", I now realize that I may have been good at what I did, but I most certainly could've been a little better. It's a humbling revelation; but I can live with that. The truth is, most hot shot managers (at any level) could stand to read this book---the definitive book on management that I've ever read; from one of the great management gurus to come along since Peter Drucker.

Effective management is a lot more complex than I originally thought; although a lot of the subtle nuances came easily to me; still, I never gave a lot of the skills required much thought, until now. Mintzberg breaks down the process into three distinct categories---information, people & action---and you'd better be on top of your game in all three to be a truly effective head honcho.

I've read hundreds of books on the subject, but this one with the very simple title, is quite possibly the most relevent one of the bunch. For anyone in any management capacity in any field, this is a vital book to digest. It well help you understand what it takes to really know the key ingredients in becoming a successful manager; actually, a highly successful manager.
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful By J. Brown on August 31, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Mintzberg presents the most comprehensive and descriptive model of management functions I have seen. His model describes three planes that represent where managing takes place. The planes are the information plane, the people plane and the action plane.

I will not describe his model in detail here. However it is important to note the model is not simple. It has been my personal experience that people and organizations crave simplifying assumptions to the point they embrace them as the only truths that are needed. So, if you are looking for the "three steps to..." or the "five essential factors..." or the "eight ways to" this book is not for you.

There is nothing inherently wrong with simplifying assumptions as long as we remember circumstances and context are always more complicated than that. Mintzberg correctly points out how a lot of management or leadership books focus on one competency or aspect and what is needed is a balance/blending of many aspects. Specifically he states "...it is time to recognize that managing is neither science nor a profession; it is a practice, learned primarily through experience, and rooted in context."

Therefore, if you are a manager and believe you can always get better at it, this is a book you should read. It provides a context for management. It does not tell you what to do in specific situations. I personally believe that greatness (at anything) is the summation of knowledge of a lot of little things. Everyone can get the basics right but it is the subtleties that result from knowledge and real life experience that result in exceptional levels of performance.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Peter de Toma sen. on March 17, 2011
Format: Paperback
Mintzberg is the author of two out of The 100 Best Business Books you will never have time to read": "The Nature of Managerial Work" and "The Rise and Fall of Strategic Planning". Both deserve that ranking. I appreciate Mintzberg as a Management authority. "Managing" itself is neither a "best business book" nor a "bad business book".
Based on business management experiences since 1981 and intensive business management book studies I agree with the following important and interesting parts in "Managing":
- "We should be seeing managers as leaders and leadership as management practiced well" (see P. Drucker).
- "Managing is a practice; learned primarily through experience, and rooted in context" (see P. Drucker).
- "There is no `one best way' to manage; it depends on the situation."
- "National culture has surprisingly little effect on the content of managing" - corporate culture as a glue.
- "The culture of an organization may be rather difficult to establish...rather easy to destroy..."
- "The manager has to practice a well-rounded job instead of lopsided managing" - stakeholder focus.
- "Managing styles as Art, Craft, Science" is an appropriate model for management practices.
- "We can neither do without managers nor afford to idolize them."
- "Strategies can form without being formulated: they can emerge through efforts of informal learning..."
- "The Mysteries of Measuring": importance of "plain old judgment" - I add "sound business judgment".
- "Paradoxes and predicaments, labyrinths and riddles, are built into managerial work."
- "A remarkable number of effective members are reflective, know how to learn, explore, back off, try...
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