ASSESSMENT OF MANAGERS by Bernard M. & Philip C. Burger Bass


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This jargony, chart-choked survey of how executives from a dozen national settings respond to managerial challenge confirms the common skepticism toward such academic joint-enterprises. After investing over a decade (Flus sizable grants) in an examination of leadership skills in the U.S., Latin America, Europe, India, and Japan, the coauthors and their collaborators decide that ""Few generalizations. . . could be applied across all twelve national groupings."" And ""whether objective d ata. . . forecast managerial success can only be determined by an empirical study on a country-by-country basis."" Not exactly enlightening--and the padded text itself will tax the patience of readers with a less than consuming interest in the methodology employed. In many cases, moreover, the tabular and graphics material, intended to afford easy access to the authors' findings, comes off as a behavioral shopping list for social workers--and a laugh for the working exec (e.g., a one-page offering titled ""Attributions of Being Generous, Honest, and Fairminded for Lower, Middle, and Top Management, by Nationality and Rate of Advancement""). And not only are cultural insights lacking, the authors have recourse to stereotypes: the Japanese preoccupation with ""maintaining face,"" the Indians' ""concern for tales and dependence on higher authority,"" the Latin American weakness for executive-suite status symbols. A lengthy exercise of consequence only for the managerial-science trade.

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1979
Publisher: Free Press/Macmillan