MAC"": Conversations About Management by Elliott Carlisle

MAC"": Conversations About Management

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Business management prof Carlisle (Univ. of Massachusetts) has a claim to some fame as the author of the dialogue, ""MacGregor,"" that allegedly inspired The One-Minute Manager. These six new ""conversations,"" however, score only one clean hit--though the scenario as a whole may have some appeal: the CEO of a smallish Toledo manufacturer, en route to (and from) Frankfurt, meets up with five assorted management types, each of whom holds forth on some managerial problem or US-business issue. The one with practical advice for the narrator/hero is first-met refinery boss MacCallum, who spells out the folly of managers' busying themselves with technical work--better left to subordinates--and neglecting administration and planning. (Why do they do it? Partly because that's how they succeeded, partly to prove they haven't lost their touch--and partly for lack of knowing what a manager should do.) The second-met, however, garrulous big-time consultant MacCormick (a Britisher), opines that what's wrong-with-American-business is ""preoccupation with short-term financial results and ratios"" (hardly a new or novel idea); the third, Canadian manufacturer MacIntosh, discourses on his ""disappointments"" with business consultants (and draws the narrator into a discussion of the pros and cons of professor-consultants); the fourth, female recruitment-administrator MacGuffy, voices her reservations about MBAs and B-schools (the much-rapped ""theory emphasis""). Something is made, too, of her being a woman. But the ""character"" of the piece is retired Scottish distiller MacDuff, proud guardian of an ancient Rolls, who plugs quality and integrity (if capitalism is to survive). ""MacCallum"" apart, the ""conversations"" are mere staging-grounds for the author's opinions--placed, curiously, in the mouths of foreigners and a woman.

Pub Date: Aug. 22nd, 1983
Publisher: McGraw-Hill