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Management F-laws

How Organizations Really Work


Paperback / softback

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Management F-laws by Russell L. Ackoff

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"A whole new look at why companies are so badly run!"
5 stars"

Ackoff has a fantastic knack for distilling his enormous knowledge of systems thinking into nuggets that anyone who's ever worked in an organisation can understand, use and apply. This is a great book for anyone who's ever been a manager or been managed. Somebody says in the reviews that one f-Law shoud be read out before every company meeting. Spot on!


Russell Ackoff is one of the world's top business brains. Herbert Addison has worked for years in business book publishing. Sally Bibb is a pioneer of organizational change. Who better to zero in on organizations, take them apart and then suggest ways of putting them back together - but better! We have all heard of Sod's Law. Most of us know about Parkinson's Law. But what about "Management f-Laws"? "Management f-Laws: How Organizations Really Work" is a collection of subversive epigrams by Ackoff and his co-author Addison. The f-Laws, an expression coined by Ackoff, expose the commonly established laws of management - the hierarchies and power struggles, the ineptitudes and time-wasting, the prejudices and careless thinking - as flaws of management, all of which hinder successful strategies of change. With wit and wisdom, the authors set out the uncomforable truths about the way organizations really work to help sort out good management ways from bad, to get us thinking about how to change our own practices for the better. But can Ackoff and Addison, despite their life-long careers in Organizational Change and Systems Design really claim to speak for present-day management practice? Sally Bibb has a fine reputation as a writer and journalist, is ebullient, witty and an enthusiastic pioneer of change. To test them out, she picks up the gauntlet thrown down by Ackoff and Addison and rises to the challenge by giving some feisty responses to their ironic and provocative claims. The conversation crosses cultural, status, gender and age divides and results in a book that will appeal to readers from the lowest to the highest ranks of the organizational hierarchy as well as to those who have resisted being part of it altogether.

Author Biography

Russell L. Ackoff is the Anheuser-Busch Emeritus Professor of Management Science at The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. He has written numerous books on Systems Management, the most recent of which are "Beating the System", "Re-Designing the Corporation", "Ackoff's Best" and "Idealized Design". A founding member of the Institute of Management Sciences, his work in consulting and education has involved more than 350 corporations and 75 government agencies in the United States and beyond. Management grandee, he was ranked 26 in the most recent list of the world's most influential business thinkers. Herbert J. Addison has worked for some 40 years in academic, educational and business book publishing, including for many years at Oxford University Press. He is the author of the business section in the "New York Times Guide to Essential Knowledge" and is a close friend of Russ Ackoff. Sally Bibb is Director, Group Sales Development for the Economist Group. She is based in London with responsibility for Europe, Asia and North America. She has specialised in organization and executive development for 15 years and has a Masters Degree in Organizational Change. Co-author of the award-winning book "Trust Matters - For Organisational and Personal Success", she is series editor for the "Truths about Business" series and author of "The Stone Age Company", the first title in the series.
Release date NZ
January 24th, 2007
Country of Publication
United Kingdom
12 black & white line drawings
Triarchy Press
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