Sumantra Ghoshal on Management – A Force for Good

Title: Sumantra Ghoshal on Management – A Force for Good
Authors: Sumantra Ghoshal and colleagues
Publisher: Pearson Education
Pages: 366
ISBN: 0-273-701-835
Price: £25
Reviewed by Bob Nicholl, HR manager, European operations, chemicals firm Schenectady International


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This book was compiled in honour of management guru Sumantra Ghoshal – one of the most innovative and influential thinkers of recent decades. It looks at his 20-year academic odyssey, and brings together some of his most influential work.

This book is as swift to suggest solutions as it is to challenge conventional management theory.

The 13 chapters cover many practical thoughts relevant to HR strategies. For example, ‘Managing across Borders’ recognises that the formulation of strategy is the easy part. The challenge lies in the development of an organisational infrastructure and a management capability to support the chosen strategy. And in one of his final papers, which is included in the chapter ‘Towards a good theory of management’, Sumantra argues that much of modern management theory has influenced practice for the worse. He is critical of the rise of what he calls ‘asshole management’, because it has formally absolved managers of all moral obligations.

This book effectively mixes different management philosophies and applies them to business realities. Although it isn’t always an easy read, it is enjoyable and thought-provoking.

Useful? 3 stars
Well-written? 5 stars
Practical? 4 stars
Inspirational? 6 stars
Overall? Thumbs Up

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