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Reengineering the Corporation Paperback – June 2, 1999

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Management consultants Hammer and Champy thoughtfully critique the management procedures of American business and offer a promising prescription in this invigorating study. "It is no longer necessary or desirable for companies to organize their work around Adam Smith's division of labor," they state, arguing that task-oriented jobs are becoming obsolete as changes in customer bases, competition and the rate of change itself alter the marketplace. Post-industrial companies must be "reengineered," which necessitates starting anew, going back to the beginning to invent a better way of accomplishing tasks. The process requires a leader with vision using information technologies, consulting closely with suppliers to reduce inventories, and empowering employees so that decision-making "becomes part of the work." Hammer and Champy acknowledge that reengineering can be difficult to launch and to sustain; yet they provide clear, specific guidelines and excellent case studies. Their superb book should have strong appeal to managers and general readers alike.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"... provides a simple, well-organized framework for even the uninitiated to pursue the process." -- -- Hans W. Becherer, Chairman, Deere & Company

"An important book that describes the principles behind a new and systematic approach to structuring and managing work..." -- -- Peter F. Drucker

"This book is an outstanding and important piece of work and easily readable." -- -- Robert E. Allen, CEO, AT&T

"An important book that describes the principles behind a new and systematic approach to structuring and managing work. . . Whether they are chief executives, functional executives, or professionals, decision makers need to read this book." -- -- Peter F. Drucker

"This book is an outstanding and important piece of work and easily readable. The payoff is dramatic improvement in cost, quality, and customer satisfaction." -- -- Robert E. Allen, CEO, AT&T

"This book not only does an outstanding job of introducing basic concepts involved in reengineering business processes but also provides a simple, well-organized framework for even the uninitiated to pursue the process." -- -- Hans W. Becherer, Chairman, Deere & Company

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: HarperBus; Reprint edition (June 2, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 088730687X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0887306877
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 5.5 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,600,535 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

37 of 43 people found the following review helpful By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 3, 1999
Format: Paperback
This book's subject is the popularized version of the business concept of management process design. Making that concept more accessible is a very useful contribution. The downside of this book is that many people have assumed that it teaches you everything you need to know to do management process design, or to reengineer key processes. That, alas, is not true. If you find the subject of process design or reengineering to be of interest, I suggest that you first read James Champy's excellent book, REEENGINEERING MANAGEMENT. That book is a good template for how to make any beneficial change in an organization, including reengineering. Then, if you want to get fired up to make major changes, use REENGINEERING THE CORPORATION as a way to create passion about the subject for yourself. But do remember, you may not even have all the processes you need, so reengineering is not the only answer. For example, what is the management process that your company uses to improve its stock market valuation? If you are like most, you do not even have an effective process for stock price enhancement. So be sure to see if you have processes where they will do you the most good.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 26, 1997
Format: Paperback
"Reengineering the Corporation" was THE management book for the early to mid 90's. Many companies, including my own, adopted the Reengineering philosophy. The book implants basic management principles of process redesign. Specifically, the book encourages business leaders to examine their core processes (e.g. the order fulfillment process). Then, starting with a clean sheet of paper, the book encourages a redesign of those processes to their maximum efficiency. A critical theme throughout the book was employee ownership of processes.

In fairness to those that have been involved in process redesign, Hammer and Champy's book does not introduce new management concepts. Rather, it packages the process redesign concept very nicely.

The book is a very easy read, including many examples of companies that have successfully reenginered core processes.

I would recommend this book to two groups. If you are a manager unfamiliar with process redesign or Total Quality Management, I would recommend this book for you. If you are a student studying business, I would strongly recommend this book. As an MBA student, I have used quotes from this book on numerous occasions.

On a final note, James Champy does admit in a later publication, that reengineering has failed in many companies (Reengineering Management). But, the concepts are sound and the examples are moving.

Overall, it is a solid business tool.

Reviewed by Jay A. Goklani
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17 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Eric Kassan VINE VOICE on April 6, 2004
Format: Paperback
This book has some great ideas, particularly the idea to take a fresh look at processes. For any established process, it's likely that enough has changed since the process was born that the process is no longer the best way to get from the beginning to the result. This book is well written and easy to read and the examples are especially useful in illustrating the major benefits of reengineering.
Unfortunately, many of points are not as well-thought out. For example, the book advocates building teams around discrete processes but fails to realize that this just moves companies from horizontal silos to vertical silos. These vertical silos cause different but still serious problems. Also, the book mentions the critical role of Information Technology, but fails to realize that they can often lead reengineering efforts because if they have a solid knowledge of the business and new technologies they are in the best position to see the new possibilities. Another confusing area is that book indicates certain problems that should be overcome in an initial reengineering project such as functional departments and lack of understanding of reengineering continue to be problems for subsequent reengineerings.
Many of the questions that are not answered in this book are answered in John Case's "Open-Book Management". Open-Book Management and Reengineering have many things in common including empowered workers, performance measured by results, and coaching managers, but Open-Book management does a much better job of explaining what really drives these changes and how they can best be aligned.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 22, 1996
Format: Hardcover
This book is a must read for anyone from general managers to college students who are considering a business career. As a professional recruiter for Fortune 500 companies, I strongly recommend that you NOT come to the job search market today without proof of your skills in process reengineering on your resume. This book is an excellent start in developing an ability to look critically at your business
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Eric Johnson on July 16, 2004
Format: Paperback
According to Hammer and Champy, business process reengineering "is the fundamental rethinking and radical redesign of business processes to achieve dramatic improvements in critical, contemporary measures of performance, such as cost, quality, service, and speed" (p. 35). It is important that you do not confuse business process reengineering with other types of change management. It is not incremental change, down-sizing, total quality management, nor a "doing more with less" strategy. In business process reengineering, quantum changes are made to core processes, which results in far greater advances. Not only are the emerging business processes vastly different from what was previously in place, but the entire organization must change also. Employees, managers, core processes and business relationships will change in a reengineered company, and the change is significant.
The authors say this process-based approach will benefit three types of companies: 1) Those in deep trouble 2) Ones who are not yet in trouble but have the foresight to see future problems and 3) Those in peak condition but are looking to take a greater lead over their competition.
The authors present their case in a well-written manner and use frequent real world examples to great effect. I would like to see the authors use future printings to update the currency of their examples. They also need to examine the internet's role in reengineering. The few pages in the updated introduction are not adequate. The most recent printing does include an updated introduction where they remark on reengineering's successes and why it is still relevant today.
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