by: Tim Hindle
The Economist in association with Profile Books Ltd.
Reviewed by: Michael LoBue
This is more of a readable reference book than a guidebook, containing 105 major management ideas, theories, fads and influential organziations in the 20th century. And that’s just Part 1. Part 2 is an equally concise and rich profile of the leading management “gurus” of the same era — 56 in all!
This is not the type of book that you’d want to read for an extended period of time. I found that I could handle only a few “ideas” at a time because each description is self-contained and dodn’t necessarily connect with each of the other descriptions. Each description is written in a classic Economist’s style: Concise, powerful structure and packed full of useful information! Hindle follows his formula well; two pages for each idea and for each guru! (unclear-two pages for each guru and two for each idea? Or two pages total for both?)
For example, if one has wondered about Six Sigma, the author tells us that it grew out of the work of Joseph Juran (then provides the pages this “guru” is featured in Part 2. This structure illustratesthe simple essence of the idea- how it was originally applied, and how it might be applied today. Each description contains a list of further reading on the topic.
Maybe it is a “guide” after all? A “guide” or a “reference” matters not. Whether management is your interest or profession, this book belongs on your bookshelf and will be dog-eared soon after it arrives.