What Management Is
, by former Harvard Business Review
editors Joan Magretta and Nan Stone, identifies management as the driving force behind key innovations of the past century and presents a jargon-free look at the way its core principles work. Designed to promote "managerial literacy" up and down the business food chain, as well as among those who simply "want better communities and a better world for our children," the book uses concrete examples to explain fundamental concepts and practices like value creation, the 80-20 rule, and decision analysis in a way that sheds light on them for the uninitiated while providing needed perspective for the more experienced. "Think of this book as everything you wanted to know about management but were afraid to ask," Magretta and Stone write. A comprehensive exploration of the overall process rather than a traditional how-to, in its first section What Management Is
examines why and how people work together; the second section shows how ideas are translated into action. With case studies ranging from Old Economy stalwarts like Ford to New Economy upstarts like Dell, along with pioneering nonprofits such as the Nature Conservancy and India's Aravind Eye Hospital, the authors explicitly lay out the basics along with a framework for employing them in a wide variety of situations. --Howard Rothman
From Publishers Weekly
Before they can treat patients, physicians must attend medical school. Before trying cases, attorneys need to pass the bar. But businessmen and managers can work without ever going to business school. It's no wonder they are often lost or unsure when it comes to fundamental management principles. Former management consultant Magretta, with Stone's help, provides these wanderers with a map. In simple, engaging prose, Magretta and Stone, contributor and editor-in-chief, respectively, of the Harvard Business Review, offer an explanation of what a manager does. They logically begin with a description of what's required to be a manager, then explain, generally, how to do it. Along the way, they draw on the lessons of management authorities from Michael E. Porter ("the essence of strategy is choosing what not to do") to Peter F. Drucker ("results are obtained by exploiting opportunities, not by solving problems"), and also quote more tangential gurus, such as Albert Einstein ("not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted"). The authors do not discuss specifically how to manage people, prepare a budget or deal with shareholders, but that's not their intent. Magretta and Stone set out to provide the overall framework for thinking about how to be a manager, and in that, they succeed. The book also has a useful appendix listing related readings.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.