“Management is the discipline that makes joint performance possible.” So say Joan Magretta and Nan Stone, contributors and former editors of the Harvard Business Review, as they instruct us in the business of management, which is to build organizations that work. This book offers powerful ideas and presents them concretely through stories about real people and organizations. For beginners in the realm of management as well as experienced readers, What Management Is: How It Works and Why It’s Everyone’s Business covers such topics as value creation, business models, competitive strategy, the 80/20 rule, performance metrics, and decision analysis.

Part one defines the conceptual core of management, and part two addresses execution, which requires discipline and judgment. Questions management must ask itself to stay on track include, Is there clarity of purpose and has this purpose been effectively conveyed to everyone in the organization? has management articulated its theory of how the organization will accomplish its purpose? and will management deliver the results it has promised? This basic book on management is instructive for today’s challenging business environment.

Mary Whaley reviews books for Booklist, from which this review is reprinted with permission.

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