It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
Recommending Books for Purchase (Bulletin 1 - Nov 2017): General
Recommend a purchase from the compiled list of titles
Carlen has provided an overview of the evolution of entrepreneurship from ancient times to the present. He brings insight to Mesopotamian merchants' creation of an urban market economy, the invention of paper money by Chinese tea traders, the role of entrepreneurs in European colonization from the 16th through 19th centuries, and the recent startups offering interplanetary space tourism. The history begins with the end of the Stone Age, when the exchange of luxury items from far-flung places began, as evidenced by the distribution of such items as marine shells and ostrich eggs. The Phoenicians are described as “pollinators” who spread the products of the Mediterranean and western Asia across that expanse. The entrepreneurial impulse, guided by imagination, energy, and shrewdness, is seen as “the forerunner of momentous transformation, an instigator of significant changes that extend well beyond the realm of industry.” Entrepreneurs throughout history served as catalysts of huge developments, such as the democratization of the automobile. Sometimes entrepreneurs have been wildly innovative technologically. At other times the innovation is in how a product or service is made, distributed, or delivered. Entrepreneurs will come to better understand who they are and what they do by reading this book.
Achieving Workers' Rights in the Global Economy by Richard Appelbaum (Editor); Nelson Lichtenstein (Editor)
Publication Date: 2016-06-14
This collection of 14 essays describes the ways major corporations have established factories around the world to maximize profits. The race-to-the-bottom consequences mean widespread exploitation throughout the developing world and sometimes death; several contributors remind us of the horrendous Rana Plaza factory fire in Dhaka, Bangladesh, where roughly 1,100 garment workers perished in April 2013. The contributors, including economists, labor rights advocates, legal scholars, and sociologists, do not simply paint a bleak picture of poor workplace conditions; they also suggest solutions, including the development of robust regulations, effective monitoring, business leaders’ pledge to sign codes of conduct promising to uphold ethical workplace practices, and labor’s right to organize. Indeed, the contributors agree that workers must enjoy the right to form their own member-driven unions to protect against employer abuses. Especially good are the chapters about labor unrest in China, where workers have demonstrated a willingness to fight back, win improvements, and secure new allies in the first world, including AFL-CIO head Richard Trumka. Historical evidence suggests that combativeness from below, rather than making moral appeals to corporate leaders, offers the best solution to the problem of capitalism.
Anthropologies of Unemployment by Jong Bum Kwon (Editor); Carrie M. Lane (Editor)
Publication Date: 2016-10-04
This book analyzes the social concerns that the nearly dozen authors, mostly anthropologists from state universities, attribute to unemployment in areas such as California, Brazil, and Nigeria. All chapter authors take an anthropologic approach to their main concern of how unemployment has affected the lives of the people they met and interviewed and how the actions of the “unemployed” affect their neighborhoods. Most of the original analysis is based on in-depth interviews authors conducted with persons they regarded as unemployed. Sometimes the interviewees were people who, rather than being without any compensated work, were in jobs they found unsatisfactory, a distinction not always honored here. Each chapter focuses on the many negative social issues caused by unemployment as seen by each researcher. One consequence of that approach is that unemployment is not discussed in the same manner, with the same definition, in the chapters. Further, hardly any of the interviewed subjects had achieved any kind of satisfactory current employment relation, as might have been included for a comparison between locations. Because the book addresses an issue of worldwide concern, it is recommended to readers comfortable with the anthropological analysis.
Austerity and the Labor Movement by Michael Schiavone
Publication Date: 2016-12-01
In the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, governments around the world have adopted policies of fiscal austerity—reducing spending, increasing taxes—with the goal of reducing fiscal deficits. In some cases, these measures have been imposed externally, by the European Union or IMF, as prerequisites for new lending, while in others they have been more or less voluntary. Schiavone (Flinders Univ.) describes the adoption of these measures and organized labor’s response to them across an array of developed economies. He argues that although austerity has imposed large costs on the working class, the labor movement response has been muted and largely ineffectual. An introductory chapter develops the earlier history of austerity policies. The next three chapters examine Greece, Spain and Ireland; the UK; and the US. A final chapter notes that social movements have not been much more successful that organized labor in opposing austerity. Based largely on news reports, magazines, and journal articles, the book provides a useful synthesis of recent events, but the analysis gives little weight to objective factors that seem likely to have undermined labor’s desire or ability to resist austerity.
Becoming Hewlett Packard by Robert A. Burgelman; Webb McKinney; Philip E. Meza
Publication Date: 2016-12-01
Burgelman (Stanford), McKinney, and Meza provide a unique perspective and a comprehensive insight into Hewlett Packard’s iconic and perhaps inspirational impact on contemporary organizational leadership and strategic management. Throughout the book’s 10 chapters, the authors' excellent research and their professional experiences intimately chronicle HP's explosive, exemplary, and what some might consider unparalleled growth, from its humble beginnings in 1939 to today, and its transition from being an exemplar of the Silicon Valley mystique to today’s HP with its well-publicized and often devastating acquisitions, inept directors, rapid changes in leadership, scandals, and its ultimate division into two companies. The book is an intriguing documentary on Hewlett Packard and its historical significance as much as it is also an important contribution to the management sciences literature. Drawing on the authors’ in-depth knowledge of HP’s strategic and leadership innovations, the book challenges traditional management and leadership principles and practices as it conceptualizes an inspiring, persuasive, and unique general strategic framework for organizational leadership and long-term sustainability.
Brand Management Strategies by William D'Arienzo
Publication Date: 2016-09-22
D’Arienzo’s branding text book is a strong candidate for any marketing professor to consider (along with Kevin Keller’s popular Strategic Brand Management, 2012). This book’s biggest weakness might be its subtitle. “Luxury and Mass Markets” suggests a dichotomy, dividing the world of brand management into two categories. On the contrary, the book presents D’Arienzo’s many ideas along “a market continuum,” as clarified in the preface. Prospective users of this strong work should keep this in mind as they consider whether to adopt D’Arienzo’s book. It is a detailed and thorough contribution, with many useful models, stories, and brief case studies. D’Arienzo is the CEO of branding consultancies Wm. D’Arienzo Associates, Inc. and ApparelAnalytics. He has worked with firms and brands including Ambrosetti, Burberry, and Brooks Brothers.
Breaking Rockefeller by Peter B. Doran
Publication Date: 2016-05-24
John D. Rockefeller and his creative invention, the Standard Oil trust, once dominated US domestic and global oil exploration and supply. Doran's volume is less a scholarly/historical analysis (such as Yergin’s The Prize, 1990) than a popular history of the period when two rivals to Standard’s empire succeeded in cracking the monopoly. They were themselves rivals: Marcus Samuels, a Jewish businessman who established Shell Transportation (and commissioned the first modern oil tanker) from the family’s trading in seashells in UK; and Henri Detering, the talented manager who turned Royal Dutch’s oil properties in Sumatra into a major Asian oil player. In 1905, Samuels and Detering joined forces as Standard’s power waned: first, muckraker Ida Tarbell discredited Rockefeller’s unscrupulous methods and Standard’s unethical behavior; then the TR administration, enlivened by new anti-trust legislation of Congress, attacked the monopoly; and a Supreme Court decision (1911) fractured Standard. Domestic and global oil business became more competitive, as new Royal Dutch Shell became a major player. Doran has a conversational writing style and includes stories and local context. Although the focus is on Samuels and Detering, Rockefeller emerges as a dark character, much less well nuanced than in Chernow’s Titan (CH, Oct'98, 36-1063).
