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Knowing-Doing Gap: How Smart Companies Turn Knowledge into Action Hardcover – 29 Nov 1999

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Amazon.com Review

Every year, companies spend billions of dollars on training programs and management consultants, searching for ways to improve. But it's mostly all talk and no action, according to Jeffrey Pfeffer and Robert I. Sutton, authors of The Knowing-Doing Gap. "Did you ever wonder why so much education and training, management consultation, organizational research and so many books and articles produce so few changes in actual management practice?" ask Stanford University professors Pfeffer and Sutton. "We wondered, too, and so we embarked on a quest to explore one of the great mysteries in organizational management: why knowledge of what needs to be done frequently fails to result in action or behavior consistent with that knowledge." The authors describe the most common obstacles to action---such as fear and inertia---and profile successful companies that overcome them.

Among the companies that Pfeffer and Sutton say do it right: General Electric, the Men's Wearhouse, SAS Institute, Southwest Airlines, Toyota, and British Petroleum. The book, based on four years of research, is broken into chapters with titles such as "When Talk Substitutes for Action," "When Fear Prevents Acting on Knowledge," "When Internal Competition Turns Friends into Enemies," and "Turning Knowledge into Action." Each chapter contains tips on what to do and what to avoid, and provides examples of how a lethargic company culture can be transformed. The Knowing-Doing Gap is a useful how-to guide for managers looking to make changes. Yet, as Pfeffer and Sutton point out, it takes more than reading their book or discussing their recommendations. It takes action. --Dan Ring


"...brash, fiery in its opinions...Pfeffer and Sutton close the knowing-doing gap; open their book and you can too!" -- Management General, December 2000

"Every once in a while a great book starts to fall below the radar screen. This is one of those books:go out of your way to find a copy and read it!" -- Management General, Spring, 2000

"The authors never leave a topic without prescribing seven or eight steps that companies can take." -- The New York Times, June 25th, 2000

"This volume will quickly assume a place among the classic, frequently cited managment books." -- National Productivity Review, Winter 1999

"Why can't we get anything done? Pfeffer and Sutton [answer this question]in their useful book." -- Fast Company, June 2000, Story by Alan Webber

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Product details

  • Reading level: 15+ years
  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press; First edition (29 November 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1578511240
  • ISBN-13: 978-1578511242
  • Product Dimensions: 16.5 x 3.2 x 24.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,10,927 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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