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Best Business Books: O
The Oil Curse by
Call Number: HD9578 .D44 R67 2012 e-Book (MyiLibrary) and Library West
ISBN: 9780691145457. Princeton University Press, 289p. $29.95
Publication Date: 2012-02-13
Countries that are rich in petroleum have less democracy, less economic stability, and more frequent civil wars than countries without oil. What explains this oil curse? And can it be fixed? In this groundbreaking analysis, Michael L. Ross looks at how developing nations are shaped by their mineral wealth--and how they can turn oil from a curse into a blessing. Ross traces the oil curse to the upheaval of the 1970s, when oil prices soared and governments across the developing world seized control of their countries' oil industries. Before nationalization, the oil-rich countries looked much like the rest of the world; today, they are 50 percent more likely to be ruled by autocrats--and twice as likely to descend into civil war--than countries without oil. The Oil Curseshows why oil wealth typically creates less economic growth than it should; why it produces jobs for men but not women; and why it creates more problems in poor states than in rich ones. It also warns that the global thirst for petroleum is causing companies to drill in increasingly poor nations, which could further spread the oil curse. This landmark book explains why good geology often leads to bad governance, and how this can be changed.
On Competition by
Call Number: HF1414 .P67 2008 (Library West)
ISBN: 9781422126967. Exp. ed. Harvard Business School Pub. 544p. $39.95.
Publication Date: 2008-09-09
For the past two decades, Michael Porter's work has towered over the field of competitive strategy. On Competition, Updated and Expanded Edition brings together more than a dozen of Porter's landmark articles from the Harvard Business Review. Five are new to this edition, including the 2008 update to his classic "The Five Competitive Forces That Shape Strategy," as well as new work on health care, philanthropy, corporate social responsibility, and CEO leadership. This collection captures Porter's unique ability to bridge theory and practice. Each of the articles has not only shaped thinking, but also redefined the work of practitioners in its respective field. In an insightful new introduction, Porter relates each article to the whole of his thinking about competition and value creation, and traces how that thinking has deepened over time. This collection is organized by topic, allowing the reader easy access to the wide range of Porter's work. Parts I and II present the frameworks for which Porter is best known--frameworks that address how companies, as well as nations and regions, gain and sustain competitive advantage. Part III shows how strategic thinking can address society's most pressing challenges, from environmental sustainability to improving health-care delivery. Part IV explores how both nonprofits and corporations can create value for society more effectively by applying strategy principles to philanthropy. Part V explores the link between strategy and leadership.
Once upon a Car by
Call Number: HD9710 .U52 V53 2011 (Library West)
Publication Date: 2011-10-04
Once Upon a Car is the brilliantly reported, inside-the-boardrooms-and-factories story of Detroit's fight for survival, going beyond the headlines to chronicle how the country's Big Three auto companies teetered on the brink of collapse and pulled themselves together under new leadership at Ford and government assistance to General Motors and Chrysler. In this riveting true account of an iconic industry in crisis, Bill Vlasic takes readers from the gleaming corporate skyscrapers, massive auto plants, and union halls to the U.S. Congress and into the Oval Office, introducing a cast of memorable characters, many of whom are speaking out for the first time.
The One-Page Financial Plan: A Simple Way to be Smart About Money by
Call Number: (Library West, On Order)
Publication Date: Portfolio, 2015
Whenever I tell people about my job as a financial advisor, the conversation inevitably turns to how hopeless they feel when it comes to dealing with money. More than once, they've begged, "Just tell me what to do." It's no surprise that even my most successful friends feel confused or paralyzed. Even if they have a shelfful of personal finance books, they don't have time to make sense of all the information available. They don't just want good advice, they want the best advice--so rather than do the "wrong thing," they do nothing. Their 401(k) and bank statements pile up, unexamined or maybe even unopened. What they don't realize is that bad calls about money aren't failures; they're just what happens when emotional creatures have to make decisions about the future with limited information. What I tell them is that we need to scrap striving for perfection and instead commit to a process of guessing and making adjustments when things go off track. Of course we're going to make the best guesses we can--but we're not going to obsess over getting them exactly right. The fact is, in a single page you can prioritize what you really want in life and figure out how to get there. That's because a great financial plan has nothing to do with what the markets are doing, what your real estate agent is pitching, or the hot stock your brother-in-law told you about. It has everything to do with what's most important to you. By now you may be wondering, "What about the details? How much do I need to invest each year, and how do I allocate it? How much life insurance do I need?" Don't worry: I'll cover those topics and many more, sharing strategies that will take the complexity out of them. The most important thing is getting clarity about the big picture so you can cope with the unexpected. Maybe you'll lose the job you thought was secure; you'll take a financial risk that doesn't pan out; you'll have twins when you were only budgeting for one. In other words: Life will happen. But no matter what happens, this book will help you bridge the gap between where you are now and where you want to go.
The Only Game in Town: Banks, Instability, and Avoiding the Next Collapse by
Call Number: (Library West, On Order)
Publication Date: Random House, 2016. $28.00
Dr. Mohamed A. El-Erian, one of the world's most influential economic thinkers and the New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of When Markets Collide, has written a roadmap to what lies ahead and the decisions we must make now to stave off the next global economic and financial crisis. Our current economic path is coming to an end. The signposts are all around us: sluggish growth, rising inequality, stubbornly high pockets of unemployment, and jittery financial markets, to name a few. Soon we will reach a fork in the road: One path leads to renewed growth, prosperity, and financial stability, the other to recession and market disorder. In The Only Game in Town, El-Erian casts his gaze toward the future of the global economy and markets, outlining the choices we face both individually and collectively in an era of economic uncertainty and financial insecurity. Beginning with their response to the 2008 global crisis, El-Erian explains how and why our central banks became the critical policy actors--and, most important, why they cannot continue is this role alone. They saved the financial system from collapse in 2008 and a multiyear economic depression, but lack the tools to enable a return to high inclusive growth and durable financial stability. The time has come for a policy handoff, from a prolonged period of monetary policy experimentation to a strategy that better targets what ails economies and distorts the financial sector--before we stumble into another crisis. The future, critically, is not predestined. It is up to us to decide where we will go from here as households, investors, companies, and governments. Using a mix of insights from economics, finance, and behavioral science, this book gives us the tools we need to properly understand this turning point, prepare for it, and come out of it stronger. A comprehensive, controversial look at the realities of our global economy and markets, The Only Game in Town is required reading for investors, policymakers, and anyone interested in the future. Advance praise for The Only Game in Town "Mohamed El-Erian has had an extraordinary career as an investment analyst, investor, and market commentator. His 'new normal' concept was prescient, provocative, and has proven out. Agree or disagree, his go-forward thoughts contained in this bracing book are well worth considering."--Lawrence H. Summers, former secretary of the U.S. Treasury "Achieves the nearly impossible: It takes complex financial issues and events and makes them both enlightening and entertaining. It's a must-read for anyone who cares about the global economy and its future."--Jack Welch "May well be the only book you need to read on how the global financial system works, the serious trouble we may be in, and what to do about it. El-Erian's gift for clarity and his use of compelling examples make important economic issues accessible."--Anne-Marie Slaughter, president and CEO, New America "The job of policymakers is mind-bogglingly hard. Who better than Mohamed El-Erian, with his knowledge of markets, his knowledge of policy, and his brilliant mind, to help organize their (and our) thoughts."--Olivier Blanchard, senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics "Today's global economy is beset by low growth and rising inequality. By looking at the tools now being used by the world's major central banks, Mohamed El-Erian shows how we can instead promote inclusive economic growth. This is a must-read from one of the most astute financial analysts of our time."--Walter Isaacson, author of Steve Jobs