Capital Gains by Kim Phillips-Fein (Editor); Richard R. John (Editor)
Publication Date: 2016-11-23
Editors John (Columbia) and Phillips-Fein (NYU) have put together a very useful, wide-ranging collection of business history essays by new, mid-level, and senior scholars. Taken together, the chapters highlight the underappreciated diversity of business-state relations throughout the 20th century. We learn much, including the various ways business leaders and their organizations shaped education policies, responded to military needs, and confronted civil rights issues. The contributors teach us about divisions between conservative and moderate business leaders in groups like the National Association of Manufacturers, and we discover that some businessmen joined the anti-Vietnam war movement. Graduate students preparing for comprehensive exams will find Phillips-Fein's short preface and John’s introduction especially helpful, since both situate the chapters in the broader historiography. Indeed, John is one of the profession’s shrewdest chroniclers of business and political history, and his introduction is mostly a delight to read. But he unfairly dismisses Marxist scholarship, and approvingly cites a truly jaw-dropping quotation from a forthcoming book by Louis Hyman: "Marxists [simply] believed that capitalism was just about the money." Decades of scholarship demonstrate the untruthfulness of this claim. Yet this is an excellent collection that deserves attention.
Consumer Behaviour by Zubin Sethna; Jim Blythe
Publication Date: 2016-11-01
This is the third edition of an undergraduate text intended as a basic introduction to the consumer behavior field. The book is written from a uniquely European standpoint, offering numerous current examples from industry (e.g., Under Armour, Airbnb). The volume's organization mirrors the typical consumer decision-making process—setting the context for the subject, addressing the customary topics in applied behavioral science, and concluding with a discussion of post-purchase behavior. A significant advantage is the abundance of study aids provided, including a companion website. Presented in a relaxed yet informative style, the book examines variations in consumer behavior across the world, incorporating the expected cultural differences. Each chapter features color-coded sections to enhance understanding. Updates on areas that have gained relevance in the last decade are interwoven throughout, among them the move toward globalization and the increasing use of technology, particularly the rise in social media and accompanying mobile mind-set of modern consumers. Overall, the text is excellent for business students, especially upper-level marketing majors.
Cosmopolitan Managers by Santiago Iniguez De Onzono
Publication Date: 2016-10-14
Iñiguez (president, Instituto de Empresa Univ., Madrid; business school dean) promotes the school as an international center for management education that trains global citizens. Anticipating the shape of executive development and business education, he describes cosmopolitan managers as highly competent, socially committed professionals with entrepreneurial and cross-cultural skills. In the first seven chapters, Iñiguez describes the challenges and opportunities impacting the current state of executive education, particularly the influence emerging technologies have on teaching methodologies. In the second half, he emphasizes that business schools must integrate the study of the humanities into their curricula to develop open-minded, socially responsible, well-rounded graduates. Taking much of the content about the cosmopolitan manager from his several articles on management education from global perspective, Iñiguez emphasizes that both newly trained MBAs and seasoned executives must emulate these skills to be effective in today’s competitive global marketplace.
Deregulating Desire by Ryan Patrick Murphy
Publication Date: 2016-10-14
Sometimes books appear to be about one narrow topic, but then readers find that the books open doors to subjects well beyond what their titles and subtitles claim. Murphy’s Deregulating Desire is one such work. Certainly, Murphy’s efforts tend to focus on the battles between airlines and flight attendants over wages, work rules, and perceptions of family life and sexuality. However, there is much more here. Reading Deregulating Desire brings back to academic discussion not just the politics of airline labor markets but also the larger discussion of the politics and economics of the deregulation fervor of the late 1970s and early 1980s. So too, readers may suddenly become curious about the role of Carl Icahn, not just in destroying the venerable TWA but also in creating the political economy of greed that drove the economy of the 1980s. Readers might also be motivated to learn more about financial markets or the history of the airline industry. The only caveat is Murphy’s use of language that may be difficult for readers outside sociology to comprehend.
Destructive Creation by Mark R. Wilson
Publication Date: 2016-07-06
Destructive Creation is a rich, revealing account of the fusion of public and private planning that permitted economic mobilization for World War II. The role of the federal government was dramatically expanded, new public enterprises were created (although often managed by private interests), and production was reoriented for munitions, warships, and planes. It was a "wartime socialism" of sorts, and its success in serving the war effort and generating full employment created a dilemma for business leaders seeking to restore a more traditional form of capitalism. With the end of the war, conservatives sought to regain control of the narrative and delegitimize the state as a partner in planning. In this, they were largely successful. The extraordinary achievements of wartime planning were recast as a triumph of private enterprise and an enormously important instrument for addressing new problems was forgotten. Wilson explores how an aggressive business public relations offensive sanctified the role of "private enterprise" and constrained the public policy debate for subsequent decades. Throughout the defense establishment and larger economy, private contracting replaced public provision, and legitimate public interests were sacrificed to ideology.
Dirty Gold by Michael John Bloomfield
Publication Date: 2017-02-10
"Dirty gold" refers to gold mining practices that contribute to environmental destruction and human rights abuses. Bloomfield (Univ. of Bath) discusses how corporate managers consider risk, compliance costs, corporate culture, and leadership structure in responding to activists who campaign for ethically sourced gold. Case studies from jewelry retailers Brilliant Earth, Tiffany, and Walmart provide examples of significantly different responses to activist organizations such as Earthworks and Oxfam America. The organizations seldom force change but can enhance communication between lead jewelry retailers to incentivize and politically motivate the rest of the industry to source more sustainable mining operations. Ethical jewelers tend to have a social mission that advocates for industry change, raises consumer awareness, and promotes regulatory frameworks associated with mining. Jewelry industry certifications of gold mining practices also can contribute to corporate social responsibility. The book leads to wider debates about global environmental governance based on corporate initiatives. It uses references from leading sustainability-related journals and books. A surprisingly parallel book in the chocolate industry is Squicciarini and Oxford’s The Economics of Chocolate (CH Nov 16, 54-1308).
Discourse on Leadership by Bert A. Spector
Publication Date: 2016-07-21
The majority of adjectives commonly used in reviews fall short in adequately describing the captivating Spector text. Discourse on Leadership reveals the depth of the author’s preparation in the discipline of history and deals with the depth of the facts, ideas, and arguments that is the literature of leadership. Profoundly demonstrative of an intellectual history of ideas, the text has order and a strong sense of chronology and provides readers a glimpse into the mind of the historian and his art form. In addition to the sense of history, readers' attention must be drawn to gender and race as a lens to leadership discourse in chapter 5. The second among many hallmarks is evident in the author’s presentation in the epilogue. With a sense of humility and of the important work of others, readers cannot but be impressed with the time line presentation. This reviewer’s sense of this presentation is that it is refreshing and fits well with the author’s discourse objective. The Spector text will certainly be an essential addition to any academic library and may well be a great addition for serious students of leadership. A job well done!
