Managing the Professional Service Firm (Paperback)

By David H. Maister

Free Press, 9780684834313, 384pp.

Publication Date: June 9, 1997



International expert and consultant David Maister offers a brilliant and accessible guide to every management issue at play in professional firms.

Professional firms differ from other business enterprises in two distinct ways: first, they provide highly customized services and thus cannot apply many of the management principles developed for product-based industries. Second, professional services are highly personalized, involving the skills of individuals. Such firms must 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, strategic planning to effective leadership. While these issues can be complex, Maister simplifies 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.

Praise For Managing the Professional Service Firm

Frederic W. Gluck
former managing director, McKinsey & Company

Important reading -- not just for managing partners, but for new associates.

Tom Peters
author/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. Heskett
Professor, 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.