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

3.9  ·  Rating Details ·  114 Ratings  ·  14 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
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Paperback, 150 pages
Published August 9th 1996 by Jossey-Bass (first published 1988)
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Tom King
Jul 24, 2012 Tom King rated it it was amazing
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
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Chichgu
Mar 11, 2014 Chichgu rated it it was amazing
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.
Alex
Aug 26, 2011 Alex rated it it was amazing
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
Oct 09, 2013 Ko Matsuo rated it liked it
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.
Lesley Keller
May 29, 2015 Lesley Keller rated it it was amazing
This is a very personalized view based on a fairly large amount of research covering the topics of management, management systems, groups, and human nature within those groups. The writer covers how our institutions are destroying our humanity, and he personal efforts to change his involvement using thoughtfulness and facts. Simply, I'd say these are some strong ideas, read carefully.
lconnor
Feb 02, 2011 lconnor rated it really liked it
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.
Adam
Dec 18, 2008 Adam rated it it was amazing
Shelves: best-of-breed
A management book for people with short attention spans (that would be all of them) and for people who like parables. Who doesn't?
Kris
Apr 12, 2013 Kris rated it liked it
Non-fiction management book. Thought provoking, but definitely "sermon-y" - which the author admits is his drawback in the intro.
Sunil
Sep 16, 2009 Sunil rated it liked it
Very odd business book, does get you thinking bout the workplace and social organizations. Read it with heavy grain of salt
Joel Pruett
Aug 09, 2012 Joel Pruett rated it did not like it
Interesting ideas, but full of loose, kitschy metaphors and sensational imagery.
Lisa
Jan 09, 2009 Lisa rated it it was amazing
This is the best book on group-think I've read.
Chad Newton
Oct 04, 2014 Chad Newton rated it it was amazing
Shelves: management
What a fantastic paradigm for analyzing organization dysfunction!
Karla
Oct 12, 2012 Karla rated it really liked it
Great book about decision making in life and in the business world; and how bad decisions impact our life and daily work.
Noah Dropkin
Dec 22, 2009 Noah Dropkin rated it really liked it
Short volume of essays espousing Harvey's view of business management. Great read, thought provoking ideas.
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