среда, 1 сентября 2010 г.

Advice on business literature from Helen Edwards

The First of September is the Day of Knowledge!
We sincerely congratulate everyone who follows a difficult path of knowledge, who learns something new and gets an invaluable life experience.

Today we're presenting a new selection of books from Helen Edwards, a SKOLKOVO Library project manager. You can read her previous advice on business literature here.
Hopefully, there'll be only helpful and interesting books in your sack and you'll use them in practice!

1. Market Rebels: how activists make or break radical innovations
Hayagreeva Rao
Princeton University Press 2009
222 pages
ISBN 978-0691134567

This book identifies the key role of activists in promoting or impeding the adoption of radical business innovations. Technology may be ready but social and cultural factors determine whether a product takes off or flounders. Getting people angry or excited "hot causes" or kicking off a trend with which people identify "cool mobilization" can invoke collective action to create or constrain markets. The challenge for the manager is to "think like an insurgent" to make effective use of these powerful social forces.

2. Made in China: secrets of China's dynamic entrepreneurs
Winter Nie, Katherine Xin and Lily Zhang
Singapore: Wiley (Asia), 2009
224 pages
ISBN 978-0-470-82436-8

It seems that everyone wants to do business in China. However it is often China's own entrepreneurs rather than other multinationals which are the real competition. These private companies, now supplanting state owned enterprises and being set up by Chinese business people from all kinds of backgrounds and often with little initial capital, are succeeding by knowing their own markets and culture, readiness to adapt and resourcefulness.

3. Strategy from the outside in
George S. Day and Christine Moorman
McGraw Hill Companies, 2010.
304 p.
ISBN 978-0071742290

Based on extensive research with leading companies worldwide, the authors describe a strategic approach based on customer value. This is to be a customer value leader, innovate new value for customers, capitalize on the customer as an asset and capitalize on the brand as an asset. Ironically it is often the very companies who initially succeed by adopting customer focussed strategies who, as they grow, become complacent and turn to “inside out” thinking. The challenge is to adopt this "outside in" strategy throughout the whole organization on an ongoing basis to maximize revenue growth, profit and shareholder value.

4. A new alliance for global change: working together corporations and social entrepreneurs can reshape industries to solve the world's toughest problems
Bill Drayton and Valeria Budinich
Harvard Business Review 88 (September 2010) 56 - 64

Part of a series of Harvard Business Review spotlight articles on how entrepreneurs can change the world, the authors introduce the concept of the hybrid value chain. This combines the experience of large scale organization in business with the energy and enthusiasm of social activists. The article shows how markets can be reconceived, in terms of profits, knowledge and talent, to realize the potential of low income customers in emerging markets.

5. A typology of middle managers in modern Russia: an intercultural study
Marina Astakhova, Cathy L. Z. DuBois and Mary Hogue
International Journal of Intercultural Relations 34 (2010) 527 - 539

The authors identify four subgroups of Russian middle managers based on age, education and work experience. Rapid historical change following the break up of the Soviet Union has had a profound effect on the outlook of managers of different ages; similarly their level of exposure to western education and business practice. The work of Hofstede in defining cultural types is applied to the subgroups to pinpoint differences and to make recommendations for HR practices when dealing with Russian managers in multinational companies.

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