The Outsourcer: The Story of India's IT revolution by
Call Number: HD9696.63.I42 S48 2015 (Library West)
Publication Date: MIT Press, 2015
The rise of the Indian information technology industry is a remarkable economic success story. Software and services exports from India amounted to less than $100 million in 1990, and today come close to $100 billion. But, as Dinesh Sharma explains in The Outsourcer, Indian IT's success has a long prehistory; it did not begin with software support, or with American firms' eager recruitment of cheap and plentiful programming labor, or with India's economic liberalization of the 1990s. The foundations of India's IT revolution were laid long ago, even before the country's independence from British rule in 1947, as leading Indian scientists established research institutes that became centers for the development of computer science and technology. The "miracle" of Indian IT is actually a story about the long work of converting skills and knowledge into capital and wealth. With The Outsourcer, Sharma offers the first comprehensive history of the forces that drove India's IT success. Sharma describes India's early development of computer technology, part of the country's efforts to achieve national self-sufficiency, and shows that excessive state control stifled IT industry growth before economic policy changed in 1991. He traces the rise and fall (and return) of IBM in India and the emergence of pioneering indigenous hardware and software firms. He describes the satellite communication links and state-sponsored, tax-free technology parks that made software-related outsourcing by foreign firms viable, and the tsunami of outsourcing operations at the beginning of the new millennium. It is the convergence of many factors, from the tradition of technical education to the rise of entrepreneurship to advances in communication technology, that have made the spectacular growth of India's IT industry possible.
Call Number: HD30.27 .T566 2012 (Library West)
ISBN: 9781422183175. . Harvard Business Review Press, 261p. $26.00
Publication Date: 2012-06-05
Why Prediction Markets Are Good for Business From selecting the lead actress in a Broadway musical, to predicting a crucial delay in the delivery of Boeing's 787 Dreamliner months before the CEO knew about it, to accurately forecasting US presidential elections--prediction markets have realized some amazing successes by aggregating the wisdom of crowds.Until now, the potential for this unique approach has remained merely an interesting curiosity. But a handful of innovative organizations--GE, Google, Motorola, Microsoft, Eli Lily, even the CIA--has successfully tapped employee insights to change how business gets done.In 'Oracles', Don Thompson explains how these and other firms use prediction markets to make better decisions, describing what could be the origins of a social revolution. Thompson shows how prediction markets can:* draw on the hidden knowledge of every employee* tap the "intellectual bandwidth" of retired employees* replace surveys* substitute for endless meetingsBy showing successes and failures of real organizations, and identifying the common roadblocks they've overcome, 'Oracles' offers a guide to begin testing expertise against the collective wisdom of employees and the market--all to the benefit of their bottom line.
The Org by
Call Number: HD58.7 .F573 2013 (Library West)
ISBN: 9781455517534. welve, 309 p., $26.99
Publication Date: 2013-01-08
We create organizations because we need to get a job done--something we couldn't do alone--and join them because we're inspired by their missions (and our paycheck). But once we're inside, these organizations rarely feel inspirational. Instead, we're often baffled by what we encounter: clueless managers, a lack of clear objectives, a seeming disregard for data, and the vast gulf between HR proclamations and our experience in the cubicle. So where did it all go wrong? In THE ORG, Ray Fisman and Tim Sullivan explain the tradeoffs that every organization faces, arguing that this everyday dysfunction is actually inherent to the very nature of orgs. THE ORG diagnoses the root causes of that malfunction, beginning with the economic logic of why organizations exist in the first place, then working its way up through the org's structure from the lowly cubicle to the CEO's office. Looking at life behind the red tape, THE ORG shows why the path from workshop to corporate behemoth is pockmarked with tradeoffs and competing incentives, but above all, demonstrates why organizations are central to human achievement.
