Views from the Top
The contributors were evidently given great latitude in what they were to write about, and so one essay focuses on new information technology, another on communication, a third on selecting people. Despite this, a number of common themes emerge. There seems to be a consensus that companies will face a rapidly changing environment and that, in order to do so successfully, the structure of the future corporation will have to be somewhat less hierarchical and rather more decentralized in order to promote flexibility and adaptability on the part of the firm. The contributors--at least many of them--are also naturally quite interested in the role of the leader of such a firm.
As might be expected, the style and quality of the essays vary. All are worthwhile reading, but that of Henry Wendt of SmithKline Beckman Corporation is the best: it is the most scholarly, and he succeeds quite well in generalizing from the experiences of his company in a thoughtful way.
Managers and executives should find this to be a thought-provoking book indeed, while general observers of American culture will likely find it enlightening to see how a fair sample of the corporate elite view themselves, their companies, and their roles in the world economy.