The Management Century: A Critical Review of 20th Century Thought and Practice (J-B BAH Strategy & Business Series) Hardcover – 22 Feb 2000
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The Management Century sounds like a book that originated at a brainstorming session to find new business titles suitable for the turn of the millennium. Certainly it is novel--a review of the emerging profession of management over the last 100 years. The author of this book is a respected business journalist and the editor of the Financial Times Handbook of Management, probably the most authoritative volume of its sort. As such he is adept at dealing with a wide canvass and he adroitly knits together the situation at the beginning of the century with the people, organizations and ideas (from theories to fads to proven good practice) that have populated the management stage over the years.
Chronologically presented, at first sight The Management Century may appear an unnecessary read for the busy manager but the author's interpretation of the theme (however the idea originated) proves enthralling. It makes for an interesting read and potentially stimulates useful thinking about management practice. The threads it draws out are brought up to date and the commentary ends by focusing on the challenges management face in the future--and how those challenges must be met.--Patrick Forsyth
"Stuart Crainer′s book is the most thoughtful, complete, and wonderful summary of the prevailing currents of 20th century management thought and practice. It is not only a rearview–mirror look but also portends where the next century may well take us. I await the new millennium with much more certainty than I did before reading this book." ––Warren Bennis, distinguished professor of business administration, Uni–versity of Southern California; author, On Becoming a Leader; co–author, Organizing GeniusSee all Product Description
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In his Preface, Crainer observes that "the historical and theoretical strands that go to make up management are many and varied. The great management thinkers are drawn from a bewildering variety of disciplines and professions." He then explains that his book "aims to gather together many of these gloriously varied strands and provide a concise and insightful guide to the major developments in thinking and practice during the twentieth century." Here in the proverbial "nutshell" is what this book is all about. Given the wealth of rock-solid content contained within a single-volume, presented with a crisp writing style, Crainer's is indeed a brilliant achievement. Here are the ten periods and some of the "great management thinkers and practicioners" discussed in each:
1900-1910: Stopwatch Science [eg Elihu Root, Henri Fayol, and Frederick Winslow Taylor]
1911-1920: Modern Times [eg Henry Ford, Frank & Lilian Gilbreth]
1921-1930: Discovering the Organization [eg Max Weber, Chester Barnard, Billy Durant, and Alfred Pritchard Sloan Jr.]
NOTE: Throughout the book, Crainer inserts his comments. For example: "Taylor discovered work. Ford discovered work on a massive scale. Sloan organized work. And no one discovered the people doing the work." That is, until the 1930s....
1931-1940: Discovering People [eg Mary Parker Follett, Bill Hewlett & David Packard]
1941-1950: Lessons in War [eg William S. Knudsen, Walter Shewhart, Akio Morita, Konosuke Matsushita]
NOTE: In 1950, Peter Drucker becomes professor of manager at New York University. "The first person anywhere in the world to have such a title and to teach such a subject," he later said.
1951-1960: Living the Dream [eg Ralph Cordiner, Thomas Watson, Sr. and Jr., Peter Drucker's The Practice of Management, Theodore Leavitt, Abraham Maslow, Frederick Herzberg, Douglas McGregor]
1961-1970: Understanding Strategy [eg Drucker, rediscovery of Sun Tzu and von Clausewitz, Alfred Chandler, Igor Ansoff, Henry Mintzberg, Harold Geneen, Robert Townsend]
1971-1980: Organized Paralysis [Alvin Toffler, Thomas J. Peters, Elliott Jaques, Reg Revans, E.F. Schumacher, Meredith Belbin]
1981-1990: An Excellent Adventure [Robert Hayes & Bill Abernathy, rediscovery of W. Edwards Deming, William Ouchi, Kenichi Ohmae, Joseph Juran, Michael Porter, Gary Hamel, Rosabeth Moss Kanter, Warren Bennis]
1991-2000: The New Balance of Power [eg Michael Hammer, Percy Barnevik, John Francis Welch Jr., Michael Dell,]
As indicated previously, in the final chapter Crainer provides his own analysis of "The State of Management." It is very well-done.
Obviously, this is more of an overview than a traditional book review. My purpose is to suggest the cope of the material covered, and, to suggest also how valuable I consider that coverage to be. I wish a higher rating were available.
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