A Guide to Implementing the Theory of Constraints (TOC)





Next Step



Bottom Line


Supply Chain

Tool Box



& More ...




War Stories


Links & Resources


Dead Horse Strategies



First Stop

Goldratt, E. M., and Cox J., (1994) The goal: a process of continuous improvement, 2nd revised edition.  The North River Press, 337 pp.

Goldratt, E. M., (1994) It’s not luck.  The North River Press, 283 pp.

Goldratt, E. M., (1997) Critical chain.  The North River Press, 246 pp.

Second Stop

Harvey, J. B., (1988) The Abilene paradox and other mediations on management.  Lexington Books, 150 pp.

Immelman, R. E., (2003) Great boss dead boss: how to extract the very best performance from your company and not get crucified in the process.  Stewart Philip International, 317 pp.

Fairfield, J., (2002) Levels of excellence.  Random House, 196pp.

Fundamental Material

Jaques, E., and Cason, K., (1994) Human capability: a study of individual potential and its application.  Cason Hall & Co., 165 pp.

Taylor, F. W., (1911) The principles of scientific management.  Dover Publications reprint (1998), 76 pp.

Ohno, T., (1978) The Toyota production system: beyond large-scale production.  English translation by Productivity Press, 1988, 143 pp.

Ohno, T., (1982) Workplace Management, JMA Management Centre Inc.  English translation by Gemba Press 2007, 134 pp.

Deming, W. E., (1994) The new economics: for industry, government, education.  Second edition, MIT Press, 247 pp.

Kawase, T., (2001) Human-centered problem-solving: the management of improvements.  Asian Productivity Organization, 305 pp.

Further Reading – By Subject


McMullen, T. B. C., (1998) Introduction to the theory of constraints (TOC) management system.  St. Lucie Press, 320 pp.

Kendall, G. I., (2005) Viable vision: transforming total sales into net profits.  J. Ross Publishing, 152 pp.


Dettmer, H. W., (2003) Strategic navigation: a systems approach to business strategy.  ASQ Quality Press, 302 pp.


Schragenheim, E., and Dettmer, H. W., (2000) Manufacturing at warp speed: optimizing supply chain financial performance.  The St. Lucie Press, 342 pp.

Umble, M. M., and Srikanth, M. L., (1995) Synchronous manufacturing: principles for world class excellence.  Spectrum Publishing Company, 273 pp.

Srikanth, M. L., and Umble, M. M., (1997) Synchronous management: profit-based manufacturing for the 21st. Century. Volume One.  Spectrum Publishing Company, 311 pp.

Umble, M. M., and Srikanth, M. L., (1997) Synchronous management: profit-based manufacturing for the 21st. Century. Volume Two, implementation issues and case studies.  Spectrum Publishing Company, 234 pp.

Woeppel, M. J., (2000) Manufacturer’s guide to implementing the theory of constraints.  St. Lucie Press, 192 pp.

Cox, J. F., and Spencer, M. S., (1997) The constraints management handbook.  St Lucie Press, 352 pp.

Stein, R. E., (1996) Re-engineering the manufacturing system: applying the theory of constraints (TOC).  Marcel Dekker, 306 pp.

Goldratt, E. M., (1990) The haystack syndrome: sifting information out of the data ocean.  North River Press, 262 pp.

Goldratt, E. M., Schragenheim, E., and Ptak, C., (2000) Necessary but not sufficient.  The North River Press, 231 pp.

Ptak, C. A., with Schragenheim, E., (2000) ERP: tools, techniques, and applications for integrating the supply chain.  St. Lucie Press, 424 pp.

Supply Chain

Schragenheim, E., Dettmer, H. W., and Paterson, J, W., (2009) Supply chain management at warp speed.  CRC Press, 220 pp.

Project Management

Newbold, R. C., (1998) Project management in the fast lane: applying the theory of constraints.  St. Lucie Press, 284 pp.

Leach, L.P., (2000) Critical chain project management.  Artech House Inc., 330 pp.


Wright, J., and King, R., (2006) We all fall down: Goldratt’s Theory of Constraints for healthcare systems.  North River Press Publishing, 353 pp.

Ronen, B., Pliskin, J. S., with Pass, S., (2006) Focused operations management for health service organizations.  Jossey-Bass, 354 pp.


Stein, R. E., (1994) The next phase of total quality management: TQM II and the focus on profitability.  Marcel Dekker, 232 pp.

Lepore, D., and Cohen, O., (1999) Deming and Goldratt: the theory of constraints and the system of profound knowledge.  The North River Press, 179 pp.


Ricketts, J. A., (2008) Reaching the goal: how managers improve a services business using Goldratt’s Theory of Constraints.  IBM Press, 369 pp.

Marketing And Sales

Woehr, W. A., and Legat, D., (2002) Unblock the power of your salesforce!  Neuer Wissenschaftlicher Verlag GmbH, 130 pp.

Kendall, G. I., (1998) Securing the future: strategies for exponential growth using the theory of constraints.  St. Lucie Press, 335 pp.

Klapholz, R., and Klarman, A., (2004) The cash machine: using the Theory of Constraints for sales management.  North River Press, 164 pp.

Rackham, N., (1988) SPIN selling.  McGraw-Hill Inc., 197 pp.

Financial Aspects

Caspari, J. A., and Caspari, P., (2004) Management Dynamics: merging constraints accounting to drive improvement.  John Wiley & Sons Inc., 327 pp.

Corbett, T., (1998) Throughput Accounting: TOC’s management accounting system.  North River Press, 174 pp.

