McLuhan for Managers: New Tools for New Thinking


208 pages
Contains Bibliography, Index
ISBN 0-670-04371-0
DDC 658.4




Reviewed by Louise Karch

Louise Karch is a career consultant with Carswell Partners in London, Ontario.


In 1968, in front of an audience of IBM executives, Marshall McLuhan
predicted that there would soon be a computer in every home and that one
of its uses would be shopping. An IBM divisional director said, “We
haven’t heard of anything as crazy as that.” In this beautifully
designed book, Professors Federman and de Kerckhove set out to explain
how McLuhan was able to see the future so clearly. At the same time, and
in great detail, they describe McLuhan’s innovative thinking tools.

This is not “McLuhan for Dummies.” The material requires focus,
intellect, and an inquisitive spirit as it explains concepts such as
“figure and ground” (a perspective exercise that helps managers
examine issues or products against their context), the Laws of Media (a
four-part probe that reveals the nature of any medium), Hot and Cool
Business (a method of examining how much participation is required from
the audience or customer), and Connected Intelligence (a method of
problem solving that ensures shared wisdom and idea generation). For
readers new to McLuhan, a glossary in subsequent editions would be a
welcome addition.

McLuhan for Managers is well suited for marketing and business
professionals who want to apply profound new thinking tools to the way
they do business.


Federman, Mark, and Derrick de Kerckhove., “McLuhan for Managers: New Tools for New Thinking,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed June 23, 2024,