An impressive history of quality management with questionable practical applications.



An analytical study of modern quality management that includes a comprehensive history of its practice.

According to conventional wisdom, a rapidly shifting technological and commercial cosmos demands a radical new interpretation of fundamental business principles. Author Goski makes the argument that the new global landscape requires “total quality management,” which is a holistic strategy that focuses not only on the product, or even the process that created it, but a company’s entire organization and its culture, including the needs of customers and stakeholders. Bottom-line profitability is no longer considered the endgame. Instead, the overall values of the company are paramount, an approach that necessitates an emphasis on growth and ceaseless learning and improvement. The author emphasizes a broadened management horizon that prioritizes intangible goods like reputation, goodwill, and social capital as principal components of a sustainable approach. Goski marshals a bevy of data-driven studies to substantiate her claims, but the most impressive part of the book is its appraisal of Africa’s economic woes. On this score, she departs from the reigning interpretations and ascribes the continent’s perennial torpor to its “symbolic culture,” which, she says, has stymied innovation, entrepreneurialism, and the emergence of effective leadership. The author provides a remarkably thorough history of quality management, scrupulously researched. However, the book threatens to lose the reader with interminable accounts of academic disputes over theories that seem barely distinguishable. Goski endorses PISLAI (plan-implement-study-learn-adjust-improve) over PDSA (plan-doing-studying-acting). Also, the employment of bloodless academic language sometimes masks what seem to be banal observations. For example: “Bearing in mind that what is known is limited by the unknowable and the unknown, managers should rely on learning rather than knowledge. Effective management requires a shift from sole reliance on traditional management approaches to management by learning.” In other words, no one is omniscient, so everyone should be open-minded. This work is better understood as an expert review of the literature on quality management than a practical guidebook—it’s not clear that the conclusions finally offered will be all that useful to a manager in the field.

An impressive history of quality management with questionable practical applications.

Pub Date: Nov. 19, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-5246-4326-3

Page Count: -

Publisher: AuthorHouse

Review Posted Online: Jan. 10, 2017

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Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)

Pub Date: May 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-19-508629-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1995

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Necessarily swift and adumbrative as well as inclusive, focused, and graceful.


A light-speed tour of (mostly) Western poetry, from the 4,000-year-old Gilgamesh to the work of Australian poet Les Murray, who died in 2019.

In the latest entry in the publisher’s Little Histories series, Carey, an emeritus professor at Oxford whose books include What Good Are the Arts? and The Unexpected Professor: An Oxford Life in Books, offers a quick definition of poetry—“relates to language as music relates to noise. It is language made special”—before diving in to poetry’s vast history. In most chapters, the author deals with only a few writers, but as the narrative progresses, he finds himself forced to deal with far more than a handful. In his chapter on 20th-century political poets, for example, he talks about 14 writers in seven pages. Carey displays a determination to inform us about who the best poets were—and what their best poems were. The word “greatest” appears continually; Chaucer was “the greatest medieval English poet,” and Langston Hughes was “the greatest male poet” of the Harlem Renaissance. For readers who need a refresher—or suggestions for the nightstand—Carey provides the best-known names and the most celebrated poems, including Paradise Lost (about which the author has written extensively), “Kubla Khan,” “Ozymandias,” “The Charge of the Light Brigade,” Wordsworth and Coleridge’s Lyrical Ballads, which “changed the course of English poetry.” Carey explains some poetic technique (Hopkins’ “sprung rhythm”) and pauses occasionally to provide autobiographical tidbits—e.g., John Masefield, who wrote the famous “Sea Fever,” “hated the sea.” We learn, as well, about the sexuality of some poets (Auden was bisexual), and, especially later on, Carey discusses the demons that drove some of them, Robert Lowell and Sylvia Plath among them. Refreshingly, he includes many women in the volume—all the way back to Sappho—and has especially kind words for Marianne Moore and Elizabeth Bishop, who share a chapter.

Necessarily swift and adumbrative as well as inclusive, focused, and graceful.

Pub Date: April 21, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-300-23222-6

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Yale Univ.

Review Posted Online: Feb. 9, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2020

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