Down and Out in the New Economy by Ilana Gershon
Publication Date: 2017-04-12
Gershon interviewed job seekers, employers, and career counselors and found anxiety and confusion, as well as winners and losers. The labor market is increasingly characterized by contingent employment and diminishing career opportunities. Career advisers urge job seekers to present themselves as "brands," consistent personalities capable of infinite adaptation. Rather than owners of their labor, job seekers have become businesses seeking a series of business opportunities. They build social media profiles, hoping to attract the attention of employers who demand fully formed and work-ready candidates. They must worry about their employers' brands as well, threatening the boundaries between work and family. Social networks guarantee increasing numbers in competition for each job. Desirable competencies proliferate, no longer anchored by stable work processes but improvised by fickle employers. Gershon tells a chilling story. She describes Chris, a middle-aged, independent contractor who worries that he faces homelessness as a result of irregular work. Showing the flexibility that the economy seems to require, Chris starts to train himself to sleep on floors. While Gershon doesn't idealize the corporate employment of the past, she laments rising instability in work across the board. She thinks creatively about how the new models can be redeemed. The book is both honest exposition and sharp social commentary.
Dual Transformation by Scott D. Anthony; Clark G. Gilbert; Mark W. Johnson
Publication Date: 2017-04-18
Anthony, Gilbert, and Johnson provide insights on how organizations can successfully respond to disruptive market conditions through their experiences and research. “Dual Transformation” in the title refers to responding to those conditions by repositioning core operations and creating a new growth engine for success. The two transformations require developing new market approaches that cannot easily be duplicated. The book focuses on examples from Deseret Media, Adobe, Netflix, Brigham Young University–Idaho, Xerox, and Janssen. The authors also interviewed top executives from Aetna, Arizona State University, Ford, Manila Water, Settlement Music School, and Singtel. Managers must be able to identify warning signs of market disruption, choose new objectives based on gaps in the market, focus on ways to achieve objectives through analyzing all aspects of an organization, and commit to the changes. An appendix shows more detailed recommendations through a Dual Transformation Toolkit. Geoffrey Colon also discusses responding to disruptive market conditions in Disruptive Marketing (CH Dec 16, 54-1824).
Entrepreneurial Finance and Accounting for High-Tech Companies by Frank J. Fabozzi
Publication Date: 2016-11-18
This volume is truly surprising in the breadth of its coverage. While there are separate books available to cover such topics as business plans, choosing the form of an organization, basic accounting concepts, and valuing a business, this author incorporates them all into one volume while additionally covering the areas of financing sources and the entity’s cost structure. Woven throughout the book are several areas that the author holds critical to successful entrepreneurship: personality and risk tolerance, technological innovation, dealing with resource limitations, assessment of advantages and disadvantages of start-ups, and governance issues. The book is well written and quite technical when dealing with valuation models. There are two substantial cases that illustrate the application of material discussed to real world companies. An extensive index is included.
Fast/Forward by Julian M. Birkinshaw; Jonas Ridderstråle
Publication Date: 2017-04-04
The premise of Fast Forward is that data no longer provides a competitive advantage because there is simply so much of it. In order to prepare for the future, a company needs to pair decisive action with a core fundamental strategy and gut instinct. The authors have laid out a foundation for deciphering and defining your company’s core ideals and learning how to make the right decisions quickly in order to better face the future. This book does offer some compelling insight and thoroughly explored models. It is clear-eyed in its view of what is required for modern companies to succeed in a world that is changing very quickly. The authors share relevant examples of visionary leaders like Steve Jobs, Jeff Bezos, and countless others to illustrate how their decisive actions and full understanding of their companies’ core business have led to success. If this reviewer were to levy a criticism, it is uncertainty that the book overcomes survivorship bias. It was never quite clear whether the models provide a foundation for success or whether they simply explained a common but not causal thread among successful businesses.
Goodbye ISlave by Jack Linchuan Qiu
Publication Date: 2016-09-28
This thought-provoking book challenges the idea that slavery is an obsolete institution, arguing that de facto slavery is alive and well in the era of globalization. Qiu (Chinese Univ. of Hong Kong) argues that new forms of enslavement have accompanied the digital revolution, creating “iSlaves.” The book is a critique of the dehumanizing practices of a “digital media empire” constituted by Apple and Foxconn, the China-based, world’s largest electronics manufacturer. The author makes a persuasive case for the emergence of “practices similar to slavery” in the 21st century, including human trafficking, “organ” trafficking, warlord-controlled child soldiers, or the physical and psychological abuses committed against the workforce. Two chapters examine “manufacturing iSlaves” (workers on the assembly line of smart phone factories) and “manufactured iSlaves” who suffer a subtle form of “iSlavery”: addiction, or “manufactured consent.” Qiu shows how user-generated content “enslaves” internet consumers into “voluntary servitude.” The book makes a good case against “iSlavery” and presents itself as favoring “digital abolition,” but the last two chapters show that the same technologies that make possible “iSlavery” can be used to create networks of grassroots resistance and efforts to abolish it using “worker-generated content.” This outstanding and well-researched book would have benefited from a list of acronyms.
Hard Sell by Peter Ikeler
Publication Date: 2016-09-06
The phrases "May I help you?" and "My pleasure" may soon fade from retail workers' vocabularies as store employees become increasingly disenchanted with the world of selling. In conducting his research at Macy's and Target stores in the New York City area, author Ikeler (SUNY, Old Westbury) finds that sales associates are less than satisfied with their working conditions. He notes that many retail workers are young and unskilled. Rather than seeking careers in sales, they are often seasonal workers, college students working part-time, or job hunters who haven't found work elsewhere. Training and motivating this largely contingent workforce is a challenge for managers. It's a challenge for labor organizers, too, because many workers don't want the demands or bother of unionizing. More descriptive than prescriptive, the book seeks to advance social change so that workers "will enjoy the fruits of a revived labor movement and a post-capitalist world." Recommended (with reservations because of the narrow focus of the research sample) for sociology faculty and researchers specializing in labor relations.
How to Be a Great Boss by Gino Wickman; René Boer
Publication Date: 2016-09-13
This title is the latest in a series of business books from management guru Gino Wickman. In How to Be a Great Boss, Wickman (and coauthor René Boer) focuses on practical methods for improving managerial and leadership skills. The book is written in plain language and avoids academic jargon or abstruse business theory. The main tenets of the system have names invented by Wickman (“Delegate and Elevate,” “the Five Leadership Practices,” etc.) but mostly focus on basic practices such as delegate and use time wisely, focus on your employees, build a culture of accountability, have a clear vision, meet frequently, communicate well, and make tough decisions. In other words, there is nothing new here, especially for those who have read Wickman’s previous works. However, the practical advice is mostly on target and will be helpful to managers and entrepreneurs in many different types of workplaces.
Humility Is the New Smart by Edward D. Hess; Katherine Ludwig
Publication Date: 2017-01-16
There is no doubt technology has changed the way people live, work, and play, and authors Hess and Ludwig provide a comprehensive, multidisciplinary, well-documented case substantiating the impact of technologies such as artificial intelligence, robotics, and the internet of things on the current and future workplace. Consequently, the requisite leadership skills for the Smart Machine Age (sic) go beyond simple participatory management and employee engagement techniques and require critical and innovative thinking, creativity, and collaboration, all of which are based on the psychological construct of humility. The first part includes chapters that define key concepts and definitions. The second part addresses four key leadership behaviors, characterized as NewSmart Behaviors, and includes a diagnostic self-assessment tool and a personal improvement process. The third part discusses the organizational implications of the humility-based leadership style, an organizational assessment tool, and exemplary practices drawn from Google and Pixar. Throughout the book, the authors pose questions for personal reflection and close with extensive notes and a recommended-reading list. This book will be an excellent supplemental text for undergraduate leadership, human resources, and educational administration courses and can serve as a supplemental resource for leadership-related professional development programs.
Innovation and Scaling for Impact by Christian Seelos; Johanna Mair
Publication Date: 2017-01-04
Seelos and Mair have written an insightful, seminal work that deals with how social sector organizations create value. Value creation is framed through the lens of innovation; that innovation is then scaled for maximal impact. The authors replace "innovation logic with an impact-creation logic." They develop a theoretical approach and four extensive case studies and apply the theoretical approach to those four cases so readers come away with a clear conceptual model. In precise, clear language, the authors examine roadblocks to innovation (innovation pathologies) and how to sidestep/contain those pathologies (innovation archetypes). Through a rigorous yet engaging redefinition of terminology and research goals/objectives, the authors present defining language and concepts applicable far beyond social enterprises. Another example of this is their differentiation between “technical” and “relational” challenges and the critical role that an organization's mission and core beliefs play in the decision-making processes regarding innovation and scaling. This illuminating read is for anybody interested in organizational management/behavior with important contributions to the world of social business and beyond.
Innovation Equity by Elie Ofek; Eitan Muller; Barak Libai
Publication Date: 2016-09-30
The authors have a clear goal for this book, and they achieve it. They seek to bridge the gap between what academics “know” about innovation and what managers and other “practitioners” want to know, which is how to value those innovations in monetary terms. In place of the simple heuristics employed in most such analyses, the authors make the concepts, frameworks, and models of the academic literature approachable for a “business-minded” audience. Managers and investors both benefit from improved ability to assess “the commercial fate of innovations.” The authors combine their understanding of “innovation diffusion” with that of the “customer lifetime model,” and the result is their construct of “innovation equity,” the monetary valuation of new products and services. The book is well written, full of examples, and the authors make a point of helping the reader adapt their material to various real-world contexts. An appendix is provided for the mathematically inclined, and there is an excellent companion website. This book provides insight about how to manage and optimize the value creation that results from innovation.
Invisible Labor by Marion Crain (Editor); Winifred Poster (Editor); Miriam Cherry (Editor); Arlie Russell Hochschild (Foreword by)
Publication Date: 2016-06-28
These excellent essays reveal the many workers in the shadows who are vulnerable to exploitation and abuse. The invisibility of undocumented workers in the fields, sweatshop workers abroad, or crowdsourced workers everywhere permits employers to shape public perceptions of their organizations and shield the dark corners from view. In the absence of rigorous labor standards, economic need and employer power cause workers to submit to oppressive conditions that neither they nor consumers may fully perceive. Sometimes retail employers demand that their employees represent their brands at considerable cost to themselves, wearing expensive clothes and fulfilling an image. Sexually themed restaurants require hours of "off-stage" grooming to ensure that the employees provide the desired experience for their customers. "Prestigious" corporations offer recent graduates the "privilege" of unpaid internships. Walmart manipulates a service ethic and subjects workers to surveillance from all directions to minimize labor costs. Restaurants conceal the employees toiling in the kitchens, and distant call centers create "American" identities for low-paid foreign labor. Invisible Labor grew out of a 2013 conference at Washington University, and features the provocative contributions of leading scholars exploring the complex institutional realities of global labor markets.
Levi Strauss by Lynn Downey
Publication Date: 2016-10-17
Downey’s biography of Levi Strauss contains much beyond the title. Starting with Jews in 1820s Germany and reaching to the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, she describes several critical elements: a small retail business in New York, getting to San Francisco in 1853, setting up the distant outpost, experiencing numerous fires, expanding the family businesses, and taking the opportunity to make changes in miners' clothing. Strauss’ extended effort to successfully obtain and maintain the patents for the riveted overalls led to the greater financial success of the company. The active defense of the patent provides an insight into the conditions of the period. The greatly increased demand for riveted clothing provided a guide to factory expansion and labor conditions and practices. With the success of the firm, Republican politics took more of Strauss’s time, a development that provides an insight into political differences in California. As a significant philanthropist, he began to become well known and a contributor to the elite. As part of the Strauss experience, a number of aspects of the history, organizations, and institutions of Jews in New York and in San Francisco are included.
Making It by Louis Uchitelle
Publication Date: 2017-05-02
Uchitelle (who covered economic and labor issues for the New York Times for 25 years) argues that the decline of American manufacturing—from 29 percent of GDP in 1953 to 12 percent today—has harmed the country, because manufacturing jobs anchored vibrant urban communities and are better and more skill-intensive than the jobs that replaced them. His evidence comes largely from years of visiting factories and knowledgeably interviewing workers, management, owners, and public officials—valuable evidence that makes this book worth reading. He proposes increasing manufacturing’s share back to at least 19 percent of GDP, which could be achieved if we were to reject the “misbegotten notion that government shouldn’t pick winners.” Instead, the government should depreciate the dollar, substantially restrict imports and offshoring, and heavily subsidize manufacturing—attaching strings so that manufacturing firms (which he sees as “semi-public institutions”) could no longer relocate without government permission. Most economists will question these proposals, along with his contention that governmental subsidies of manufacturing already equal 20 percent of its revenue—a definition that elastically views as subsidies government infrastructure spending and purchases of manufactured goods (such as police cars) at market prices.
Managing in the Gray by Joseph L. Badaracco Jr.
Publication Date: 2016-09-06
The author identifies five questions that can serve as an algorithm for managers facing “gray area” decisions involving multiple uncertainties, such as whether to fire a long-term employee who can no longer perform well or whether to close an unprofitable plant that is the basis of a community’s economy. Badaracco's five questions recall Kenneth Burke's "pentad"—a rhetorical algorithm for analyzing issues from multiple perspectives. In Burke's schema, or in Badaracco's, the questions seem simple, but thinking them through challenges people to examine important complexities. “What are the net net consequences” for all stakeholders? “What are my core obligations” as a moral person? “What will work in the world as it is,” including the internal organizational political environment? “Who are we” in terms of norms and values? “What can I live with,” not only as a manager but also as a human being? Badaracco believes that these questions can provide a “philosophy of management” and a “guide to action” that he calls “ethically sensitive pragmatism.” The practical examples and the author’s ability to explain the philosophic underpinnings of these questions in digestible bites make this an appealing, readable guide for managers and business students struggling with the complexities of “gray area” problems.
Meaningful Work by Andrea Veltman
Publication Date: 2016-10-18
Veltman (James Madison Univ.) argues that “meaningful work is integral to human flourishing.” She embraces the Aristotelian language of flourishing and eudaemonia while rejecting Aristotle’s claim that work is separate from ethics. Instead, Veltman explores when and how work is meaningful and offers a refreshingly broad, empirically informed answer. She carefully avoids glorifying work. The book combines attention to the lived experience of work—including oppressive, exploitative work—with objective criteria for identifying meaningful work, thus providing valuable critical leverage for readers. Veltman discusses the universal basic income and options for handling work that is not meaningful. In the end, however, she argues that navigating the problem of work must be through ethics, not (or at least not primarily) through policy. Meaningful Work contributes to a growing literature on work in philosophy and political theory and should be read alongside Kathi Weeks’s The Problem with Work (Duke, 2011) and Russell Muirhead’s Just Work (CH, Mar'05, 42-4138). Written in unpretentious style, the book or a chapter will be an excellent addition to an undergraduate or a graduate syllabus.
