I like the content of the book, but the actual publication of it is terrible! I am a living room bird watcher, and as such the book has never been ou...moreI like the content of the book, but the actual publication of it is terrible! I am a living room bird watcher, and as such the book has never been outside, but the pages are falling out of it as if I had beaten it to an inch of its life. Poor, poor publication. For me, the living room birdwatcher, it is mildly inconvenient, but I can't imagine using it in the field.(less)
I loved this book because Goldratt slags MBA and E.MBA university graduate programs! However, he did it, it would seem, with such subtly that not one...moreI loved this book because Goldratt slags MBA and E.MBA university graduate programs! However, he did it, it would seem, with such subtly that not one of the Goodreads reviews comments on that.
The 'novel' aspect of the book follows the dean of university's MBA/E.MBA department who has become concerned that the department's continued existence is in jeopardy because the MBAs she graduates are failing to provide their employers with the expected results. And the fix is, of course, the application of Goldratt's theory of constraints in a 'service' industry, ie. the university education of MBAs, in particular of the 'E' variety.
I was assigned this book after I'd been unwillingly 'volunteered' into an efficiency program my department's superiors established. (The first book we read was Goldratt's 'famous' one, The Goal.) By the time we'd read Critical Chain it had already become clear that our MBA-ed superiors would be completely ignoring those aspects of the theory of constraints that applied to improving my department's efficiency and effectiveness. And so, I was absolutely shocked, in a delighted sort of way, that this manager had assigned CC to read because I thought he was, like Goldratt, suggesting in a very subtle way, the truth of there being serious problems being generated by flowcharted MBAed delusion and ideology.
The Goodreads' reviewers weren't the only one's to miss, or just miss commenting, on this aspect of CC because my manager and some of my peers who read it didn't notice it either. And when I pointed this out it was suggested that I'd missed the point of the book! (So, it would seem, from this site, it is indeed I who has missed the point — and will need to re-read it to see if that is in fact the case.)
Unfortunately, the novel side of the writing is weak, as others have pointed out. And I found it a bit too ... breathless in an excited way that I find both annoying and hard to describe.
However, the ideas presented are interesting, and the arguments for them within the 'novel' are generally well made. It certainly has strength enough to prompt, if not a change in action, then at least a vocabulary a skeptic can apply when being presented with ungrounded flowcharted MBA-itis.
A part of me is tempted to give it 4 stars because of the strength of the ideas presented, and because I loved that Goldratt had nerve enough to bite the hand that feeds him because it is the MBAs running companies and department who are most likely going to be paying for him and his ideas. Fortunately for him, most MBAs are so filled with the accepted book knowledge gospel they have been fed, that they lack the self awareness to understand that they are deluded. As such, they will continue to hire him to try to fix the companies their applied ideas are creating. (I of course am being general here, and I am sure that there are many fine MBAs serving their companies and the world well — but where were they to prevent the banking system from crashing? And I haven't seen any sign of them in my multi-billion dollar employer that is becoming increasingly inefficient and user unfriendly with each applied efficiency flowchart.)
But, for those not so enamoured by the efficacy of MBAs, this book is a quiet start in the direction of calling into question the quality of the clothing being worn by our MBA emperors. (less)