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Managing Strategic Relationships

Managing Strategic Relationships

The Key to Business Success

Contrary to the gospel of a century of management thinkers, the primary job of the manager is no longer to plan, organize, direct, or control, asserts management expert Leonard Greenhalgh. Instead, he argues, today's successful managers are primarily negotiators who are judged on their ability to foster, coach, protect, and support collaborative relationships -- and manage conflict -- with peers, workers, bosses, suppliers, customers, regulators, competitors, and stakeholders.
In one of the most comprehensive analyses of business relationships ever written, Greenhalgh shows how relationships -- not technology or "know-how" -- are the foundation of the new extended enterprise. In immensely readable prose, he describes how companies have moved beyond adversarial relationships of command-and-control hierarchies to a new communal world in which internal networks of autonomous professionals and external networks of collaborating organizations compete against rival networks. In order to manage, managers must acquire a whole new set of negotiating skills, he argues. Traditional negotiating techniques promoted winning and self-interest, leaving a wake of bitterness and acrimony. Here Greenhalgh introduces for the first time a brilliant concept he calls "Commonwealth," which promotes ongoing relationships and the common interest. Using scores of detailed case studies and examples, he offers a set of cutting-edge tools managers can apply immediately to repair and improve relationships between people at all levels of responsibility, between groups, between organizations themselves, and between personalities involving gender differences.
Timely, stimulating, and powerful, Managing Strategic Relationships is essential reading for every manager who hopes to succeed in the organization of today.
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  • Free Press | 
  • 336 pages | 
  • ISBN 9780743213721 | 
  • August 2001
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Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1: Managing in the New Era

Gaining competitive advantage has become more difficult than ever before; and sustaining it, almost impossible. This is the result of several emerging trends. Agile competitors have sped up their time-to-market, and can quickly nullify a first-mover advantage. New technology is usually available to anyone smart enough to adopt it. Consulting companies identify industry best practices and soon "clone" them within competing organizations. And quality levels have become so uniformly high that people can't tell the difference between good and best. Meanwhile, markets have become crowded with competitors from... see more

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