Navigating into the Unknown by Fredmund Malik; Jutta Scherer (Translator)
Publication Date: 2016-09-15
Malik accomplishes what management authors have tried to do since pre-Y2K. He has distilled to its essence the birth pangs of a new world order. Malik describes in vivid detail the failings of management doctrines like "shareholder value" while prescribing the mind-set needed to succeed going forward. He puts the proliferation from, and blind reliance on, data, algorithms, and prediction in their rightful place. Malik calls for a rise of meaning-making, systems-thinking leaders who master self and organizations in the spirit of exploring, testing, and searching in a context marked by complexity and uncertainty. A management primer cum self-help book suitable for undergrads through CEOs.
No More Work by James Livingston
Publication Date: 2016-10-28
Livingston (Rutgers) is ready to quit working, and thinks everyone should be. In a remarkably short book chock full of big ideas, he argues that technology and economic progress now pose a grand opportunity and dilemma: we could liberate ourselves from work, relying on machines for our sustenance, except that income is linked to the labor market. The emerging disjunctions pose multilevel challenges—to our ideologies, economies, policies, ethics, and ultimately to the meaning of our humanity. Many books have already sounded alarms about the “rise of robots,” the “end of work,” or a “jobless future,” and Kathi Weeks (The Problem with Work, Duke, 2011) gives a deeper and fuller account of work issues. Livingston’s discussion of surprisingly profound philosophical issues could benefit from more careful definitions and fewer dualistic alternatives; and, as is often the case, it suffers from a mismatch between the magnitude of the problem raised and the modesty of the solution proposed. The argument is unrivaled, however, in its audacity and brashness, all in a delightfully amusing little essay that is guaranteed to delight undergrads and provoke them to question their individual and collective future.
Post-War Business Planners in the United States, 1939-48 by Charlie Whitham
Publication Date: 2016-10-20
During WW II, some US business leaders formed organizations to plan for the postwar economy and to provide social and economic policy options for the US government. A fundamental motivation was to avoid an economic relapse into the Great Depression and a desire to continue the massive US wartime production. Diplomatic historian Whitham (Edge Hill Univ., UK) meticulously examines these various organizations, especially the Committee for Economic Development (CED), National Planning Association (NPA), and Twentieth Century Fund (TCF). Business leaders, academics, and government officials made up these groups, and each organization had its own approach to the postwar period. Drawing upon new archival material on the NPA and the TCF, Whitham depicts the tensions between “corporate liberals” and their New Deal vision of government involvement and business conservatives who espoused laissez-faire, which led to the emergence of “corporate moderates” in the CED that dominated the postwar years. These moderate planners formed a consensus understanding of accepted government involvement in the economy while advocating increased global trade to advance US interests within their vision of the postwar world. Whitham argues that these planners helped establish a pattern of government-business relations that lasted for decades and shaped US economic might.
Private Government by Elizabeth Anderson
Publication Date: 2017-05-23
This book develops the thesis that a significant portion of the US work force is mistreated and dominated by owners and bosses with arbitrary powers similar to authoritarian governments. The beginning chapters develop this case, and later chapters include responses from scholars in social science and philosophy. The historical debate is important in sorting out whether the economic optimism of Adam Smith and other Enlightenment thinkers is relevant to labor’s situation in the modern economy. Anderson suggests that individual, entrepreneurial, small-scale production has evolved into large corporate enterprises that leave laborers in bondage with little hope of meaningful change. The comments section questions whether workers are seriously mistreated because turnover, regulations, constitutional rights, and worker voice options limit employer power. Anderson responds with data and counterarguments to confirm her thesis. A reader might benefit from reviewing this final response chapter first because it includes the data hoped for earlier and alerts one to the key issues explored in the earlier chapters. Overall, this is a well-documented, captivating discussion that should be addressed in an interdisciplinary manner, and an excellent starting point to make that happen.
Securing U. S. Innovation by Spelbrink Tromblay; Robert G. Spelbrink; Darren E. Tromblay
Publication Date: 2016-09-07
Securing US Innovation is a thorough exposition and exploration of the balance between being an open, innovative society and how its competitive advantage can be secured from appropriation by other entities (individuals, companies and states, etc.). The authors’ describe how America, as the long-term, dominant technology leader in the world, fights against espionage, theft, etc., to secure these elements of international, global power. The text presents what is a lucid yet dense discussion from the American perspective, focusing on innovation security. The authors’ share various historical and recent examples to elucidate their point of view. Given the complexity of the subject matter, this text is written in clear and concise language that attempts to cut through the policy thicket and provide a balanced understanding of these complex matters. This is an important text that should serve as a wake-up call for this important issue.
Sell with a Story by Paul Smith; Mike Weinberg (Foreword by)
Publication Date: 2016-09-08
Everyone loves a good story. Stories can hold customers' interest, too, and make them want to make a purchase. Smith, professional speaker and trainer, says, "Storytelling packs an emotional punch that turns routine presentations into productive relationships." More than a PowerPoint presentation or video, stories about a company, how it was started, and what it does can "activate emotions and trigger that part of the brain where decisions are made." Smith interviewed sales professionals at Microsoft, Costco, Hewlett Packard, Procter & Gamble, and other companies to find out how they use stories. He also gives advice on developing winning stories and how to get customers to share their own stories. The book explains the key story elements to use—surprise, emotion, drama.
Sense and Respond by Jeff Gothelf; Josh Seiden
Publication Date: 2017-02-07
Gothelf (organizational designer) and Seiden (designer and strategist) draw on their professional experiences to challenge the traditional management theories and pillars of marketing with an exciting new paradigm emphasizing the dynamic and rapidly changing demands on today’s organizational culture and leadership. Arguing that the integration of today’s digital technologies into every aspect of our lives is having a dramatic impact on organizational sustainability and industrial management, they create a challenging, practical, and useful guide for embracing continuous change with an innovative and efficient response to their clients, employees, and stakeholders. The book’s nine well-written chapters are divided into two parts. "The Sense and Response Model" and "A Manager’s Guide to Sense and Respond" provide an insight into the ways in which contemporary organizations adapt their organizational culture, leadership structure, and work environment to accept the realities of today’s commercial agility and to leverage it for their own success.
Silk Stockings and Socialism by Sharon McConnell-Sidorick
Publication Date: 2017-04-17
The 1920s Jazz Age is remembered for flappers and speakeasies, not for the success of a declining labor movement. A more complex story was unfolding among the young women and men in the hosiery mills of Kensington, the working-class heart of Philadelphia. Their product was silk stockings, the iconic fashion item of the flapper culture then sweeping America and the world. Although the young people who flooded into this booming industry were avid participants in Jazz Age culture, they also embraced a surprising, rights-based labor movement, headed by the socialist-led American Federation of Full-Fashioned Hosiery Workers (AFFFHW). In this first history of this remarkable union, Sharon McConnell-Sidorick reveals how activists ingeniously fused youth culture and radical politics to build a subculture that included dances and parties as well as picket lines and sit-down strikes, while forging a vision for social change. In documenting AFFFHW members and the Kensington community, McConnell-Sidorick shows how labor federations like the Congress of Industrial Organizations and government programs like the New Deal did not spring from the heads of union leaders or policy experts but were instead nurtured by grassroots social movements across America.