Organizational Traps: Leadership, Culture, Organizational Design by
Call Number: HD58.7.A74 2010 (Library West)
ISBN: 9780199586165. Oxford University Press, 214p. $35.00
Publication Date: 2010-06-22
Anyone who has spent time in an organization knows that dysfunctional behavior abounds. Conflict is frequently avoided or pushed underground rather than dealt with openly. At the same time, the same arguments often burst out again and again, almost verbatim. Turf battles continue for extendedperiods without resolution. People nod their heads in agreement in meetings, and then rush out of the room to voice complaints to sympathetic ears in private. Worst of all, when people are asked if things will ever change, they throw up their hands in despair. They feel like victims trapped in anasylum. And people often are trapped. But they are not trapped by some oppressive regime or organizational structure that has been imposed on them. They are not victims. In fact, people themselves are responsible for making the status quo so resistant to change. We are trapped by our own behavior. Researchers and practitioners have often reflected on these things, but there is a puzzle. On the one hand, there is substantial agreement that these traps are counterproductive to effective performance. On the other hand, there is almost no focus on how organizational traps can be prevented orreduced. This book argues that whatever theory is used to describe and understand such organizational traps should be used to design and implement interventions that reduce and prevent them. Argyris is one of the world's leading management scholars whose work has consistently shed light on orgainzationalproblems. This book is essential reading for MBAs, managers, and consultants.
Organizations: A Very Short Introduction by
Call Number: HD58.7.H395 2011 (Library West)
Publication Date: 2011-04-15
Most of us recognize that organizations are everywhere. You meet them on every street corner in the form of families and shops, study in them, work for them, buy from them, pay taxes to them. But have you given much thought to where they came from, what they are today, and what they mightbecome in the future? How and why do they have so much influence over us, and what influences them? How do they contribute to and detract from the meaningfulness of lives, and how might we improve them so they better serve our needs and desires? This Very Short Introductions addresses all of these questions and considers many more. Mary Jo Hatch introduces the concept of organizations by presenting definitions and ideas drawn from the a variety of subject areas including the physical sciences, economics, sociology, psychology, anthropology,literature, and the visual and performing arts. Drawing on examples from prehistory and everyday life, from the animal kingdom as well as from business, government, and other formal organizations, Hatch provides a lively and thought provoking introduction to the process of organization.
Originals: How Non-Conformists move the World by
Call Number: HD53 .G742 2016 (Library West, On Order)
Publication Date: Viking, 2016. $27.00
The New York Times bestselling author of Give and Take examines how people can champion new ideas--and how leaders can encourage originality in their organizations With Give and Take, Adam Grant not only introduced a landmark new paradigm for success but also established himself as one of his generation's most compelling and provocative thought leaders. In Originals he again addresses the challenge of improving the world, but now from the perspective of becoming original: choosing to champion novel ideas and values that go against the grain, battle conformity, and buck outdated traditions. How can we originate new ideas, policies, and practices without risking it all? Using surprising studies and stories spanning business, politics, sports, and entertainment, Grant explores how to recognize a good idea, speak up without getting silenced, build a coalition of allies, choose the right time to act, and manage fear and doubt; how parents and teachers can nurture originality in children; and how leaders can fight groupthink to build cultures that welcome dissent. Learn from an entrepreneur who pitches his start-ups by highlighting the reasons not to invest, a woman at Apple who challenged Steve Jobs from three levels below, an analyst who overturned the rule of secrecy at the CIA, a billionaire financial wizard who fires employees for failing to criticize him, and a TV executive who didn't even work in comedy but saved Seinfeld from the cutting-room floor. The payoff is a set of groundbreaking insights about rejecting conformity and improving the status quo.
