The Knowing-Doing Gap: How Smart Companies Turn Knowledge Into Action

    By Jeffrey Pfeffer, Robert I Sutton (Joint author)
Why are there so many gaps between what firms know they should do and what they actually do? Why do so many companies fail to implement the experience and insight they've worked so hard to acquire? The Knowing-Doing Gap is the first book to confront the challenge of turning knowledge about how to improve performance into actions that produce measurable results. Jeffrey Pfeffer and Robert Sutton, well-known authors and teachers, identify the causes of the knowing-doing gap and explain how to close it. The message is clear--firms that turn knowledge into action avoid the "smart talk trap." Executives must use plans, analysis, meetings, and presentations to inspire deeds, not as substitutes for action. Companies that act on their knowledge also eliminate fear, abolish destructive internal competition, measure what matters, and promote leaders who understand the work people do in their firms. The authors use examples from dozens of firms that show how some overcome the knowing-doing gap, why others try but fail, and how still others avoid the gap in the first place. The Knowing-Doing Gap is sure to resonate with executives everywhere who struggle daily to make their firms both know and do what they know. It is a refreshingly candid, useful, and realistic guide for improving performance in today's business.
Jeffrey Pfeffer is the Thomas D. Dee II Professor of Organizational Behavior at the Graduate School of Business, Stanford University, where he has taught since 1979. He is the author or coauthor of thirteen books, and has also held visiting professorships at the Harvard Business School, London Business School, IESE Business School in Spain, and other institutions. Robert I. Sutton is professor of management science and engineering at the Stanford University School of Engineering, where he is the former codirector of the Center for Work, Technology, and Organization. Sutton is the author of "The No Asshole Rule" and coauthor of "The Knowing-Doing Gap" and "Hard Facts, Dangerous Half-Truths, and Total Nonsense."


STAFF PICKS: In the Books - Off to the Printers XII

Posted January 11, 2011, 7:53 PM with category of The Company
In another installment from the annual review of business books we produced last year, we have an article from friend and former president of the company, Todd Sattersten. In it, he discusses the meta-themes in business thought that he and Jack uncovered as they spent 18 months compiling, reading, choosing and writing The 100 Best Business Books of All Time. ◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊ The Five Universal Themes in Business BY TODD SATTERSTEN What happens when you spend 18 months reading the best in business literature? Read more

NEWS: The Largest Gathering of 100 Best Authors West of the Mississippi

Posted February 11, 2009, 8:37 PM with category of General Business
Last week Todd and I hosted a 100 Best event at Stanford. This was the largest gathering to date of 100 Best authors west of the Mississippi River! Joining us were Jeffrey Pfeffer and Bob Sutton, authors of The Knowing-Doing Gap; Chip Heath, with Made to Stick; and Randy Komisar, with The Monk and Riddle. Read more

NEWS: Marty Neumeier (and Other 100 Best Authors) on ChangeThis

Posted January 15, 2009, 8:31 PM with category of General Business
You may have noticed that we released a new issue of ChangeThis yesterday. What you may not have realized is that Marty Neumeier, the author of The Aesthetics of Management, is also the author of Zag: The #1 Strategy of High Performance Brands, one of The 100 Best Business Books of All TIme. The manifesto is a "look at a few of the principles that artists have used successfully, [to] see how they might apply to management. Read more

NEWS: The Wall Street Journal Business Gurus List

Posted May 6, 2008, 5:38 PM with category of General Business
The Wall Street Journal yesterday had a major feature titled "New Breed of Business Gurus Rises. " The article provides a ranking of the thought leaders in business today. The ranking system is based on the 2003 book What's the Big Idea? Read more


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Language English
Pages 314
Published 11/1999
Publisher Harvard Business School Press

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