Summary of Alfred P. Sloan’s “The Most Important Thing I Ever Learned About Management”
And quite purposefully he says nothing at all about his institutional and personal campaigns to affect public policy (often effective), to defeat Franklin Roosevelt and to limit New Deal restraints on corporate power (less successful), and to create and fund a web of organizations that sold the general public, politicians, and government bureaucrats on the centrality of rationally managed business corporations—and GM in particular—to the American way of life (moderately successful). Sloan Rules does not gloss over those efforts.
My Years With General Motors touches on much more complex matters, and what it has to say is supported by the enormous personal prestige of Sloan (HBR , 1960). It is quite probable, therefore, that this book is being read by many as bible and blueprint, rather than as biography. If so, this could undo much of the contribution that the recent painstaking studies of management have made toward qualifying the simpler version of the GM story (“Mirage of Profit Decentralization,” 1962).
“Mirage of Profit Decentralization,” HBR November–December 1962, p. 154.
“Pricing Policy in Relation to Financial Control,” from Some Reminiscences of an Industrialist, Port Deposit, Md., 1957, p. 130.
“The Silent Language in Overseas Business,” HBR May–June 1960, p. 87.