Management? It's Not What You Think!

 Management? It's Not What You Think!

Authors: Henry Mintzberg, Bruce Ahlstrand, Joseph Lampel
Pub Date: September 2010
Print Edition: $22.00
Print ISBN: 9780814416846
Page Count: 192
Format: Hardback

Buy the book:

Buy the book thru Barnes and Noble. Buy the book thru AMAZON. Buy the book thru indiebound. See other vendors.

An Unconventional, Provocative Management Book from One of the World’s Top Ten Most Influential Business Thinkers

Management. To most businesspeople, the word is about thinking systematically, taking charge, driving change, and making rational decisions. In the mind of Henry Mintzberg, the esteemed McGill University scholar ranked by the Wall Street Journal as one of the world’s top ten most influential business thinkers, management—real management—is “much more messy than it appears in the clean and tidy theory.”

In MANAGEMENT? It’s Not What You Think! (AMACOM 2010) Mintzberg (Cleghorn Professor of Management Studies at McGill University in Montreal) collaborates with business thinkers Bruce Ahlstrand (professor of management at Trent University in Ontario) and Joseph Lampel (professor of strategy at Cass Business School, City University London). Their book invites and incites managers to open their minds to a diversity of perspectives on the fascinating business of management. Unconventional, provocative, and exceptionally sensible, the book is a collection of articles, commentaries, poems, blog bits, rants, and more, all aimed at getting readers, to quote the authors, “to think about the art and craft of managing—the seeing and the feeling and the doing, beyond the thinking and the analyzing and the planning.”

Often irreverent but always relevant, MANAGEMENT? It’s Not What You Think!:provides a “realistic” take on managing, while debunking the “rational” view of management constructed by MBA programs and popular management journals. For ease of digestion, the authors cluster the eclectic selections into eight chapters:

• Management Mosaic breaks the ice by un-freezing conventional thinking about what successful managers are supposed to be—over-seer, administrator, superintendent, conductor, and potentate, for starters—and the magic they’re supposed to work.

• Management of Meaning reflects on how words are used and misused to represent the practice of managing…and sorts through the glut of jargon managers rely on for a sense of belonging, validation, and assurance that they know what they are doing.

• Misleading Management brings leadership down to earth and raises questions about why great managers must naturally evolve into great leaders. What if the search for leadership winds up leading to more problems? Mintzberg makes a plea for more “communityship.”

• Myths of Managing exposes the truth about fads, clichés, metaphors, and more. Pieces advocate outsourcing the outsourcers, delayering the delayers, and taking a firm jab at hard data’s soft underbelly.

• Maxims of Managing challenges many of management’s most popular axiom’s—about incentive pay, layoffs, mergers, and work-life balance—and shares a few pointers on how to pull off foisting maxims on everyone else.

• Masters of Managing? (yes, it’s a pointed question) takes a close, hard look at “management education,” with a list of rather worrying impressions left by an exemplary MBA program and the real-world performance of some of Harvard’s best.

• Metamorphosing Management calls for a sweeping change of mind-sets about change, featuring compelling arguments for placing a strategic priority on patterns and against even trying to manage change.

• Managing Modestly, which closes the book on how to carry all this positively forward, suggests various ways for managing more thoughtfully, more sensitively, more quietly, more humbly, and so much more effectively.

Filled with insights, observations, and arguments to enlighten, engage, and maybe even outrage, MANAGEMENT? It’s Not What You Think! makes a bold and “Dilbert” like critique of modern management to get managers and business leaders (and anyone who aspires to join their ranks) thinking again—and then seeing, feeling, and doing management as they’ve never done before.


Henry Mintzberg, internationally recognized business thought leader, is Cleghorn Professor of Management Studies at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. Throughout his 40-plus year academic career, he has published at least 150 articles and 15 books, from his 1973 landmark The Nature of Managerial Work to the more recent Managers not MBAs (2004), Tracking Strategies (2007), and Managing (2009). He earned his PhD from MIT in 1968 and has won awards from the most prestigious academic and practitioner institutions in management. He lives in Montreal but spends several months each year in Europe.(

Bruce Ahlstrand is a Professor of Management at Trent University in Ontario, Canada, and the author of The Quest for Productivity. He has a Doctorate in Philosophy from Oxford University and a Masters of Science degree from the London School of Economics. He lives in Toronto.

Joseph Lampel is Professor of Strategy at Cass Business School, City University London. He is co-author of The Business of Culture, Strategic Perspectives on Entertainment and Media, and is the Director of the Centre on Film, Media and Entertainment Research at Cass University. He lives in London, England.

Search the full text of this book


Order Now!

For single copy purchases of any AMACOM title, you can connect directly to the online retailer of your choice, from the list below, to buy the title you have selected. Most of our links will take you directly to that title on the site, making your shopping experience easier. You can also visit your local retailer, and if the book is not on their shelves they can special order it for you.

Retailers: Please contact us to change or add a listing.

Buying in Bulk?

We have very competitive discounts starting at 5 copies, as well as personal service, for bulk orders. Simply contact our Special Sales Department. Call 800-250-5308 or 212-903-8420 and ask for Special Sales. You can also email: