"Every manager must manage two firms: the present one and the future one" is the cover slogan
which well summarizes the contents of The Neglected Firm. The cover picture illustrates the problems facing the individual
manager as two ends of a fraying rope joined by a single strand. These are the two organizations he or she must attempt to
The author, Professor Jorge Vasconcellos e Sá, has excellent credentials, but is venturing into
well-trodden terrain. At this stage in the development of management theory, it would be amazing if he could contribute something
There is nothing new, as such, in this book. The professor is a specialist in training and educating
managers, and that is the strength he shows. He emphasizes the need for managers to balance day-to-day management tasks with
the need for strategic planning and marketing. He goes on to identify the steps that a manager is required to go through in
defining and implementing a long-term marketing strategy.
The professor's book is published by Palgrave, a subsidiary of St Martin's Press. Thus it does
not meet the normal criterion for inclusion on this web site, namely being from an "independent publisher". It is here because
it is by an unknown author who will come up against unfair competition from high-profile management gurus who make their readers
pay through the nose for the privilege of sharing their expertise. There is no need for the business professional to accept
that state of affairs.
The book, or manual as it should more correctly be called, offers a practical seven-step approach
for managers to follow, together with case studies relating to multi-national and national companies. The author is in an
exceptionally good position to find suitable examples, having himself been employed as a consultant by firms as diverse as
IBM and Intermarché, and he uses his past experiences to impressive effect.
I would recommend this as a practical management handbook. Although limited in scope, it covers
the material thoroughly and neatly, using appropriate (if not very colourful) diagrams and tables to illustrate each point.
Some may find it a little dry, but it is concise, packing a lot into a little over a hundred pages. Either because of his
relative obscurity or because of the book's slimness, or perhaps both, it is available at a lower price than many of its competitors.
The contents are easy to assimilate and this makes it good value.