THE IACOCCA MANAGEMENT TECHNIQUE: A Profile of the Chrysler Chairman's Unique Key to Business Success by Maynard M. Gordon

THE IACOCCA MANAGEMENT TECHNIQUE: A Profile of the Chrysler Chairman's Unique Key to Business Success

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Iacocca redux--in a sketchy format that sheds precious little light on the management style, much less substance, of Detroit's most celebrated executive. Gordon, a journalist who has reported on the auto industry for over 40 years, offers a cursory, largely uncritical reprise of Iacocca's rise (to the presidency of Ford), fall (dismissal by Henry II), and rise (as savior of the moribound Chrysler). Interspersed is a running account of the many woes--e.g., inadequate financial controls, overly decentralized operations, burdensome labor contracts that brought Chrysler to nearly terminal grief. Seldom, though, does Gordon probe means rather than ends; among the exceptions is an inconclusive examination of Iacocca's penchant for subjecting subordinates to rigorous quarterly reviews. Mainly, the text focuses dramatic outcomes like obtaining concessions from the UAW and loan guarantees from the federal government as well as such less obvious triumphs as making more parts interchangeable among product lines. Iacocca emerges from Gordon's narrative as an egocentric evangelist who prevailed under difficult circumstances by sheer force of personality. The author makes clear that his powers of persuasion played an important role in recruiting the executive talent which eventually brought Chrysler back from the brink of bankruptcy. But just how effective Iacocca's one-man-band brand of leadership would prove in the absence of crisis conditions remains a very open question. In brief, then, a bare-bones account of a remarkable career that others (including Iacocca in his best-selling autobiography) have covered in greater depth and with more insight.

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 1985
Publisher: Dodd, Mead