Book Review

K. Aswathappa, Karminder Ghuman (2010)
Management: Concept, Practice and Cases (2010 Edition)
Tata McGraw Hill Education Private Limited, New Delhi
Price: Rs. 295/-,   Paperback, Pages: 635
ISBN (13):  978-0-07-018218-4                       
ISBN (10):   0-07-068218-6
Pub Date:     May-2010                                       
Copyright Year:    2010

This book has been written keeping in view the interests, objectives and fulfilling the academic needs of business management students by discussing the essential elements of management theoretically, duly supported by practical real-life examples from Indian industries in the form of case studies. It attempts to broaden the view (of students in the areas) of managing tasks, decision-making ability, understanding prevailing business conditions, assessing their future needs, accordingly managing affairs of business more effectively and efficiently with an aim to achieve goals timely, within budget and as per specified standards.

The book has been divided into four sections each comprising various chapters. The first section is introductory in nature and has been designed to make the students familiar about the basic and underlying concepts of business. The concept has been elaborated in the form of chapters focusing on Business and Forms of Business Ownership, Management of Business Environment, Corporate Social Responsibility comprising an elaborated example of Toyota Motor Europe and Managerial Ethics in global context. The purpose is to make foundation of the learners strong, leading to understanding and implementing the management concepts into practice with the help of relevant case studies leading to next section.

The second section is focused on providing an overview of Management by inclusion of chapters proving A Conceptual Framework and Application of Management along with critical appraisal, Evolution of Management Thought to make them understand the origin and formulation and transformation of the same with passage of time comprising discussion on classical theories, scientific approach and 21st Century approach to management and, Personal Qualities of Effective Manager  by making them aware of practices adopted by effective managers, practices to become a knowledgeable executive, practices to convert knowledge into action an practices to make the whole world accountable.

The third section deals with the Functions of Management, essential for a management student to know all about. A separate chapter has been devoted discussing all the function of management including ‘Planning’ also discussing the reasons for its avoidance and the Role of Computer Software in Planning; followed by discussion on ‘Decision-Making’ with due emphasis on techniques for effective decision making. The next chapters focus on ‘Organising’, ‘Power and Authority’ with critical analysis on Comparison between Personal and Position Power’, ‘Team Building: Developing People and Teams’, ‘Staffing’ comprising Organisational Exit: Separation, Employee Separation Methods, Trends Affecting Staffing Function in the 21st Century,  Challenges for Staffing Function in the 21st Century; ‘Motivation: Exciting People to Perform Their Potential’ along with its critical analysis; ‘Leading’ focusing nature of leadership in Indian organizations – Right Leadership Style for Indian Managers, Factors affecting Business Leadership in India in 21st Century, Development of Leadership in an orgnisation besides critical analysis of Leadership; ‘Communicating Effectively’ including Critical Appraisal of Shannon’s Communication Process, Derivative Models of the Communication Process; ‘Conducting Meetings and Handling Conflict and Coordination: Vitalising People by Building Agreements’ and the function ‘Controlling’.

The fourth and last section deals with Introduction to Select Approaches and Applications of Management comprising chapters focusing on ‘MBO and TQM: Systemic Approaches to Management’, ‘Managing Different Forms of Business’ with the objective to develop Global Managers as well as strategies for small businesses to face competition from MNCs; ‘Creativity and Innovation in Management’ with discussion on challenges for creativity in corporate sector, critical analysis of ‘Innovation’; ‘Change Management’ comprising change management models; ‘Technology Management’ along with suggestions for managing technology ; ‘Knowledge Management and Learning Organisation’ including measure of effectiveness of Knowledge Management System; ‘National Cultures and Management Practices—Comparative Analysis of American, Japanese, Chinese and Indian Management’.

Each chapter begins with learning objectives which outline what that chapter aims at achieving and what student should know on its completion; Exhibits provided within the chapters provide additional information on the topics discussed in the chapter; the figures illustrate the concepts while the tables give out details pertaining to these concepts.  Every chapter apart from discussion on basic concepts and those specific, relevant topics mentioned above is followed by an interesting Indian Case Study enabling the learning to understand the application of the concepts; Field Exercises/ Class Exercises/ Group Projects helping the students to understand and develop the necessary professional skills required to effectively manage complex business programmes, enabling them to learn to plan, execute, communicate and control the execution of tasks, step-by-step and effectively in the complex and demanding business scenario; guidelines for online support for listing the addresses of some websites useful for gaining broader and in-depth knowledge; references comprising a comprehensive list of material for further reading to upgrade knowledge and important points to remember enabling the student to make a quick recap of the important points to be covered  and suggested reading comprises names of books, journals and magazines enabling the students to know more about the topic.

Though the book comprises case studies but these are very brief in nature. Apart from discussing Indian Case Studies, international exposure to learners in to the impart concept clarity, the case studies need to be elaborated further. Moreover, the framing of sections comprising various chapters has been done in the old traditional way. To make the learners familiar with the business world where they actually need to perform and conduct various activities in reality either as entrepreneurs or managers at various levels involved in effective decision-making, the sections comprising various chapters can be redesigned innovatively providing direct linkage to industry and giving them hands-on experience of real-life situations by imparting real-life problematic situations and finding solutions to them. With the help of internet, a link to virtual tour of such organizations can be facilitated.

The language used is simple, easy to understand and lucid in nature.

Monika Gupta,
MM Institute of Management, MM University, Mullana-Ambala - 135003