Reengineering The Best Seller List

THE TWO CONSULTANTS WHO apparently manipulated sales to land their book, The Discipline of Market Leaders, on best-seller lists were following the boss's example. CSC Index, a Cambridge (Mass.) consultancy, purchased about 25,000 copies of Reengineering Management, penned by founder James Champy and released in January, says its publisher, HarperBusiness. Of these, 7,500 were bought, mostly in March, at retail bookstores, with many sales charged to CSC employees, says a CSC spokesman. He denies a concerted manipulation effort but says "a few hundred of the individual sales" appear "inappropriate."

Champy's $25 book debuted in April at No.4 on BUSINESS WEEK's list of top biz books, yet never cracked The New York Times list. Champy's earlier hit was Reengineering the Corporation.

Meanwhile, the Times admitted Discipline by Michael Treacy and Fred Wiersema likely breached its list via dirty tricks. By coincidence, the paper says it's ending a CSC consulting job for its business side. A Times spokesman says CSC did a "good job." Sources close to CSC say the Times pulled the plug on the project's next stage after BUSINESS WEEK's expose (Aug. 7) of the Discipline maneuvers.

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