Managing by Henry Mintzberg

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One of our most distinguished scholars offers a bold new view of the theory and practice of effective management
Named one of the best management books of 2009 by strategy+business magazine, the Toronto Globe, and Mail and Library Journal
Winner of the Axiom gold medal in the leadership category

A half century ago Peter Drucker put management on the map. Leadership has since pushed it off. But “instead of distinguishing managers from leaders,” Henry Mintzberg writes, “we should be seeing managers as leaders, and leadership as management practiced well.” Mintzberg aims to restore management to its proper place: front and center.

To gain an accurate picture of management as practiced rather than management as preached, Mintzberg watched twenty-nine different managers work a typical day. They came from business, government, and nonprofits, from all sorts of industries, including banking, policing, filmmaking, aircraft production, retailing, and health care, and worked in diverse settings ranging from a refugee camp to a symphony orchestra. These observations form the empirical basis for this book.

Mintzberg shows that in the real world managers cannot be the reflective, systematic planners idealized in most management books—realities like the unrelenting pace, the frequent interruptions, and the dizzying variety of activity make that impossible. Recognizing this, he outlines a new model of management: not a list of tasks but a dynamic process in which managers accomplish their purpose working through information, through people, and, more rarely, through direct action. Mintzberg describes the various roles managers adopt to function on these three planes, emphasizing that they must work on all of three simultaneously, determining the balance best suited to their specific, unique situation. Which is why management, Mitzberg insists, is not a profession—“it is a practice” he writes, “learned primarily through experience, and rooted in context.”

Having established the nature of modern management, Mintzberg looks at the varieties of managing experience. He identifies twelve factors that influence managing, highlighting the ones that are truly important (not necessarily the ones you’d think) and offers an illuminating typology of different approaches to management—what he calls postures of managing. He provides insightful ways of dealing with some of the most vexing conundrums managers face, and ultimately pulls everything together to offer a comprehensive picture of true managerial effectiveness—an approach he calls “engaged management.”

This book is vintage Mintzberg: provocative, irreverent, carefully researched, myth-busting. It is the most authoritative and revealing book yet written about what managers do, how they do it, and how they can have the greatest impact.

About Henry Mintzberg

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Henry Mintzberg is Cleghorn Professor of Management Studies at McGill University in Montreal and the winner of awards from the most prestigious academic and practitioner institutions in management, including Harvard Business Review, Academy of Management, Association of Management Consulting Firms, and others.
Published September 1, 2009 by Berrett-Koehler Publishers. 288 pages
Genres: Business & Economics. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Managing

The Bookbag

Yes Pages: 320 Date: September 2009 Publisher: Financial Times ISBN: 978-0273709305 Study after study has shown that managers work at an unrelenting pace How true, though it always makes me wonder why, as a result, there's such a market for bulky management and leadership and ge...

Nov 15 2012 | Read Full Review of Managing

Management Today

Then, echoing the truths of Managerial Work, Mintzberg calls his cast of characters on stage to tell the truth about their tangled work lives.

Oct 01 2009 | Read Full Review of Managing

Ford Literary Blog

Managing is “one damn thing after another.” According to Mintzberg, the practice of management cannot be taught.

Jul 23 2010 | Read Full Review of Managing

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