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LEAN BUSINESS 2100 MANAGEMENT PROGRAM
REVIEWS OF MAXIMUM PERFORMANCE: THE DOW JONES-IRWIN
COMPLETE GUIDE TO PRACTICAL BUSINESS MANAGEMENT

Review From Continuing Higher Education Review

Review of:

Maximum Performance: The Dow Jones-Irwin Complete Guide To Practical Business Management (Volumes 1 and 2)

by Joseph Shetzen
New York, NY: Dow Jones-Irwin


The primary purpose of Maximum Performance: The Dow-Jones-Irwin Complete Guide to Practical Business Management is to provide a practical self-study guide for entrepreneurs, particularly those who have little or no formal training in managing a business.

Continuing educators who offer or teach programs in the areas of general management, human resource management, production or small business development will find these volumes to be useful texts. Because most adult students, particularly those who are taking noncredit courses, want practical materials that can be used immediately on the job and kept for future reference, the volumes are an ideal resource. The many charts, worksheets, examples, and easy-to-read explanations have been written for the adult student who needs a brief overview of theory, but must immediately apply the knowledge in the work place.

The author terms his integrated multi-disciplinary approach to business management the Business Engineering Method using engineering principles to solve business problems. The six parts of his method include: general management principles; personnel; financial management; production and operations; marketing and sales; and business analysis. Each part is written in simple language and contains practical guides, detailed sets of working instructions, and self-explanatory standard forms.

According to the author, the Business Engineering Method is a logical extension of the contingency approach introduced in the late 1960s. His method expands that approach by providing entrepreneurs with a practical "be-your-own-management-consultant" set of tools and techniques to evaluate the performance of the organization, to identify management problems, and to implement suitable solutions.

This comprehensive approach, addressing all aspects of business, is most impressive. An example of its comprehensiveness is in the section on production and operations management wherein the author discusses such issues as facility design and location, process design, equipment evaluation and selection, plant layout, requirement planning (MRP) and Just-in-Time (JIT) manufacturing philosophy. The comprehensiveness of the two volumes suggests perhaps the best way to use the text is to design a series of programs, each covering one topic. In this use, students would self-select programs, based on their needs. Thus, by using the texts for multiple programs the student would only invest in the text appropriate to the program taken.

As stated earlier, the strength of these volumes is their accessibility for the adult learner. It is refreshing to find material that has considered the needs of our clientele in its preparation. Just the number of forms provided at the end of each volume is worth the price of the text... Maximum Performance provides an overview of management concepts useful for noncredit continuing business education. Particularly in the area of industrial management, the texts offer the reader an opportunity to quickly gain basic knowledge of newer techniques and applications used in industrial settings.

For continuing educators who are seeking to broaden their knowledge of industrial management, or for those selecting materials for business programs, Maximum Performance has been published Just-in-Time.

Dr. Suzanne Z. Miller, Ph.D.
Indiana University at South Bend

 
© CONTINUING HIGHER EDUCATION REVIEW, VOL. 55, NO. 1 &2 (WINTER/SPRING, 1991) - pp. 113-114