The Abilene Paradox and Other Meditations on Management
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The Abilene Paradox and Other Meditations on Management

3.94 of 5 stars 3.94  ·  rating details  ·  65 ratings  ·  13 reviews
Faulty decision-making can have dire consequences, and when it comes to group decisions, the challenges are even greater. Join Dr. Jerry B. Harvey as he clearly illustrates why no organization wants to find themselves goin' to Abilene.
See how group dynamics can keep individuals from stating their true beliefs for fear of isolation and separation, and how that often leads...more
Paperback, 150 pages
Published August 9th 1996 by Jossey-Bass (first published 1988)
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Tom King
Jerry Harvey's brilliant, funny and subversive book on management explains how it's not so much how effectively we manage disagreement that matters. W hat managers too often struggle with is the fact that we all agree on what needs to be done, but no one will speak up when everyone's loading up the Buick to drive to Abilene in 105 degree heat and everyone thinks it's a stupid idea.

The book is truly enlightening and I don't say that about many books on management. If you ever have to lead anythi...more
A different way to meditate on management, the book is short yet full of insights on how our minds trick ourselves in doing things completely wrong, fearing conflict when there's agreement or rewarding selfishness when altruism is all people ask for. The questions to ask ourselves when faced with a choice: 1) what would we rather do? 2) what stops us from doing it? Reading this book gives some kind of spiritual force that makes one feels stronger standing by one's point of view and principles.
When I first read The Abilene Paradox, I hadn't read many business/management books--I preferred fiction. In one of my early jobs, I had the opportunity to read dozens of business titles, and I have to say few compare in content or writing style to Dr. Harvey's classic. None have the sense of humor, the appreciation of the absurd, that Harvey has. And none have the soul, compassion, and wisdom of Harvey.
Ko Matsuo
Witty essays pointing to group conformity being a strong motivation force for decision making. Made me ponder how weak we are if we cling to virtues of individualism and freedom, but at the same time subconsciously invoke group tyranny to absolve ourselves of responsibility. Writing style is a little long winded but I would love to meet this guy.
My brother gave me this book, so that makes it a very special book. As our family is discussing a topic, all I have to do is ask "Are we going to Abilene?" to get everyone to reexamine their true beliefs.
Non-fiction management book. Thought provoking, but definitely "sermon-y" - which the author admits is his drawback in the intro.
A management book for people with short attention spans (that would be all of them) and for people who like parables. Who doesn't?
Very odd business book, does get you thinking bout the workplace and social organizations. Read it with heavy grain of salt
Great book about decision making in life and in the business world; and how bad decisions impact our life and daily work.
Noah Dropkin
Short volume of essays espousing Harvey's view of business management. Great read, thought provoking ideas.
Joel Pruett
Interesting ideas, but full of loose, kitschy metaphors and sensational imagery.
This is the best book on group-think I've read.
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