The American businessman has traditionally turned to top American leaders and academics for information on management techniques. But in an increasingly global economy, the lessons to be learned from the experience of foreign business leaders are essential for all American managers. Reinhard Mohn's revised edition of Success Through Partnership -- expanded with essays on vanity in the life of a manager and new goals in the workplace, and with a new chapter on freedom for the creative man -- remains an important addition to the American manager's bookshelf. Although Mohn's views do not necessarily represent the majority of European or German management, his opinion is highly respected. One of the most successful businessmen of the postwar era, he has built his company, Bertelsmann, Inc., into one of the biggest media conglomerates in the world. Today, Bertelsmann is a $14billion company with more than 57,000 employees worldwide.
Mohn has developed and practiced some of the most innovative management techniques we have seen during the postwar period. With the expansion of Bertelsmann, Mohn has shown that it is possible to combine modern leadership techniques with social concerns. He has demonstrated that efficiency and human concerns need not be incompatible, but should, in fact, be the basis for the productivity of the economic system. In this book he presents a strategy for partnership between employees and management, a reorganization of the three elements of business -- capital, work, and management -- and suggests how capitalism must be modernized to save the free-enterprise system.
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American management's lack of knowledge about, or even interest in, how foreign managers think reduces the number of options available to us. This, in turn, not only weakens American firms in international competition, but even in dealing adaptively with the future as it arrives within our own society.
In the United States, truly novel ideas about management usually come from the fringes of management, or from new or small companies headed by innovative, small-firm entrepreneurs. Yet the company headed by Reinhard Mohn is a $14-billion multinational, with 57,000 employees. Founded in 1835 as a small-town printer of religious books and hymnals, it is today one of the world's biggest private media conglomerates.
It is the scale and success of Bertelsmann, rebuilt by Mr. Mohn virtually from scratch since World War II, that commends attention to his words.
If American managers are to succeed in the global economy, they will need to broaden their range of reading, starting, perhaps, right here. -- Alvin Toffler, From The IntroductionAbout the Author:
Reinard Mohn great-great-grandson of Carl Bertelsmann, the founder of the Bertelsmann publishing house, was born in Gutersloh, Germany, in 1921. The publishing house itself originated over 160 years ago as a printing office, primarily for church hymnals. For parr of World War II, Mohn was a prisoner of war in Kansas. Following the war, he returned to Gutersloh and gave up his engineering career to resurrect the company from the shambles of war. During the forty years of his leadership he built Bertelsmann into an international media conglomerate that includes book and music clubs, magazines, book and music publishing houses, and printing plants. He retired as managing board chairman in 1981 and as supervisory board chairman in 1991. He is currently chairman of the board of the Bertelsmann Foundation.
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