Smart Collaboration by Heidi Gardner
Publication Date: 2017-01-03
Gardner has written a practical, research-grounded book on collaboration; the introductory chapter is titled "Why Collaborate." She provides "hard evidence for collaboration," including the need to overcome the increasing specialization of professionals and grapple with increasingly complex client problems involving multiple diverse constituencies, often over many parts of the globe. Her analyses show that effective collaboration increases profits and client loyalty. The first step in bringing about collaboration is measuring it and finding out who does it well. The second is adjusting compensation to support collaboration. Third is using technology to accelerate collaboration. An interesting chapter is on how sharing and collaboration leads to significant success that remaining a solo specialist does not. One strong point of the book is the provision of practical steps for managing such things as team reactions to performance pressure. Ultimately, the book meanders through many justifications of smart collaboration rather than offering a preponderance of useful approaches and procedures. Adjusting organizational cultures to support cross-boundary collaborations is an alternative approach offered by Roger Hayes and Reginald Watts in Reframing the Leadership Landscape: Creating a Culture of Collaboration (Routledge, 2015).
Speed: How Leaders Accelerate Successful Execution by Joseph Folkman; Jack Zenger
Publication Date: 2016-12-01
This important, interesting, clearly written book is by two experts in the field of successful decision-making speed. The book is based on the authors' extensive research and statistical analysis of thousands of leaders serving for-profit and nonprofit organizations. The authors show that accurate, quality, correct decisions are made quickly, without frenzy. They explain why increased speed in decision making brings success, efficiency, and effectiveness to leaders and employees as well as competitive advantage and long-run survival to organizations. The eight specific behaviors needed to increase speed and operate at an optimal speed are explained. These behaviors include clearly communicating high priority, challenging, but achievable goals, plans, and policies to employees; delegating; and understanding new technologies. How to evaluate one's own speed is clearly presented. Excellent figures in each chapter illustrate the concepts, and organizational examples support every idea. This book is a needed contribution to organizational literature. It should be read by leaders of all organizations as well as all business students and faculty.
Superconsumers by Eddie Yoon
Publication Date: 2016-12-20
Yoon (Cambridge Group) examines a curious, intriguing marketing phenomenon. Superconsumers make up a subgroup of extremely knowledgeable, highly fixated customers. Though they are a small segment of a product's market, they account for a large percentage of its sales. They share a passion for the product and offer a valuable resource to marketers, providing sharp insight that the company may lack. The author aptly illustrates the concept through countless case studies, personal anecdotes, and relevant data. Superconsumers may shape product success in numerous ways. One grocery chain found them critical to growing its private brand. In another instance, superconsumers helped a major manufacturer push past the boundaries of an industry stereotype. Bud Light Lime seemed like a mistake for Anheuser-Busch, as it went against the macho persona the company had cultivated. The lime variant was very well received, however, as superconsumers sought a sweeter beer, image notwithstanding. The book is concise and easy to read, rather resembling a self-help book for marketers. To pursue a specific brand strategy, a typical company might require more solid research. Nonetheless, the volume affords an enjoyable, quick read for practitioners or advanced marketing students seeking an interesting supplementary text.
The Aisles Have Eyes by Joseph Turow
Publication Date: 2017-01-17
"Aisle be seeing you" is the new catch phrase in retailing, in which practically every move shoppers make is tracked and analyzed. Turow (Penn) writes that stores from Walmart to Macy's are putting technology to work to observe and connect with consumers throughout all stages of the shopping experience. Using everything from bar codes to rewards cards, cell phone apps, global positioning, video streams, and more, retailers have customers in their sights. Using tactics right out of a CIA covert ops play book, stores are even using facial recognition software to gauge customers' moods and readiness to buy. Turow notes that one company's software "extracts at least 90,000 data points from each frame," enabling it to determine the shopper's "anger, disgust, joy, surprise or boredom." In today's "brave new world" of retailing, whatever privacy customers may think they have is an illusion. As for telling the salesperson you're "just browsing," forget about it. With their arsenals of high-tech surveillance equipment in place, retailers are likely to know your shopping destination and intentions before you do.
The Case for the Corporate Death Penalty by Mary Kreiner Ramirez; Steven A. Ramirez
Publication Date: 2017-01-31
This very enigmatic title refers specifically to the dissolution of US banking giants as an appropriate penalty for their perpetration of fraud on the US public. The authors, law professors, indict the US government for not indicting the US megabanks and their senior executives, who have never been prosecuted for their role in the global financial crisis of 2007/2008. They are careful not to claim that fraud has occurred, because none of the potential violators have been brought to trial. But that is their very concern. In detailing the cases of Countrywide Financial, AIG Financial Products Group, JP Morgan Chase, and Goldman, Sachs, among others, Ramirez and Ramirez find ample evidence to proceed with criminal indictments. They suggest that the government’s reluctance even to prosecute stems from the existence of a government-financial industry complex that protects the megabankers and their institutions. Similar concerns but different explanations may be found in Judge Jed S. Rakoff, “The Financial Crisis: Why Have No High-Level Executives Been Prosecuted?” The New York Review of Books (January 9, 2014); Matt Taibbi, “Why Isn’t Wall Street in Jail?” Rolling Stone (March 3, 2011), and PBS Frontline, "The Untouchables."
The Conversational Firm by Catherine J. Turco
Publication Date: 2016-09-06
Turco (MIT) presents an ethnography of the ten months she spent embedded in an up-and-coming social media marketing company: TechCo. Rather than focusing on typical content areas expected in bureaucratic ethnographies, Turco centers on TechCo’s desire for employees to engage in dialogue at all levels to increase workforce engagement. Most important to the experience of TechCo was an intentional effort to harness the power of social media to remove typical bureaucratic barriers to effectiveness. Turco sees a corporate organization use social media to capture the creativity brought forward by millennial workers rather than shying away from the potential of such methods. Examining corporate communication and culture in an age of social media, The Conversational Firm examines the impact new technology has on overcoming bureaucracy while still working to ensure that goals are met. Turco could have gone further in contextualizing her experiences to previous organizational theory work, but her efforts greatly contribute to shaping the academy’s understanding of millennial impact on corporate culture.
The End of Loyalty by Rick Wartzman
Publication Date: 2017-05-30
This book is a sweeping history of American corporate evolution and labor relations, covering from about 1920 to the present. Wartzman (Claremont Graduate School) writes mainly from the perspective of four iconic American companies—Coca Cola, General Electric, General Motors, and Kodak. This narrative device is profoundly effective in giving readers rapport through familiarity with these brands and in maintaining focus on an otherwise diffuse subject. The author’s main thesis is that all four companies, via their diverse approaches to labor relations, constructed an American “social contract,” whereby workers were given “good” jobs that paid well and included excellent fringe benefits and decent working conditions. In exchange, workers implicitly gave their employers loyalty, initiative, effort, care, and teamwork. This social contract reached its pinnacle circa 1970, at which point tectonic structural shifts such as globalization, technological advancement, automation, and the changing form of executive compensation and incentive structure gradually rendered the contract no longer sustainable (marking the end of loyalty between firm and worker). The book is chock full of good history, economics, and biography of the important actors. The book is exceptionally well researched and has a 24-page bibliography and 170 pages of online endnotes.
