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18 Management Classics you should Read

1. Peter Drucker’s The Effective Executive (Harper and Row, 1966) The “dean” of management writers dissects and analyzes the qualities of effective and efficient managers.

2. Henry Mintzberg’s The Nature of Managerial Work (Harper and Row, 1973) Based on observations of real managers doing real work, Mintzberg discusses the frenetic, often chaotic, nature of managerial role and responsibilities.

3. Tom Wolfe’s The Right Stuff (Bantam, 1980) This case study of the recruitment, selection, and training of the first NASA astronauts provides an illuminating analysis of teamwork, talent and performance.

4. Thomas Peters and Robert Waterman’s In Search of Excellence (Harper and Row, 1982) This book’s eight criteria for excellent companies spawned a movement towards excellent and is as applicable today as when it first appeared.

5. Douglas McGregor’s The Human Side of Enterprise (McGraw-Hill, 1960) One of the classics of the human relations movement. Discusses the importance of values and needs as determinates of productivity and morale.

6. William Ouch’s Theory Z: How American Business Can Meet the Japanese Challenge (Addison-Wesley, 1981) Compare American and Japanese management styles and proposed theory Z as a hybrid of the two to solve contemporary management problems.

7. Herbert Simon’s Administrative Behavior (Free Press, 1957) The Nobel laureate in economics introduces the concept of “satisficing”- meaning that managers are always negotiating for the best solution given the constraints of the situation.

8. Carl Roger’s On Becoming Person (Houghton Mifflin, 1961) Often cited as a classic in the field of human resource development.

9. Frederick Herzberg’z “One More Time: How Do You Motivate Employees?” (Harvard Business Review, Jan-Feb., 1968, p. 53-62) Herzberg believes that motivation derives from the nature of the work itself, not from rewards and fringe benefits.

10. Michael Porter’s Competitive Advantage: Techniques for Analyzing Industries and Competitors (Free Press, 1980.) A seminal work on the nature of competitive advantage and competitive strategy.

11. Terence Deal and Allan Kennedy’s Corporate Cultures: The rites and Rituals of Corporate Life (Addison-Wesley, 1982) This book made corporate culture a buzzword.

12. Warren Bennis and Burt Nanus’s Leadership: Strategies for Taking Charge (Harper and Row, 1985) Insightful analysis of the qualities and characteristics of effective leaders.

13. Roger Von Oech’s A Whack on the side of the Head (Warner Books 1984) This fun book is a creativity seminar unto itself. After you read this book you’ll see decision making in a new light.

14. Roger Fisher and William Ury’s Getting to Yes (Penguin Press, 1981) The most frequently cited book on how to incorporate “win-win negotiations.

15. W. Edwards Deming’s out of the Crisis (MIT Press, 1986) A gospel for those interested in implementing total quality management and statistical process control.

16. Anthony Jay’s Management and Machiavelli (Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1967) Power, influence and authority are the essence of management.

17. Kenneth Blanchard and Spencer Johnson’s The One Minute Manager (Morrow, 1981) Takes complex ideas and discusses them simply and entertainingly.

18. Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People (1936) Carnegie’s timeless message was how to communicate effectively with other people, motivate them to achieve, and discover the leader inside yourself.

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