Business by Kevin McCarthy is a book that discusses how people can effectively run their business and gain large amounts of profits and sales, without sacrificing the customer’s satisfaction over a product or service provided for by a certain business organization or company. The book is actually a set of stories and anecdotes illustrating the various problems and strategies business people often face and use (respectively), and most of these stories give the readers a view of what it is like to be involved in business organization dilemmas, and how people running their own business or managing a company/business organization gets confused over what the “direction” and “focus” of their company would be, and McCarthy provides the readers suggested explanations to these problems, suggestions that are implicitly found in the stories of the book.

The book started with a story entitled, “The Interview,” wherein the author quotes Bill O’Brien, former CEO of the Hanover Insurance Company, at the start of the chapter: “[t[here are two fundamentally differing views of human nature and work. The “objective view” sees work as a source of economic means. The “subjective view” is concerned with the effects of work on the person. By the end of the 21st century, quality will become commodity, and companies will be distinguished by the wholeness of their people” (McCarthy 21). This quote defines the wholeness of what the book is, and true enough, the story that followed after this well- thought of excerpt from O’Brien resembles the situation the characters of the first story are in. The narrator tells the readers about Fred Taylor, a man who went his way up in the business world from being an errand/messenger boy to chief executive officer of a successful business organization. However, as time passed by, certain changes in the business world had occurred; when before products and its quality are the primary focus and need of the consumers, today in the 21st century, consumers do not only value product quality, but also demands quality service from these business organizations as well. In fact, the story makes use of a watch to symbolize the changing times McCarthy had discussed in this book. The narrator decisively “fought” the changing times, and did not conform to the present trends in business management. Under his leadership, Taylor’s company “has fallen into a comfort zone,” a result of the success that they had attained under his management. However, as years passed, and as Taylor stubbornly fought the changes that occurred regarding business management and organization, his company has fallen and is struggling to keep up with the small business owners of today (the frontrunners), while at the same time, his leadership has sunk, along with the profits and sales of the company. The succeeding events in the story describe how the company had sunk so low because of management disorganization. The customers of , high-quality products, and Taylor’s could not deliver this promise. The narrator even describes the that was the focus of yesterday’s business organization and management, describing it as “a time when one’s character and reputation clearly stood above quarterly earnings and personal fortune, a time when one’s life was more than a job and collective status symbols” (McCarthy 24).

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The book is a discussion of the people’s need to organize and focus properly on what marketing strategies a business organization should focus itself. The Industrial Revolution had brought consumer need for high-quality products and goods, which paved the way for product-based organizations to crop up. As the consumer’s tastes became sophisticated, and want the products that they consume to be “custom- made” for their personal taste, geographically- organized businesses began expanding, and at present, service- and – product- based businesses became the staple for business organization and management, an evolution and fusion of all what customers need and want: high- quality products and services. Product-based business organizations focus on marketing strategies that can help improve and elevate to a more superior level the quality of a product, including its packaging and “image.” Clearly, businesses merely focused on product satisfaction, and did not take into account the differences in personal tastes of its consumers. The second organization was consumer- based, focusing on the personal tastes, wants, and needs of the consumers. In this type of organization, businesses are gradually taking into account the need for customer- satisfaction as well, which involves an evolution of the image and packaging of different products. Taylor (in the story) had the problem of shifting from a product- to a customer- based business organization. In trying to keep up with its customers needs, Taylor’s company re- packaged their company’s products, which, unfortunately, resulted to an increase in product prices. It is evident that consumer satisfaction is as important as product quality in a business organization, and this realization resulted to a fusion of both organizations, resulting to the birth of product- and- service- based businesses. In this type of organization, the quality of products were kept within its high/superior level, while businesses also focus and give value to customer satisfaction, keeping their attention on each customer’s tastes on a particular product. The evolution and fusion of today’s business organization from a dichotomized organization (product and service) is now the universally- accepted type of business organization, and McCarthy stresses in his book that focusing both on product quality and consumer satisfaction helped businesses to become more profitable and increased their sales. Indeed, the business organization of the 21st century is more ideal than the two earlier ones; since product- and service- based organization reap high profits and increased sales without sacrificing the quality of their product and the service the business company provides the consumers.