Summary of What Management Is

How It Works And Why It's Everyone's Business

Free Press,
First Edition: 2002 more...

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What Management Is book summary
Management is not supervising; it is inspiring people to manage themselves in pursuit of a mutual, meaningful purpose.


8 Overall

8 Applicability

7 Innovation

9 Style


Those who say, “Good grief, not another book on management,” may rest assured that this volume is worth careful study. Author Joan Magretta and collaborator Nan Stone offer advice based on decades of business experience and, yet, they distill the obnoxious “consultant-speak” so common to the field to clearly understandable, conversational terms. While at times they may seem to have a firm grasp on the obvious – investments are risky and managers need to make good choices – their work is fundamentally sound, offering practical case studies and real-world examples. This book takes common business concepts such as the “80-20 Rule,” shines an insightful light on them and then advances into more complex ground. getAbstract recommends this broad perspective on the growing social importance of effective management.

In this summary, you will learn

  • Why value creation is the core mission of management;
  • Why integrity is the most important quality in employees; and
  • How to inspire your workforce with a common sense of shared values.


A Misunderstood Profession
Management guru Peter F. Drucker once observed that business often appears to be “a seemingly mindless game of chance at which any donkey could win provided that he be ruthless.” Those who have made a career of management would contend that there’s a little more...
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About the Authors

Joan Magretta is a senior associate at the Institute for Strategy and Competitiveness at Harvard Business School. She was a Bain partner and strategy editor of Harvard Business Review. Nan Stone spent 15 years as editor and five years as editor-in-chief of the Harvard Business Review. She is currently a partner at the Bridgespan Group.

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