Bragg, S. M., (2007) Throughput accounting: a guide to constraint management.  Wiley, 178 pp.

Yoram, E,. and Ronen, B., (2007) Approximately right not precisely wrong: cost accounting, pricing, & decision making.  North River Press, 280 pp.

Smith, D., (2000) The measurement nightmare: how the theory of constraints can resolve conflicting strategies, policies, and measures.  St Lucie Press/APICS series on constraint management, 184 pp.

Noreen, E., Smith, D., and Mackey J. T., (1995) The theory of constraints and its implications for management accounting.  The North River Press, 187 pp.

Thinking Process Tools

Dettmer, H. W., (2007) The logical thinking process: a systems approach to complex problem solving.  ASQ Quality Press,  413 pp.

Dettmer, H. W., (1997) Goldratt’s Theory of Constraints: a systems approach to continuous improvement.  ASQC Quality Press, 387 pp.

Dettmer, H. W., (1998) Breaking the constraints to world class performance.  ASQ Quality Press, 288 pp.

Scheinkopf, L., (1999) Thinking for a change: putting the TOC thinking processes to use. St Lucie Press/APICS series on constraint management, 255 pp.

Schragenheim, E., (1999) Management dilemmas: the Theory of Constraints approach to problem identification and solutions.  St. Lucie Press, 209 pp.

If you are looking for industry specific examples of TOC, check this excellent published bibliography

Mabin, V. J., and Balderstone S. J., (2000) The world of the theory of constraints: a review of the international literature.  St. Lucie Press, 223 pp.

Other Important Manufacturing / Quality Books

Deming, W. E., (1982) Out of the crisis.  Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Centre for Advanced Education, 507 pp.

Neave, H. R., (1990) The Deming Dimension, SPC Press, Inc., 440 pp.

Kilian, C. S., (1992) The world of W. Edwards Deming, 2nd ed., SPC Press, 385 pp.

Walton, M., (1986) The Deming management method.  Perigee, 262 pp.

Wheeler, D. J., (2000) Understanding variation: the key to managing chaos.  Second edition, SPC Press, 158 pp.

Wheeler, D. J., (2000) Normality and the process behavior chart.  SPC Press, 149 pp.

Liker, J. K., (2004) The Toyota Way: 14 management principles from the world’s greatest manufacturer.  McGraw-Hill, 330 pp.

Schonberger, R. J., (1982) Japanese manufacturing techniques: nine hidden lessons in simplicity.  The Free Press, 260 pp.

Imai, M., (1986) Kaizen: the key to Japan’s competitive success.  McGraw-Hill, 259 pp.

Imai, M., (1997) Gemba kaizen: a commonsense, low cost approach to management.  McGraw-Hill, 354 pp.

Other Important Parts Of The Bigger Picture

Jaques, E., (2006) Requisite organization: a total system for effective managerial organization and managerial leadership for the 21st century – revised second edition memorial.  Cason Hall & Co., 137 page pairs.

Jaques, E., and Clement, S D., (1991) Executive leadership: a practical guide to managing complexity.  Cason Hall & Co., 317pp.

Bateson, G., (1979) Mind and nature: a necessary unity.  Hampton Press edition (2002), 223 pp.

Bateson, G., (1972) Steps to an ecology of mind.  University of Chicago Press, 533 pp.

Senge, P. M., (1990) The fifth discipline: the art and practice of the learning organization.  Random House, 424 pp.

Polanyi, M. , (1958) Personal knowledge: towards a post-critical philosophy.  Chicago University Press 1974 paperback edition, 428 pp.

De Geus, A., (1997) The living company: habits for survival in a turbulent business environment.  Harvard Business School Press, 215 pp.

Wheatley, M. J., (1999) Leadership and the new science: discovering order in a chaotic world (2nd. edition).  Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 197 pp.

Nonaka, I., and Takeuchi, H., (1995) The knowledge-creating company: how Japanese companies create the dynamics of innovation.  Oxford University Press, 284 pp.

Hammond, G. T., (2001) The mind of war: John Boyd and American security.  Smithsonian Institution Press, 234 pp.

Coram, R., (2002) Boyd: the fighter pilot who changed the art of war.  Little, Brown and Co., 485 pp.

Richards, C., (2004) Certain to win:  the strategy of John Boyd, applied to business.  Xlibris, 187 pp.

Kanigel, R., (1997) The one best way: Frederick Winslow Taylor and the enigma of efficiency.  Viking, 675 pp.

Hurst, D. K., (1995) Crisis & renewal: meeting the challenge of organizational change.  Harvard Business School Press, 228 pp.

Leonard-Barton, D., (1995) Wellsprings of knowledge: building and sustaining the sources of innovation. Harvard Business School Press, 334 pp.

Simons, R., (1995) Levers of control: how managers use innovative control systems to drive strategic renewal.  Harvard School Press, 215 pp.

Kuhn, T. S., (1996) The structure of scientific revolutions, 3rd edition.  The University of Chicago Press, 212 pp.

Johnson, H. T., and Kaplan, R. S., (1987) Relevance Lost: the rise and fall of management accounting.  Harvard Business School Press, 269 pp.

Johnson, H. T., (1992) Relevance regained: from top-down control to bottom-up empowerment.  Free Press, 228 pp.

Johnson, H. T., (2000) Profit beyond measure: extraordinary results through attention to work and people.  Free Press, 256 pp.

Ridley, M., (1996) The origins of virtue.  Penguin Books, 295 pp.

Dunbar, R. I. M., (1996) Grooming, gossip, and the evolution of language.  Harvard University Press, 230 pp.

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