The Goal by Eliyahu Goldratt & Jeff Cox)

Critical review of novel designed to develop theory of production management.

The novel The Goal, by Eliyahu M. Goldratt and Jeff Cox, is undoubtedly one of the most unusual business books of recent years. The intention of co-author Goldratt in conceiving the book is to introduce and develop a theory of production management based on the principles of physics. The authors, however, chose to develop this view by presenting what amounts to a hypothetical case study. To that point, the exercise is not uncommon in the literature of business.

However, in developing a hypothetical case study in the length and detail required for the argument presented–the book runs to 337 pages–the authors chose to present their work in the form of a novel. The book centers on Alex Rogo, the plant manager of the Bearington manufacturing plant of UniCo; town and corporation are both fictitious, as are the machines in the plant…