"The Samsung Way: Transformational Management Strategies from the World Leader in Innovation and Design" by Jaeyong Song and Kyungmook Lee

Brian Gongol


One-paragraph review: "The Samsung Way" is a necessary book. Given the broad impact of large companies on our world, every one of them should be examined in at least one book (if not many). And the Samsung story is not only the narrative of an individual company's development into a behemoth, but also a cross-sectional report on the South Korean semi-managed economy. This should not be a reader's first book on production or management processes -- read the books about Toyota and Honda first -- but it is worth including in the canon. The writing itself isn't as fluid as it could be; it's not fair to call it laborious, but reading "The Samsung Way" takes some concentration. It also contains some inconsistencies, particularly in trying to identify one solitary cause of the company's success. Broadly, though, the Samsung strategy reported in this book is one that depends upon (a) quick, resolute decision-making; (b) an internal sense of crisis, even in good times; (c) an intentional blend of capabilities developed internally and dependence on outside suppliers; (d) a sustained focus on learning; and (e) a high priority on the placement of top-tier talent. "The Samsung Way" isn't the easiest business book one will ever read, but it contains enough material insights to make the payoff worthwhile.

Verdict: A necessary profile of a company that has evolved dramatically in modern times

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