Subtitled A Business Adventure in Teams and Teamwork , this ``business novel'' purports to demonstrate a management technique called ``cross-functional teams,'' in which members of different departments within a company cooperate to develop, market and sell a new product. Ron Delaney, a mid-level manager at Fungible Company Incorporated (FCI), heads a group working on a new piece of office equipment called ``FlyingFox.'' Ron and his team members, all corporate stereotypes, act out an array of problems, setbacks and solutions involved in ``realistic'' cross-functional teamwork. Judged on its fictional merits, this book is a sound loser; anyone in his or her right mind would rather be reading John Grisham. It fares better as a business aid, but only if the reader is prepared to glean personal career tips from Ron and his cohorts as they write memos, attend meetings and obsess about their corporate futures. First-novelist Butman ( Car Wars ) occasionally offers philosophical pointers on living and working in the brave new world of corporate teamwork, but he fails to provide the kind of concise, practical information that would make his fiction a useful primary business text. (Apr.)
The business novel is a new and effective form of business writing. In this work, Butman, a business consultant, describes a fictional company engaged in forming crossfunctional teams to bring products to market more quickly. The plot unfolds as the characters shift from ``Old World'' hierarchical thinking to ``New World'' teamwork. Butman's characters are believable and deal with realistic, everyday problems. They are engaged in the conflicts, pressures, and personal agendas that reflect the real world. The novel is both entertaining and educational because it allows the reader to take an abstract concept and visualize it in action. Highly recommended for practitioners and business students.-- Grace Klinefelter, Ft. Lauderdale Coll., Fla.