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Sumantra Ghoshal on Management

Sumantra Ghoshal on Management

A Force for Good

Julian Birkinshaw, Gita Piramal

Apr 2005, Paperback, 400 pages
ISBN13: 9780273701835
ISBN10: 0273701835
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Sumantra Ghoshal on Management represents Ghoshal’s twenty-year intellectual odyssey to challenge the underpinnings of management thought; to expose, rework and replace the foundation stones of management thinking. Exploring his key ideas, and reflecting his genius for collaboration along the way, this book shows how he had become a force for good in the world of management.

"This book celebrates a great mind, a great spirit, and a dear friend." Henry Mintzberg

“Ghoshal, a management guru, was not just a man of boundless energy and inventiveness; he also married the theoretical and the pragmatic in a way that is rare in the world of management literature.” The Economist

“Sumantra Ghoshal was a brilliant and original thinker in a field which needs more of them. He used his intellect to understand organisations and to help managers to make them better places to work and greater forces for good” The Guardian

The death of Sumantra Ghoshal in 2004 denied management thinking of one of its most innovative and influential thinkers.

As much as the quality of his ideas, it was Sumantra Ghoshal’s approach to research that marked him out as exceptional. He was a rare combination of idealist, contrarian and intellectual, and it was the interplay between these attributes that allowed him to make such an influential mark on the practice of management. He saw the world as it could be, rather than as it was.

The scope of his work spanned the worlds of strategy, organisation and above all, management. He drew on the fields of economics, sociology, philosophy and psychology to ask profound questions about the nature of management thinking and the reality of management action. What is the role of the organisation in shaping human activity, and indeed the role of the corporation in modern society? What is the role of management theory, and the business schools that teach it, in framing the behaviour of managers? What does it mean to manage with energy, purpose and responsibility?

These are questions that have never been more pertinent to managers everywhere, and the answers contained in the work of Sumantra Ghoshal reveal a defining view of management as a force for good.

Sumantra Ghoshal on Management articulates a purpose for corporations as versatile and creative amplifiers of human will and effort across natural and cultural boundaries. A purpose for managers as responsible and reflective leaders, and a role for management theory as the genuine root of positive and purposeful management behaviour. At the heart of this work is the view that better management theory can create better management practice

This unique collection brings together some of Sumantra Ghoshal’s most influential work; on managing across borders, managing and the corporation and a positive new management agenda, and some of his most innovative collaborators; including Christopher Bartlett, Henry Mintzberg, Lynda Gratton, Peter Moran and Nitin Noria. Here you can find his defining contributions to management thinking in The Sloan Management Review, Harvard Business Review, Academyof Management ReviewandCalifornia Management Review, drawn together with original commentaries by leading management thinkers.

We hope that Sumantra Ghoshal on Management will stand as a companion to a challenging and insightful body of management thought, and in commemoration of one the most inspiring and thoughtful management writers of his generation. In every sense, a force for good.

"Sumantra Ghoshal was one of a small handful of management thinkers who could speak with equal authority to the world of business and the world of academia. His ideas were challenging, insightful and often heretical, and his impact on field of management was profound. This book captures the essence of Sumantra's work as well as his more recent ideas about the deep challenges facing management theory.”
Laura Tyson, Dean, LondonBusinessSchool

"Sumantra Ghoshal was one of the past quarter century's most original and creative researchers in the field of management practice. This collection is a valuable resource that presents a challenging yet cohesive set of ideas that are testament to his importance as a provocatively original thinker in a world too often characterized by conventional wisdom and conformity."
Christopher A. Bartlett, Thomas D. Casserly, Jr. Professor of Business Administration Emeritus, HarvardBusinessSchool

"Sumantra Ghoshal changed the way we understand organizations and the people who populate them. In March 2004 he passed away in the midst of creating a sustained argument about the role of purpose in organizations and the natural of human goodness. This important book captures the highlights of a lifetime of work and creates a foundation from which scholars and practicing managers can craft their own purpose."
Professor Lynda Gratton, LondonBusinessSchool

Introduction: A force for good

1. Managing Across Borders: New concepts and perspectives on the Multinational Corporation

C.A. Bartlett and S. Ghoshal, "Managing Across Borders; The New Strategic Requirements", Sloan Management Review, Summer 1987.

C.A. Bartlett and S. Ghoshal, "Managing Across Borders: The New Organizational Responses", Sloan Management Review, Fall 1987.

S. Ghoshal and C.A. Bartlett, "The Multinational Corporation as an Interorganizational Network", Academy of Management Review, October 1990.

S. Ghoshal and N. Nohria, "Internal Differentiation within Multinational Corporations", Strategic Management Journal, vol. 10, July-August, 1989.

2. The Individualised Corporation: Towards a managerial theory of the firm

S. Ghoshal and H. Mintzberg, "Diversification and Diversifact", California Management Review, vol 37, No. 1, Fall, 1994.

C.A. Bartlett and S. Ghoshal, "Rebuilding Behavioral Context: Turn Process Reengineering into People Rejuvenation", Sloan Management Review, Fall, 1995.

Ghoshal and C.A. Bartlett, "Rebuilding Behavioral Context: A Blueprint for Corporate Renewal", Sloan Management Review, Winter, 1996.


S. Ghoshal and P. Moran, "Bad for Practice: A Critique of the Transaction Cost Theory", Academy of Management Review, January, 1996.

3. The new management agenda: Building social capital and unleashing organizational energy

J. Nahapiet and S. Ghoshal, "Social Capital, Intellectual Capital and the Organizational Advantage", Academy of Management Review, April, 1998.

Radical Performance improvement is possible. Chapter 1 of Managing Radical Change by S. Ghoshal, G. Piramal, and C.A. Bartlett. 2000. (Note: this paper will have to be edited to remove references to other chapters in the book; it needs to work as a stand-alone piece)

S. Ghoshal and L. Gratton, “Integrating the Enterprise”, Sloan Management Review, Fall 2002.

H. Bruch and S. Ghoshal, “Beware the Busy Manager”, Harvard Business Review, February 2002.

Commentary: Chris Bartlett, Gita Piramal, Lynda Gratton, Heike Bruch, Henry Mintzberg

  • The first book to bring all the key Ghoshal writings together in one place.
  • Ghoshal was the foremost management theorist in Europe.
  • Today's leading lights in management and strategy provide context and commentary.
  • Introduction by Julian Birkinshaw, discusses Goshal's work as a whole and its relevance to today's business environment.
  • Goshal's works are well grounded in research but deeply applicable to the everyday working environment.

Julian Birkinshaw, LBS lecturer and author of several books on leadership, entrepreneurship, and the effects of globalisation on corporate organization. Recent title, Leadership the Sven-Goran Erikksonn Way.

Dr Gita Piramal is the Managing Editor of The Smart Manager, India's first world class management magazine. Gita is also India's foremost business writer and business historian. A former journalist, she has worked with several leading publications world wide, but mostly with UK's Financial Times and India's Economic Times.She has written or contributed chapters to nine books, including Business Maharajas, Business Legends, Managing Radical Change and World Class in India. Each of her books have promptly shot into the best seller list. Gita recently received the Business Today Award for being one of India's 25 most powerful women in 2004. She also received the Scholar of the Year 2004 award from Ness Wadia College, Pune

Expert Reviews

"Ghoshal not only had interesting ideas; he expressed them interestingly. This collection reflects his eagerness to send those ideas to a wider; it deserves to find the audience he sought." - Economist, June 2005

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