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Managing The Professional Service Firm
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Professional service firms differ from other business enterprizes in two distinct ways. Firstly, they provide highly customized services, thus cannot apply many of the management principles developed for product based industries. Secondly, professional services are highly personalized, involving the skills of individuals. Such firms therefore compete not only for clients but also for talented professionals. Drawing on more than ten years of research and consulting to these unique and creative companies, David Maister explores issues ranging from marketing and business development to multinational strategies, human resources policies to profit improvement and strategic planning to effective leadership. While these issues can be complex, Maister attempts to simplify them by recognizing that "every professional service firm in the world, regardless of size, specific profession, or country of operation, has the same mission statement, outstanding service to clients, satisfying careers for its people and financial success for its owners".
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About the Author

David Maister is widely recognised as the premier expert on professional service firm management. Maister is British by birth but has made his success in the US where he founded the highly successful Maister Associates Inc. He is also the author of several highly acclaimed business books.

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In this admirable study, Maister argues that professional businesses (those of attorneys, doctors, architects, etc.) are, as he quotes a partner in a major law firm, ``managed in one of two ways: badly or not at all.'' Why? Such firms, he suggests, attract individuals who have a ``strong need for autonomy. . . . The professionals have more than their share of people with an aversion to taking directions.'' Maister, a consultant, outlines procedures for bringing solid business practices into the workplace of professionals. He discusses training, time management, delegation, unchecked growth, attracting new clients and keeping existing ones. His suggestions for the development of associates, overseeing ineffective partners and compensation systems are also superb. (Nov.)

Frederic W. Gluckformer managing director, McKinsey & CompanyImportant reading -- not just for managing partners, but for new associates. James L. HeskettProfessor, Harvard Business School; co-author of "Service Breakthroughs"David Maister's name is synonymous with the latest thinking in professional service firm management. This book suggests why. Tom Petersauthor/co-author of "In Search of Excellence, Thriving on Chaos," and "Liberation Management"The professional service firm is the best model for tomorrow's organization in any industry. When it comes to understanding these firms, David Maister has no peers. James L. HeskettProfessor, Harvard Business School; co-author of "Service Breakthroughs" David Maister's name is synonymous with the latest thinking in professional service firm management. This book suggests why. Frederic W. Gluckformer managing director, McKinsey & Company Important reading -- not just for managing partners, but for new associates. Tom Petersauthor/co-author of "In Search of Excellence, Thriving on Chaos," and "Liberation Management" The professional service firm is the best model for tomorrow's organization in any industry. When it comes to understanding these firms, David Maister has no peers.

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