The Grey Chronicles


Revisiting 101 Greatest Ideas in Management: Lore & Insights

101 Greatest Ideas in  Management

This continues the post on Auren Uris’ 1986 book: 101 Greatest Ideas in Management reviewing management ideas on Lore and Insights.

The following are the management ideas on Lore and Insights that I found interesting in Uris’ book, such as:

Corporate Culture: Deal and Kennedy (1984) listed the key aspects of Corporate Culture as “business environment, values, heroes, rites and rituals, and the "secret" network.” The culture concept encourages the analysis of the inner core, the hidden corners of company policy and beliefs. It can also stimulate review and raise the possibility of beneficial restructuring and new directions.
Peters and Waterman (1982) observed that three factors indicate vital cultures that make for a successful company: Customer relations, spirit-rousing, and pride in company and product. They itemized further the eight attributes of successful companies, such as “1) A bias for action, 2) Good customer contact, 3) Autonomy and entrepreneurship, 4) Productivity through people, 5) Hands on, value driven, 6) Know your business, 7) Streamline, and 8) Balance between centralization and decentralization.”

Annotations : The pre-privatized NSC was big in Corporate Culture. It is this Corporate Culture that its latter owners are being compared to. Each of NSC employees were proud to be part of such a large organization because of its tradition, rites, corporate policies and beliefs.

Grapevine “ is an informal, spontaneous, somewhat erratic but also revealing system of communication that flourishes in organizations. Along with gossip and rumor, it is also the medium for information clandestinely gathered, or spread in advance of management’s own timetable.”

Annotations : Back to the oft-repeated axiom: "Knowledge is power." You could either ignore the grapevine or tap it. With the present dispensation at the former NSC grounds, it’s better to tap it, as information from the top seemed too long to get to the bottom through the ordinary and expected communication channels.

Machiavelli’s Power Principles: Buskird (1974) used Machiavelli’s The Prince and The Discourses, intended for princes, are essential reading for today’s top managers and their corporate domains. Buskird compared the renaissance prince to the modern corporate president: “The ways of the modern corporation, with its rivalries in the marketplace and its internal power struggles, would have been instantly familiar to Niccolo Machiavelli—the man who saw through all sanctimonious rhetoric and pretense to the basic struggle of life and the underlying motivations of men.”

Annotations : I have read both books, but I do love re-reading Machiavelli than Buskird, especially on the part regarding competition.

Productivity Quest: Productivity is defined as the measure of how efficiently goods and services are produced. In Michael LeBoeuf’s The Productivity Challenge (1982) he noted, “the rate of productivity growth has been slipping in the United States. What’s bad for America is bad for all of us.”

Annotations : The pursuit of productivity, urged by competition, pricing pressures, stockholder expectations of dividends, and survival, is management’s most preoccupying goal. In the pre-privatized NSC, productivity was subordinated to quality when it adopted a call:

The Winning Edge: David Wechsler (1952) wrote: “Human variability, when compared to that of other phenomena in nature is extremely limited. The differences which separate human beings from one another with respect to whatever trait or ability we may wish to compare, are far smaller than is ordinarily supposed.”

Annotations : A slight advantage is all one needed to win. Winning gives a victory, exploiting the victory gives the benefits. Look at those famous superstars: Michael Jordan and Nike, Paul Newman and his charities, Oprah Winfrey and her talk show!


Buskird, Richard H. (1974). Modern Management and Machiavelli. Paris: Cahners, 1974. back to text

Deal, Terrence & Kennedy, Allan (1984). Corporate Cultures. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley, 1984. back to text

LeBoeuf, Michael (1982). The Productivity Challenge. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1982. back to text

Machiavelli, Nicolo (1972). The Prince. New York: Pocket Books, 1972. back to text

Peters, Thomas J. & Waterman, Robert H. (1982). In Search of Excellence. New York: Harper & Row, 1982. back to text

Uris, Auren (1986). 101 Greatest Ideas in Management. New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1986. 310pp. back to text

Wechsler, David (1952). Range of Human Capacities. New York: Hafner, 1952. back to text

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