The Good Enough Manager : The Making of a GEM book cover
2nd Edition

The Good Enough Manager
The Making of a GEM

ISBN 9780367376659
Published May 12, 2020 by Routledge
174 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Nearly ten years after he wrote this humanistic exploration of The Good Enough Manager, or GEM, Aaron Nurick returns with an updated edition. What makes a GEM at the dawn of a new decade? The book’s central questions remain: How do the best managers behave? What sets them apart from their peers? What impact do they have on their subordinates and co-workers? The GEM concept stems from the psychological theory of the good enough parent who provides an environment where an infant learns to develop an autonomous and genuine self. Just as there is no such thing as a perfect parent, managing people in organizations is an inherently human and fallible endeavor, mainly because managing occurs by and through human relationships.

Through the words of over 1,000 study respondents, GEMs are shown to be mentors and teachers, relationship builders, and models of integrity for their workers. Each of these themes is explored, making connections to the "right brain" thinking of artists and other creative professionals, managing with emotional intelligence, and historical ideas about management and leadership as adaptive human processes. The central humanistic theme of the book, along with its practical implications, resonates more than ever in the current divisive and turbulent environment. The second edition incorporates up-to-date trends and themes, including the impact of increased globalization; increased tribalism, cultural and political polarization, and populism; the great expansion and proliferation of technology; and the emergence of the "gig economy."

Upper-level undergraduate and postgraduate students, as well as practicing managers, will be inspired to rethink their own approaches to management in business, government, and other organizations.

Table of Contents

1. What is a "Good Enough" Manager?  2. Discovering GEMS: A Study of the Best and Worst Managers  3. GEMs as Mentors and Teachers  4. GEMs as Relationship Builders  5. GEMs as Models of Integrity  6. Becoming a GEM

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Aaron J. Nurick is Professor of Management and Psychology at Bentley University, Waltham, Massachusetts, USA.


Praise for the first edition:

"This masterful book goes to the heart of managerial practice. Nurick shows how it is anchored in developing a realistic image of one’s own powers and those of his/her colleagues, avoiding the toxic dangers of omnipotent thinking, self-idealization, and perfectionism. With this quality of awareness the manager/leader is able to create the trust and facilitating environment that is crucial for success in contemporary organizations." — James Krantz, Ph.D. Principal, Worklab; Past President, International Society for the Psychoanalytic Study of Organizations, USA

"This is a well-researched and rich volume largely based on the author’s extensive use of personal reflection of his experiences over many years; and added to by the synthesis of many schools of thought brought together in a delightfully informative way. It is a volume that will be welcomed by managers and students of management who wish to take a more thoughtful approach to their roles." — Lionel F. Stapley, Ph.D., Director and Head of Group Processes Learning Program, OPUS – An Organisation for Promoting Understanding of Society, London, UK

"Aaron Nurick’s The Good Enough Manager is an engaging and elegantly written synthesis of managerial theory and research… this book is a lucid summation of a very sophisticated perspective on the most crucial of our work relationships. Nurick’s scholarship and deep understanding of the subject is evident. He also uses poignant stories drawn from his original studies of the best and worst managers to vividly illustrate key concepts along with their practical implications. Readers from diverse industries, including my own (health care) will find this book a real and useful gem." — Ernest Frugé, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Baylor College of Medicine, Texas Children’s Cancer and Hematology Centers, Houston, Texas, USA

"I enjoyed reading this book. It brought back to me some of the best and worst managers I have had. More important, it caused me to think about myself and how I manage. That is where I believe the value of the book lies. For those who are willing to engage in introspection and to really think about how and where they can apply the ideas in this book, it has the potential to help them make transition to better management." — Steven E. Scullen, Associate Professor of Management and International Business, College of Business and Public Administration, Drake University, USA