managing-corporate-lifecyclesAuthor: Ichak Adizes, PhD
Publisher: Adizes Institute Publishing – 460 pages
Book Review by: Sonu Chandiram

The author of this book on organizational change and transformation has been advising, for over 30 years, executives of businesses and other entities on how to creatively grow them, successfully institute change so they become more competitive, be prepared for and welcome challenges, and ultimately reach what he calls the most desirable state for organizations – the ‘PRIME’ condition, for as long as possible.

He teaches managers of companies of a large range of sizes – from multibillion dollar multinational corporations such as Bank of America and Domino’s Pizza, to little-known small companies, how to recognize the components and signs of the typical lifecycle of entities in business and other fields. In other words, how they grow, age, and die. Further, to determine what stage of life their company is in, and what course of action to take

This is a lengthy book of 460 pages with coverage of a very extensive range of topics, yet it is focused on the singular subject of corporate lifecycles and what happens through these cycles, including what is normal and typical, and what is aberrant and may be followed by dangers.

We have found that the best way to review a book is to present an overview of its components. Accordingly we present below to you the reader the titles of its 18 chapters within its four Parts, and other sections:


  1. Part I. – What Is Going On?
  2. Change and Its Repercussions
  3. Courtship
  4. Infancy
  5. The Wild Years: Go-Go
  6. The Second Birth and the Coming of Adolescence
  7. Prime
  8. The Signs of Aging
  9. The Aging Organizations: Aristocracy
  10. The Final Decay: Salem City, Bureaucracy, and Death
  11. Part II – Analyzing Organizational Behavior
  12. Tools for Analysis
  13. Predicting the Lifecycle: A Metaphysical Dance
  14. PAEI and the Lifecycle Stage by Stage
  15. Predicting the Capability to Solve Problems
  16. The Causes of Organizational Aging
  17. Structural Causes of Aging
  18. Part III – Raising Healthy Organizations
  19. Organizational Therapy
  20. Treating Organizations on the Typical Path: A Contingency Approach
  21. The Optimal Path
  22. Summary
  23. Part IV – Appendices
  24. Appendix A – Case Studies
  25. Appendix B – Explorations of Some External Questions
  26. References
  27. Index

While varied aspects of business in corporate life are discussed in this book, Dr. Adizes asserts clearly: “PRIME is your company’s ideal stage of balanced creativity and discipline.”

This book is a welcome change from others on business in that it represents a broad sharing of insight that only comes from experience as consultant and adviser to numerous, varied firms.



Ichak Adizes, PhD is founder and director of the Adizes Institute in Los Angeles, California, as well as Dean of Studies for the Adizes Graduate School of Organizational Transformation at the Institute.

Dr. Adizes’ diagnostic and therapeutic methodology for organizational transformation has been applied to more than 1,000 companies around the world. Today more than 200 Adizes-certified practitioners serve organizations in a dozen countries.

A renowned speaker, Dr. Adizes lectures worldwide and his many books have been translated into 22 languages. His groundbreaking works has been featured in a variety of news programs including Fortune, Business Week, The New York Times, and the London Financial Times.