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General Managers - John P. Kotter

Paperback Published: 26th May 1986
ISBN: 9780029182307
Number Of Pages: 240

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In this unprecedented study of America's leading executives, John Kotter shatters the popular management notion of the effective "generalist" manager who can step into any business or division and run it. Based on his first-hand observations of fifteen top GMs from nine major companies, Kotter persuasively shows that the best manager is actually a specialist who has spent most of his or her career in one industry, learning its intricacies and establishing cooperative working relationships. Acquiring the painstaking knowledge and large, informal networks vital to being a successful manager takes years; outsiders, no matter how talented or well-trained seldom can do as well, this in-depth profile reveals. Much more than a fascinating collective portrait of the day-to-day activities of today's top executives, "The General Managers" provides stimulating new insights into the nature of modern management and the tactics of its most accomplished practitioners.

Industry Reviews

The Washington Post ...must reading... Carol T. Schreiber General Electric Company Kotter's landmark portrayal of general managers at work offers new insights about actual managerial performance. He documents the importance of "growing up in a business" for career development and business competence...Most important, by identifying and depicting the most effective managers in his study, he documents the value of different approaches to management. His work represents a monumental contribution to all who educate, advise, select and evaluate general managers -- and to general managers themselves. Andrew Heiskell Former Chairman of the Board and CEO, Time, Inc. Excellent. Kotter is describing the real world of general managers rather than the theoretical portrait which rarely matches any business activity I've ever known. All business school students should read The General Managers. Rosemary Stewart Oxford Centre for Management Studies author of Managers and Their Jobs This is a path-breaking contribution to our knowledge of the work and behavior of general managers. Most importantly John Kotter analyzes the implications of the differences as well as the similarities in the behavior of general managers he studied. He destroys the myth of the professional manager who can be successful in any organization. The Washington Post Well-documented, powerful, thorough...valuable for aspiring managers...must reading for board members and owners of companies looking for leaders.

Preface to the Paperback Editionp. xi
Prefacep. xiii
Introductionp. 1
The Participants in the Studyp. 2
A Few Examples: Gaines, Thompson, and Richardsonp. 4
The Findings and Their Presentations: Some Initial Commentsp. 6
The Organization of the Bookp. 6
The Major Themesp. 7
The General Management Jobs: Key Challenges and Dilemmasp. 10
The Jobs, the Context and the Emergent Demandsp. 11
Challenges and Dilemmas Associated with the Responsibilitiesp. 12
Challenges and Dilemmas Associated with the Relationshipsp. 15
The Overall Demands: A Summaryp. 19
Differences in Job Demandsp. 22
Seven Different Kinds of GM Jobsp. 23
Different Business and Corporate Settings: The Impact of Size, Age, Performance Level, and Other Factorsp. 27
Summary and Discussionp. 30
The General Managers: Personal and Background Characteristicsp. 34
Common Personal Characteristicsp. 35
Basic Personalityp. 35
Knowledge and Relationshipsp. 39
Job-related Reasons for the Similaritiesp. 40
Common Background Characteristicsp. 44
Childhood Family Environmentp. 44
Educational and Career Experiencesp. 46
Possible Reasons for the Background Similaritiesp. 48
Differences in Personal and Background Characteristicsp. 51
Age-related Differencesp. 52
Job-related Reasons for Individual Differencesp. 53
Main Factors Creating Misfitsp. 56
Summary and Discussionp. 57
General Managers in Action: Part I--Similarities in Behaviorp. 59
The Approachp. 60
Agenda Settingp. 60
Network Buildingp. 67
Execution: Getting Networks to Implement Agendasp. 71
Underlying Reasons for the Basic Approachp. 76
Forces Behind the Agenda-setting Processp. 76
Forces Behind the Network-building Processp. 78
Forces Behind the Execution Processp. 78
Manifestations of This Approach in Daily Behaviorp. 79
The Twelve Visible Patterns in How They Use Their Timep. 79
A Specific Examplep. 81
Job-related Reasons for the Similaritiesp. 85
Patterns Directly Related to Their Approach to the Jobp. 85
The Efficiency of Seemingly Inefficient Behaviorp. 88
Summary and Discussionp. 92
General Managers in Action: Part II--Differences in Behaviorp. 95
The Basic Patternsp. 96
The Range of Differencesp. 96
Antecedentsp. 97
Tom Longp. 97
The Job and Its Contextp. 99
Tomp. 101
Tom's Approach to the Jobp. 103
Daily Behaviorp. 104
Richard Papolisp. 107
The Job and Its Contextp. 107
Richardp. 111
Richard's Approach to the Jobp. 112
Daily Behaviorp. 115
Long and Papolis: A Few Final Observationsp. 116
Differences in Behavior, Their Antecedents, and Performancep. 117
Summary and Discussionp. 119
Summary, Discussion, and Implications for Increasing GM Performancep. 121
Summaryp. 122
Job Demandsp. 122
The Personal Characteristics of Effective General Managersp. 124
Similarities in the Behavior of Effective General Managersp. 126
Differences in Behaviorp. 128
The Overall Findings: A Summary Commentp. 130
Implications for Corporate Selection, Development, and Staffing Practicesp. 131
Finding GMs: Insiders or Outsidersp. 134
Developing GMsp. 135
Designing and/or Selecting Training Programsp. 137
Matching People and Jobsp. 138
Implications for Managing General Managersp. 139
Helping New GMs Get Up to Speedp. 139
The Role of Formal Planning and Performance Appraisalp. 140
Allowing Appropriate Differencesp. 141
Minimizing the "I Can Do Anything" Syndromep. 142
Implications for Formal Educationp. 143
Admissionsp. 143
The Curriculump. 144
Career Managementp. 145
Broadening Perspectivesp. 146
Implications for Management Theory and Researchp. 147
Key Implications for Managerial Behavior Theoryp. 147
Key Implications for Research Topicsp. 149
Key Methodological Implicationsp. 150
The Studyp. 155
The Process of Inquiryp. 156
An Example of the Methodology in Actionp. 157
The Process in Retrospect: A Few Reflectionsp. 160
Interview Guidesp. 163
For Associates of the GMsp. 163
For the General Managersp. 163
Questionnairesp. 165
The Strong-Campbellp. 165
The Occupational Scalesp. 166
Other Scalesp. 167
The Background Questionnairep. 167
Resumes for the General Managersp. 175
Gerald Allenp. 177
Bob Andersonp. 178
John Cohenp. 179
Dan Donahuep. 180
Frank Fironop. 181
Terry Franklinp. 182
Chuck Gainesp. 183
Paul Jacksonp. 184
Tom Longp. 185
Jack Martinp. 186
Richard Papolisp. 187
Richard Poullinp. 188
Michael Richardsonp. 189
B.J. Sparksmanp. 190
John Thompsonp. 191
Appraising GM Performancep. 192
The Method Employedp. 192
The Ratingp. 193
Notesp. 195
Bibliographyp. 207
Indexp. 215
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780029182307
ISBN-10: 0029182301
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 240
Published: 26th May 1986
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.5 x 15.2  x 1.8
Weight (kg): 0.37

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