The End of Ownership by Aaron Perzanowski; Jason M. Schultz
Publication Date: 2016-11-04
Buying a hard copy of a book has different implications for the ability to lend or resell, or even for duration of use, than buying an e-book or kindle version. The conversation a four-year-old has with a listening Barbie Doll is subject to digital rights claims by the manufacturer. Perzanowski (Case Western Law School) and Schultz (New York Univ. School of Law) consider legal and policy ramifications of the proliferation of the digital economy as suggested by these examples. The domain of this economy ranges from markets in digital music to that of physical objects such as cars, garage door openers, and even pacemakers currently subject to digital control. The book advocates concerns for consumer rights and access in the digital economy, and is grounded in the authors’ experiences as legal experts in digital rights cases. It is not a rant but develops a coherent argument convincingly supported throughout by compelling examples; it is engaging yet thorough while avoiding either legal or technological complexities. The authors conclude that the concept of ownership should be preserved even if some aspects of that concept will inevitably continue to evolve.
The Etiquette Edge by Beverly Langford
Publication Date: 2016-08-23
Do people need professional incentives to behave well? Langford (Georgia State Univ.) builds a strong case for how courtesy can advance careers because no one works in a social vacuum. Fortunately, she also shows how thoughtfulness and civility can improve people's day-to-day lives and those of others, thereby moving beyond appeals to purely cynical motives. This lively, witty review of countless professional scenarios offers guidelines that can reduce stress and uncertainties in common and unusually challenging situations. Langford employs anecdotes, cites studies and other authorities, and organizes it all into concise chapters charted in a well-crafted index. She advocates for flexibility across time and cultures, emphasizing attitudes rather than mere rule compliance. Updates in this second edition include how people present themselves, others, and employers on social media platforms. The basic principle that applies in social media, “think before you post," can guide people in any situation: think before you act, use common sense, respect others, and imagine long-term consequences. The American Management Association published both editions to support professional growth. How people develop “personal brands” matters both professionally and personally.
The Gendered Executive by Janet M. Martin (Editor); MaryAnne Borelli (Editor)
Publication Date: 2016-09-29
Martin (Bowdoin) and Borrelli (Connecticut College) provide an exceptional collection of 12 analyses of the intersections of gender, sex, and the executive branch. The editors include American and comparative political perspectives, providing a much-needed integration of research on gender and executive leadership. Individual chapters reveal diverse methodological approaches, from individual case studies (Chhabria’s “India’s Prime Minister: Narendra Modi, Gender, and Governance”) to quantitative analysis (Reyes-Housholder and Schwindt-Bayer’s “The Impact of Presidentas on Political Activity”). The text also demonstrates that although the US has not yet had a female president, there remains a rich field for analysis, including vice-presidential candidates (Borrelli and Goren’s “Sarah Palin’s and Paul Ryan’s Vice Presidential Acceptance Speeches") and gendered policy making (Rotramel’s “US Presidents and LGBT Policy”). Finally, the comparative perspective provides a broader set of research questions to consider. For instance, in “‘First Women’ and ‘Women’s Posts,’” Escobar-Lemmon and Taylor-Robinson analyze female cabinet ministers, an approach that could be replicated under different executive systems. This text is a rich contribution to the fields of gender, sex and politics, and executive politics.
The Innovation Illusion by Fredrik Erixon; Bjorn Weigel
Publication Date: 2016-11-22
Readers will find in this book an interesting discussion about some of the issues inhibiting innovation today. The factors range from the rate of globalization, changes in the global landscape, the interplay between innovation and growing (even large) firms, and entrepreneurship in dynamic environments. Graduate students and practitioners may find the discussion on pitfalls in innovation and the role of regulatory factors particularly interesting, as the interaction between regulatory forces and markets greatly influences the rate of innovation and adoption. Researchers and practitioners may both benefit from the section on the future of innovation, as it highlights some key issues going forward: availability and sources of capital, increasingly complex regulation, and other forces that may inhibit innovation.
The Medici Effect, with a New Preface and Discussion Guide by Frans Johansson; Teresa Amabile (Foreword by)
Publication Date: 2017-03-07
The Medici Effect discusses the fascinating realm of innovation. Johansson employs a perspective that is a refreshing change from much of the extant literature, and delves deeper into the field of what really drives those unique innovations. Considering the concept of intersections and diversity where fields collide to provide access to different knowledge bases, the author investigates this phenomenon using stories uncovered from extensive field research. Graduate students, upper-division students, and academics may find value in the necessity of reevaluating innovation processes. Professionals and practitioners should not miss the section on evaluating failures, as it may force them to reconsider what has been learned and, just as importantly, how they have learned what they know. In particular, success is rooted in the importance of intersections and learning what works (success) and what does not work (failure). Important is the necessity not to be afraid of failure, as it may hinder the drive to seek out innovation.
The New Advertising by Ruth E. Brown (Editor); Valerie K. Jones (Editor); Ming Wang (Editor)
Publication Date: 2016-09-19
This two-volume set concerns the numerous changes that have occurred in advertising as a result of new technology, social media, and interactive consumers. The contributors to the first volume examine the history of advertising, especially its concepts, and how traditional forms of advertising have evolved into newer forms of advertising. Organized into three parts, the volume presents consumer-centric advertising, digital transformation, customer relationship management, interactive media, user-generated content, native advertising, streaming video, gaming and advertising, and experiential marketing, among other topics. The contributors to the second volume, which is also organized into three parts, discuss social media engagement, social media marketing, social media behavior, mobile platforms, real-time marketing, new media advertising, search marketing, programmatic advertising, and ethical advertising, among other subjects. The chapters are informative and easy to read.
The Profitability Test by Harborne W. Stuart
Publication Date: 2016-08-19
Porter’s Competitive Strategy (Free Press, 1980) is taught in virtually every undergraduate strategy course. It is so well known among undergraduate business students that hearing it contradicted can seem foolish. But Stuart (Columbia), author of The Profitability Test, does so convincingly. He relies on a combination of economic proofs and game theory to show how firms that are neither lowest cost nor most differentiated can be profitable. He offers solid economic modeling and introduces readers to concepts such as the value gap advantage, willingness to pay (and how to calculate it), and the difference between an excluded buyer and an envious buyer. Stuart lays out the material succinctly, relying heavily on modeling proofs to make his points. He concludes the book by moving from stylized games to messier ones, more attuned to what managers actually face. It is here that managers seeking to understand how best to price against competition will find this work very valuable. MBA students will benefit from using this in either an economics or a strategy course.
The Relationship Engine by Ed Wallace
Publication Date: 2016-10-18
This volume is a practical guide to managing professional relationships. A relational leader is "anyone who intentionally puts the other person's goals and values at the forefront of each business relationship, creating an exceptional experience for others." The principles include putting the other person's best interest at the core of your relationship, but knowing that this pays off in such ways as retaining employees. Another principle is to care about people's goals, passions, and struggles. The aim is to get to know people more than at a superficial level. One of the principles involves inspiring a sense of purpose in your colleagues. An interesting part of the book is the discussion of lateral and vertical relationship planning. The notion is not to miss critical relational gaps that might leave out a valuable person from a process. The goal is to identify which person can be helpful to a project and let her know of the need she might be able to cover. Sponsor–protégé relationships are strategic. Relational capital is to be built up over many interactions and years. A recommendation is to use hand-written notes to make your communication standout in this age of email.
Therapeutic Revolutions by Jeremy A. Greene; Flurin Condrau; Elizabeth Siegel Watkins
Publication Date: 2016-11-23
This treatise, edited by Greene (Johns Hopkins), Condrau (Univ. of Zurich), and Watkins (UC San Francisco), makes for most informative and interesting reading, due in part to careful editing that provides a oneness of style even though each of the 11 chapters was written by a different author. This continuity reflects the objective of the work: to evaluate the changes—economic, social, political, and civil, both positive and negative—that have been brought about by the introduction and practical application of new pharmaceuticals, giving rise to “new medicine” or “modern therapeutics.” The three phases of any revolution (think industrial revolution), the past (origin, development), the present (current status), and the future (predictions), are all carefully examined. A short bio of each author is included.
