In an effort to discover the principles of “good management” of the professional service sector, this author examines the inner workings of a few outstanding companies whose philosophy and management orientation make them what they are today — successful, profitable, and, above all, well-managed. In the course of identifying the many organizational characteristics common to these firms, he also discovers that these firms share a common management approach, which he labels the “one-firm firm” system. The critical elements of this approach are management’s emphasis on loyalty to the firm and group cooperation. By exploring how these elements interact to form a successful management system, the author proposes a model of professional firm success that he believes can be adopted by a variety of professions.
1. D.H. Maister, "Profitability: Beating the Downward Trend,"Journal of Management Consulting, Fall 1984, pp. 39-44.
2. D.H. Maister, "Quality Work Doesn't Mean Quality Service,"American Lawyer, April 1984.
3. R. Levering, M. Moskowitz, and M. Katz, The 300 Best Companies to Work for in America (Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley, 1984).
4. B. McGoldrick, "Inside the Goldman Sachs Culture," Institutional Investor, January 1984.
5. S. Brill, "Is Latham & Watkins America's Best Run Firm? American Lawyer, August 1981, pp. 12-14.
7. Levering et al. (1984).
8. McGoldrick (January 1984).
10. D. H. Maister, Hewitt Associates (Boston, MA: Harvard University, Graduate School of Business, HBS Case Services).
11. D. H. Maister, "What Kind of Excellence?" American Lawyer, January-February 1985, pp. 4-6.
12. See, for example, V. J. Sathe, Culture and Related Corporate Realities (Homewood, IL: Richard D. Irwin, Inc., 1985).
13. C. Bell, "How to Create a High Performance TrainingUnit," Training, October 1980, pp. 49-52.
14. McGoldrick (January 1984).
15. D. H. Maister, "How to Build Human Capital," American Lawyer, June 1984.
16. Brill (August 1981).
17. McGoldrick (January 1984).
18. See, for example, "The New Shape of Management Consulting, "Business Week, 21 May 1979.
19. For a discussion of the role of turnover on professional service firm success, see D. H. Maister, "Balancing the Professional Service Firm," Sloan Management Review, Fall 1982, pp. 15-29.
20. McGoldrick (January 1984).
21. Brill (August 1981).
22. For a discussion of governance in professional firms, see D. H. Maister, "Partnership Politics," American Lawyer, October 1984.