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Barbarians to Bureaucrats: Corporate Life Cycle Strategies Paperback – January 14, 1990
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"Thought-provoking . . . . Anyone in a position to influence the direction of their company should make this book a No. 1 priority on his or her reading list." -- Atlanta Journal-Constitution
From the Inside Flap
Barbarians to Bureaucrats presents a brilliant new solution to a stubborn old business problem: how to halt a company's descent into wasteful, stifling bureaucracy. Lawrence M. Miller, a management consultant for such corporate giants as Xerox and 3M, argues that corporations, like civilizations, have a natural life cycle, and that by identifying the stage your company is in, and the leaders associated with it, you can avert decline and continue to thrive.
Every company begins with the compelling new vision of a Prophet and the aggressive leadership of an iron-willed Barbarian, who implements the Prophet's ideas. New techniques and expansions are pushed through by the Builder and the Explorer, but the growth spawned by these managers can easily stagnate when the Administrator sacrifices innovation to order, and the Bureaucrat imposes tight control. And just as in civilizations, the rule of the Aristocrat, out of touch with those who do the real work, invites rebellion -- from employees, customers, and stockholders. It will take the Synergist, a business leader who balances creativity with order, to restore vitality and insure future growth.
Executives from major corporations have already put the powerful insights of Barbarians to Bureaucrats into practice to regenerate their own companies. Now you can use this brilliant, lucid, and dazzlingly original book to put your company -- and your career -- back on track.
Top Customer Reviews
Well worth reading for anyone in middle management, and required understanding for top executives.
If I'd only been able to read just one book, I am glad I choose this one.
Another book which may help if you are trying to "fight city hall" is Stanley Milgram's Obedience to Authority.
This book sumarizes the multiple facets involved in such growth and allows the reader to compare the growth cycle of companies at varying stages. It's impact on people, org behavior, culture, awareness and other areas that the "garage shop" does not need to consider at early stages. It's a key read and assessment as companies find themselves in transition from a heavily entrepreneurial spirit to a more entrenched corporate being and notes many of the patterns such growth requires. Read between the lines and you may find companies who are currently faltering because of a lack of transition mindset to allow them to sustain managed growth or the new "size." Overall, it's a great academic read.
I really recommend the book, especially if you have spent a lot of time working in corporate America.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I've seen business and other organizations follow the stages outlined in this book. I read it in the 90's and its still every bit as relevant today as it was then.Published 19 months ago by Perry W Merritt
Ten years later I am re-reading Barbarians to Bureaucrats. The author makes a call to revitalization of corporations in decline by illuminating the management styles that... Read morePublished on January 12, 2014 by Amazon Customer
It provides good insight and examples of company transitions and the players involved. I most appreciated the portions that deal with working for or having the described... Read morePublished on May 10, 2013 by Mario L. Veneroso
I tried to follow the stories but had hard time generating any excitement, i did not finish it, would not have bought it but it wa recommended by billionaire author, buy something... Read morePublished on February 12, 2013 by Myloanking
Barbarians to Bureaucrats is the best book on organizational lifecycles I have ever read. It is easy to read, no technical jargon, and keeps the reader engaged. Read morePublished on January 14, 2013 by Glen B. Earl
This was a good textbook. The concepts in the book can be seen in any workplace in America. The explanation and examples of the different type of leadership styles really help me... Read morePublished on November 25, 2011 by Cheryl Johnson
I bought 50 copies of the book over time and gave it to my managers. A great management book.Published on March 27, 2011 by Peter
Loved the concept the author is attempting to illustrate. Has lots of applicability to individuals as well as organizations. Some examples, however, stretch credibility. Read morePublished on March 13, 2011 by Chris