The General Managers

The General Managers

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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.

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Product details

  • Paperback | 240 pages
  • 154 x 226 x 18mm | 358.34g
  • SIMON & SCHUSTER
  • The Free Press
  • New York, NY, United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 0029182301
  • 9780029182307
  • 522,433

Review quote

Rosemary StewartOxford 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.

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Back cover copy

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 of 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.

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About John P. Kotter

John P. Kotter is Chairman of the Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management Area at the Harvard Business School. The winner of two McKinsey Awards from the "Harvard Business Review, " he is the author of six books, including "Power and Influence" (also published by The Free Press).

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Table of contents

ContentsPreface to the Paperback EditionPreface1. INTRODUCTIONThe Participants in the StudyA Few Examples: Gaines, Thompson, and RichardsonThe Findings and Their Presentations: Some Initial CommentsThe Organization of the BookThe Major Themes2. THE GENERAL MANAGEMENT JOBS: KEY CHALLENGES AND DILEMMASThe Jobs, the Context and the Emergent DemandsJob Demands I: Challenges and Dilemmas Associated with the ResponsibilitiesJob Demands II: Challenges and Dilemmas Associated with the RelationshipsThe Overall Demands: A SummaryDifferences in Job DemandsSeven Different Kinds of GM JobsDifferent Business and Corporate Settings: The Impact of Size, Age, Performance Level, and Other FactorsSummary and Discussion3. THE GENERAL MANAGERS: PERSONAL AND BACKGROUND CHARACTERISTICSCommon Personal CharacteristicsBasic PersonalityKnowledge and RelationshipsJob-related Reasons for the SimilaritiesCommon Background CharacteristicsChildhood Family EnvironmentEducational and Career ExperiencesPossible Reasons for the Background SimilaritiesDifferences in Personal and Background CharacteristicsAge-related DifferencesJob-related Reasons for Individual DifferencesMain Factors Creating MisfitsSummary and Discussion4. GENERAL MANAGERS IN ACTION: PART I -- SIMILARITIES IN BEHAVIORThe ApproachAgenda SettingNetwork BuildingExecution: Getting Networks to Implement AgendasUnderlying Reasons for the Basic ApproachForces Behind the Agenda-setting ProcessForces Behind the Network-building ProcessForces Behind the Execution ProcessManifestations of This Approach in Daily BehaviorThe Twelve Visible Patterns in How They Use Their TimeA Specific ExampleJob-related Reasons for the SimilaritiesPatterns Directly Related to Their Approach to the JobThe Efficiency of Seemingly Inefficient BehaviorSummary and Discussion5. GENERAL MANAGERS IN ACTION: PART II -- DIFFERENCES IN BEHAVIORThe Basic PatternsThe Range of DifferencesAntecedentsTom LongThe Job and Its ContextTomTom's Approach to the JobDaily BehaviorRichard PapolisThe Job and Its ContextRichardRichard's Approach to the JobDaily BehaviorLong and Papolis: A Few Final ObservationsDifferences in Behavior, Their Antecedents, and PerformanceSummary and Discussionf0 6. SUMMARY, DISCUSSION, AND IMPLICATIONS FOR INCREASING GM PERFORMANCESummaryJob DemandsThe Personal Characteristics of Effective General ManagersSimilarities in the Behavior of Effective General ManagersDifferences in BehaviorThe Overall Findings: A Summary CommentImplications for Corporate Selection, Development, and Staffing PracticesFinding GMs: Insiders or OutsidersDeveloping GMsDesigning and/or Selecting Training ProgramsMatching People and JobsImplications for Managing General ManagersHelping New GMs Get Up to SpeedThe Role of Formal Planning and Performance AppraisalAllowing Appropriate DifferencesMinimizing the "I Can Do Anything" SyndromeImplications for Formal EducationAdmissionsThe CurriculumCareer ManagementBroadening PerspectivesImplications for Management Theory and ResearchKey Implications for Managerial Behavior TheoryKey Implications for Research TopicsKey Methodological ImplicationsAPPENDIX A THE STUDYThe Process of InquiryAn Example of the Methodology in ActionThe Process in Retrospect: A Few ReflectionsAPPENDIX B INTERVIEW GUIDESFor Associates of the GMsFor the General ManagersAPPENDIX C QUESTIONNAIRESThe Strong-CampbellThe Occupational ScalesOther ScalesThe Background QuestionnaireAPPENDIX D RÉSUMÉS FOR THE GENERAL MANAGERSGerald AllenBob AndersonJohn CohenDan DonahueFrank FironoTerry FranklinChuck GainesPaul JacksonTom LongJack MartinRichard PapolisRichard PoullinMichael RichardsonB.J. SparksmanJohn ThompsonAPPENDIX E APPRAISING GM PERFORMANCEThe Method EmployedThe RatingNotesBibliographyIndex

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