Too Few Women at the Top by Kumiko Nemoto
Publication Date: 2016-08-30
Nemoto examines the paradox of why so few women hold positions of power in Japan’s corporations, despite gains in educational attainment and legal protections against discrimination. She argues that it is structural and cultural issues—such as pushing women into more menial job tracks, and expecting women to quit when they get married—that lead to the systematic limitation of women in management. Affirmative action policies or special seminars for women do not change these underlying issues, and so the inequalities persist. Change is rarely easy, but trying to change "business as usual" in Japan is especially tough because top management decisions are made by firmly entrenched old-boys' clubs. However, Nemoto offers the possibility that change may come as businesses adapt to a more flexible and globalized market. Nemoto’s engaging and clear writing bring context to the larger question of women’s rights in the workforce. For scholars of human rights, this work provides a thoughtful challenge to the idea that legal equality will lead to equality in the workplace. This would also be a good book for those working with Japanese businesses or conducting business in Japan, as it helps illuminate the why of Japanese business culture.
Uberworked and Underpaid by Trebor Scholz
Publication Date: 2016-12-05
Scholz (Eugene Lang College) applies a critical eye to the so-called "sharing economy," digital enterprises that connect providers and consumers for on-demand tasks while failing to supply livable incomes and benefits. Internet apps permit employers like Uber or Mechanical Turk to expand the population of potential employees, thereby diminishing their market power. Moreover, these internet-based enterprises conceal the actual conditions of workers from the public, whether they serve the app or manufacture the components of necessary technologies in distant sweatshops. On the other hand, workers are subjected to electronic monitoring of their every move. Scholz identifies these emerging employers with "platform capitalism." He advocates an alternative, "platform cooperativism," which combines new technologies and the renewal of labor power. Scholz reports on digital enterprises owned and managed by their employees, such as Loconomics, an app for booking local services. He has convened "Digital Labor Conferences" to advance the movement. He proposes a Bill of Rights for Digital Workers to broadly protect workers and enhance the prospects for the diffusion of labor-friendly models. Uberworked and Overworked is both deconstruction of clichés of the digital age and inspiring agenda for reform.
Upside by Kenneth W. GRONBACH; M. J. Moye (As told to); John Zogby (Foreword by)
Publication Date: 2017-04-13
Renowned market analyst and demographer Gronbach and noted demographic researcher Moye adroitly remove the mystique of the often-arcane plethora of data that seems to be the mantra of today’s Information Age. From the global impact of age curves to the Affordable Care Act and the latest trends in marketing, such as Zipcars, the book is much more than the traditional compilation of charts, graphs, and statistical methodology and data. It provides instead a unique socioeconomic history, challenging insights, and a practical guide into the meaning and impact of contemporary demographics on the future global demand for products and services. Organized into three sections—“The Demand Side of the Equation: Generations and Regions,” “The Supply Side of the Equation: The Impact of Demographics,” and “The Rest of the World (Row)”—the 31 excellent chapters feature an engaging, entertaining writing style along with interesting short case studies and a dynamic, global, and new and powerful vision of the opportunities that are and will continue to become available to those who are able to understand and take advantage of their potential.
Wealth, Commerce, and Philosophy by Eugene Heath; Byron Kaldis; Deirdre N. McCloskey (Foreword by)
Publication Date: 2017-06-02
This is a collection of important writing on business ethics. Unlike a great books approach, it relies on pieces by others explicating key thinkers in the field. “This volume seeks to reinvigorate and widen business ethics scholarship so that the discipline will be informed more fully and deeply by the perspectives of significant philosophers and thinkers.” The moral issues associated with economic exchange, the ethical dimensions of markets and business, and the creation and uses of wealth are examined through the lenses of sages across a long history. It generally provides clear and compelling summaries of significant thought. The book suggests that a business ethicist might deploy arguments from an array of the thinkers in examining questions related to human resources, marketing, or incorporating concerns related to the natural environment in business. For example, Kant’s moral principle of treating others as ends in themselves might be deployed along with the virtues of Aristotle, such as honesty or generosity. The essays include significant ideas quite relavant to inquiries into business ethics. The book does not explicitly grapple with the welter of current issues associated with e-commerce and other emerging technologies.
When Sport Meets Business by Ulrik Wagner (Editor); Rasmus K. Storm (Editor); Klaus Nielsen (Editor)
Publication Date: 2017-02-04
And never the twain shall meet? Research and writing on the economics or business of sports constitute a thriving cottage industry in both the United States and Europe (and scholars “down under” cannot be completely discounted). Owing to geographic separation, different organizational aspects of sports leagues, public policies on each side of the pond, and interest in particular sporting events that varies by nationality or region—soccer outside the US, baseball, American football, and college athletics here—the foci tend to be different as well. When Sport Meets Business is a case in point. Organized around four broad themes—the sport environment, sport marketing and media, sport and finance, and sporting events (the two concluding chapters are on the Olympics)—these 15 stand-alone chapters, authored by European sport-management or marketing professors with very little in the way of coverage of comparable US research and topics, continue this bifurcation. The editors and contributors assess the volume’s appeal to students in sport-related courses in business, economics, and other social sciences; more appropriately, the audience will likely be limited to students and faculty members at European institutions. Solid and plentiful references: goal!
Whose Global Village? by Ramesh Srinivasan
Publication Date: 2017-02-28
Srinivasan proposes to rethink how technology shapes the world by differentiating between the developers and the architects of the structure undergirding the current communications web (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) and the users of that structure. In short, he sees the construct as inherently biased because the developers were all corporations and governments in the "west" and, however unintended, that bias forces social, political and moral, and economic choices upon Third-World users. The author suggests that true multiculturalism requires a dialogue with the developing world regarding the use, design, and implementation of these tools and that otherwise, the "existing inequalities of globalization will continue to be reinforced." This takes place when a similar discussion is taking place in the "west" regarding the use of multi-sided platforms (Uber, Airbnb, etc.) and their moral, socioeconomic, and political implications for developers and users. Humans may have come to a moment in which technology is no longer viewed as agnostic and need to revisit existing assumptions. The author does a fine job of presenting these arguments in his passionate yet thorough text.
Winning at Following by J. Norman Baldwin
Publication Date: 2017-03-31
Baldwin (Univ. of Alabama) provides an overview of followership as a crucial yet underrated role in many organizations. Though many recent books on followership focus on developing followers who promote leaders, Winning at Following focuses on promoting the happiness of followers. The book consists of a series of literature reviews (summarized in numerous tables) on various topics, such as the qualities of ideal followers, types of followers, types of leadership, organizational cultures and climates, and the most and least satisfying jobs. Early in the book, Baldwin introduces a followership typology survey, enabling readers to identify their own followership traits (e.g., alienated versus committed, conforming versus individualistic, passive versus active, idealistic versus pragmatic, and altruistic versus self-oriented). The following chapters attempt to help readers find the right fit in terms of leadership styles, organizational cultures, and organizational climates for their particular followership traits. Most chapters include personal anecdotes more or less related to the topics to engage readers and keep their interest. Written in a conversational style, Baldwin’s book is accessible to all.