вторник, 27 июля 2010 г.

Advice on business literature from Helen Edwards

Every day the market of business literature is extended by new useful books. SKOLKOVO School will help you make right choice! Today we are presenting a new column - advice from Helen Edwards, SKOLKOVO Library project manager.

Every month you'll be able to know about the most interesting and useful business books. You can find Helen's first selection below.

Before coming to SKOLKOVO Helen was Head of Information Services at London Business School where she worked with business students for over 20 years. She was President of the European Business Schools' Librarians' Group from 2005 to 2008 and has written and lectured widely about business school libraries in USA and Europe. In October 2009 she was made an Honorary Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals for her services to international business librarianship.

1. The India way: how India's top business leaders are revolutionizing management
Peter Cappelli, Harbir Singh, Jitendra Singh and Michael Useem
Harvard Business Press, 2010. 336p
ISBN 978-1422147597

Employees first, customers second; improvise to find new ways of creating customer value and getting around bureaucrasy; focus on the good of society. The India way is an approach to business which the authors describe as underlying the growth of the Indian economy and the rapid expansion of its largest companies. It is a culture where big business leaders are emblematic of national achievement. The book explores how this philosophy of management and its support for innovation and growth can be exported to global contexts.

2. Enterprise 2.0: new collaborative tools for your organisation's toughest challenges
Andrew McAfee
Harvard Business Press, 2009. xi, 231p
ISBN 978-1422125878

Does IT ever bring a return on investment? The first half of this book describes the key features of Web 2.0 collaborative tools, their potential to transform business, with case studies describing how they have been used by organisations to solve business problems. But what is really interesting is the description of the realities of establishing the use of the tools in the business context; the largely groundless fears that inhibit adoption and the actuality of the long haul involved in getting to real benefit.

3. Elephant in the boardroom: the causes of leadership derailment
Furnham, Adrian
Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010. ix, 283p
ISBN 978-0230229532

It is everyone's nightmare: the leader who at the top proves dysfunctional. These leaders turn out to be unable to motivate people, do not set worthwhile objectives nor make decisions for the good of the company. This book discusses the psychological traits needed for leadership and the aberrations : the psychopaths, narcissists, oddballs and the like and how they can be spotted and managed.

4. Are you ignoring trends that could shake up your business: surprising ways the hot new thing can affect your product strategy.
Elie Ofek and Luc Wathieu
Harvard Business Review, Jul/Aug2010, Vol. 88 Issue 7/8, p124-131, 8p.

The contention in this article is, that whereas managers are well able to articulate current trends, they may miss the underlying significance to their business; and specifically opportunities offered by seemingly peripheral aspects. What do multi-tasking, being "green", healthy living and wanting to be inspired out of recession gloom mean to business. This article has a number of examples - from the Nike / Apple co-operation on the Nike+ digital sports kit to the failure of the Xelibri smartphone for women (which looked like a makeup kit but couldn't actually hold anything) - to illustrate models for how trends can be successfully incorporated into product development and what leads to failure.

5. Journal of International Affairs Vol 63:2 March 2010: special issue Rethinking Russia

What is Russia's position in the world today? This special issue draws on a diverse group of scholars to provide a comprehensive outlook on twenty first century Russia: the effects of the financial crisis, Russian- US relations, energy sources and natural resources, security concerns, civil society and democracy. The discussion highlights the complexity of Russia's relations with the rest of the world and assesses its potential as a partner in a widening range of economic, political and energy relationships.

What books would you recommend? Share you impressions of the books read. Let's discuss them!

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