Other People's Money by
Call Number: HD268 .N5 B24 2013 (Library West)
ISBN: 9780525952657. Dutton, 387p., $28.95
Publication Date: 2013-04-04
In just over three years, real estate giant Tishman Speyer and its partner, BlackRock, lost billions of investors’ dollars on a single deal. The New York Times reporter who first broke the story of the sale of Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village takes readers inside the most spectacular failure in real estate history, using this single deal as a lens to see how and why the real estate crisis happened. How did the smartest people in real estate lose billions in one single deal? How did the Church of England, the California public employees’ pension fund, and the Singapore government combined lose more than one billion dollars investing in a middle-class housing complex in New York City? How did MetLife make three billion dollars on the deal, without any repercussions from a historically racist policy of housing segregation? And how did nine residents of a sleepy enclave in New York City win one of the most unlikely lawsuits in the history of real estate law? Not only does Other People’s Money answer those questions, it also explains the current recession in stark, clear detail while providing riveting first-person accounts of the titanic failure of the real estate industry to see that a recession was coming. It’s the definitive book on real estate during the bubble years--and what happened when that enormous bubble exploded.
Other People's Money: The Real Business of Finance by
Call Number: (Library West, Forthcoming)
Publication Date: PublicAffairs, 2015. $27.95
The finance sector of Western economies is too large and attracts too many of the smartest college graduates. Financialization over the past three decades has created a structure that lacks resilience and supports absurd volumes of trading. The finance sector devotes too little attention to the search for new investment opportunities and the stewardship of existing ones, and far too much to secondary-market dealing in existing assets. Regulation has contributed more to the problems than the solutions. Why? What is finance for? John Kay, with wide practical and academic experience in the world of finance, understands the operation of the financial sector better than most. He believes in good banks and effective asset managers, but good banks and effective asset managers are not what he sees. In a dazzling and revelatory tour of the financial world as it has emerged from the wreckage of the 2008 crisis, Kay does not flinch in his criticism: we do need some of the things that Citigroup and Goldman Sachs do, but we do not need Citigroup and Goldman to do them. And many of the things done by Citigroup and Goldman do not need to be done at all. The finance sector needs to be reminded of its primary purpose: to manage other people’s money for the benefit of businesses and households. It is an aberration when the some of the finest mathematical and scientific minds are tasked with devising algorithms for the sole purpose of exploiting the weakness of other algorithms for computerized trading in securities. To travel further down that road leads to ruin.
Call Number: HD30.19 .M23 2012 e-book (MyiLibrary)
ISBN: 9780814417522. American Management Association, 276p. ,$24.95
Publication Date: 2012
Everyone puts multiethnic faces in marketing materials, but it’s mostly a token gesture. Because even as the U.S. grows increasingly diverse, most professionals have little real knowledge of those different from themselves. OtherWise is a deep and engaging exploration of diversity in America and how we can bridge differences—across race, ethnicity, culture, sexual orientation, faith, and even politics. It goes far beyond census data into the realm of cognitive and social science, helping readers break through stereotypes and fears to a profound understanding of people unlike themselves. This is not touchy-feely stuff, but crucial information for businesspeople everywhere whose success depends on embracing the new realities of their workforce, their suppliers, and their customers. Readers will discover: What America’s changing demography means for business • How unconscious biases shape behaviors and beliefs • How to connect across cultures, borders, and perspectives • How to move beyond tolerating differences to capitalizing on them OtherWise strips away the barriers of “us” and “them,” and lays bare profound truths for relating to others around us.
Call Number: HD9710.U52 R38 2010 (Library West)
ISBN: 9780547443218. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2010. 336 p. $27.00
Publication Date: 2010
In Overhaul, Steven Rattner delivers an inside account of the Obama administration's bold bid to save the auto industry. From his vantage point at the helm of the intervention, Rattner crafts a tightly plotted narrative of political brinksmanship, corporate incompetence, and personalities under pressure in a high-stakes drama of Washington and Detroit. He also explains the tough choices he and his team made to keep Chrysler and GM in operation—while working against the clock in the face of intense lobbying from staunch Democratic allies and vocal opposition from free market partisans.
Overhaul is a candid, gripping story of one of the most difficult crises of President Obama's first year in office, with lessons relevant for all managers and executives.