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What Were They Thinking?: Unconventional Wisdom About Management Hardcover – 1 Jun 2007

4.5 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 241 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press (1 Jun. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1422103129
  • ISBN-13: 978-1422103128
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.9 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,030,415 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description


Every day companies and their leaders fail to capitalise on opportunities because they misunderstand the real sources of business success. Based on his popular column in "Business 2.0", Jeffrey Pfeffer delivers wise and timely business commentary that challenges conventional wisdom while providing data and insights to help companies make smarter decisions. The book contains a series of short chapters filled with examples, data, and insights that challenge questionable assumptions and much conventional management wisdom. Each chapter also provides guidelines about how to think more deeply and intelligently about critical management issues. Covering topics ranging from managing people to leadership to measurement and strategy, it's good organisational advice, delivered by Dr. Pfeffer himself.

From the Publisher

"Jeffrey Pfeffer has a rare combination of academic rigor and
practical genius. Grounded in research, a revered pioneer in his field -
yet dedicated to helping leaders lead - he stands as one of the sparkling
gems in the field of management."

--Jim Collins, Author, Good to Great, and Co-Author, Built to Last

"I work with real executives every day. An executive is seldom a God,
Devil, Genius or Idiot; an executive, like the rest of us, is a human
being. What Were They Thinking clearly explains why executives make human
mistakes and how these common mistakes can be avoided. You may well think
of your own mistakes and answer the question, `What was I thinking?'"

--Marshall Goldsmith, Executive coach and Author, What Got You Here Won't
Get You There

"A wise book of penetrating intellect wrapped in readable prose that every
student, practitioner, and even expert in business must read. If they
don't, it is their grand omission."

--Jack Valenti, Former President, Motion Picture Association of America

"Jeffrey Pfeffer is one of the leading organizational behavior scholars of
our time. What Were They Thinking provides an accessible and insightful
integration of theory and pragmatism developed through the thoughtful lens
that only Jeff could provide. You will consume this book like a good
Chinese dinner--pick what you want to eat from a rich menu, and expect to
be hungry for more in a few hours.

--Gary Loveman, Chairman, President and CEO, Harrah's Entertainment Inc.

"I can think of no scholar who has done more than Jeffrey Pfeffer to
document how much a company's success depends on how well that company
leverages the strength of its human resources. In What Were They Thinking,
Pfeffer provides numerous examples of the companies that get it wrong and
the companies that get it right. The result is a theoretically-grounded,
practical guide for managers on how they can get the most from their

-- Joel M. Podolny, Dean and William S. Beinecke Professor of Management,
Yale School of Management

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Customer reviews

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Top customer reviews

7 August 2007
Format: Hardcover
7 people found this helpful
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9 May 2009
Format: Hardcover
One person found this helpful
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9 July 2007
Format: Hardcover
6 people found this helpful
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Most helpful customer reviews on 3.9 out of 5 stars 19 reviews
John W. Pearson
5.0 out of 5 starsRoad Warrior Points and Family Gifts
29 July 2007 - Published on
Format: Hardcover|Verified Purchase
7 people found this helpful.
5.0 out of 5 starsOne Of The Best I've Read
1 August 2011 - Published on
Format: Hardcover|Verified Purchase
3.0 out of 5 starsMedicine for the not-ill and for those looking to become stronger
7 February 2015 - Published on
Verified Purchase
Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 starsNot the right book for me
6 December 2016 - Published on
Verified Purchase
One person found this helpful.
Coert Visser
5.0 out of 5 starsChallenge your beliefs on management and organization
9 July 2007 - Published on
Format: Hardcover|Verified Purchase
25 people found this helpful.

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