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Top 5 Business Books for the Beach Chair

In every issue of the Graziadio Business Report we include a “Book Corner” in which faculty members at Graziadio School of Business and Management review the latest business books on a vast array of topics related to leadership and management.

From the Book Corner we have compiled the top five business books you should have on your 2010 summer reading list. Allow our faculty members to tell you why…

The Greatest Trade Ever by Gregory Zuckerman
Five stars

The Greatest Trade Ever
By Gregory Zuckerman
Broadway Business, 2009

The Greatest Trade Ever is a candy store for those with an interest in finance, the politics of making money, and the study of risk and return. It is also a book that considers the ethical dilemmas we are faced with in business. This is a five star read that I wish I could give six stars.”

Michael Kinsman, PhD, CPA, Professor of Finance and Accounting

Read or listen to the full review here.

The Design of Business by Roger Martin
Five stars

The Design of Business: Why Design Thinking Is the Next Competitive Advantage
By Roger Martin
Harvard Business Press, 2009

“In this solid and cutting-edge book, Roger Martin redresses the imbalance that has crept into strategic management. He provides a compact framework for understanding the potential of what he calls, ‘design thinking,’ or the way a business can strategically re-invent itself. It is essential reading for CEOs, specialists, and employees alike.”

Sam Farry, MBA, Class Advisor, Executive Programs

Read or listen to the full review here.

Drive: The Surprising Truth about What Motivates Us by Daniel Pink
Five stars

Drive: The Surprising Truth about What Motivates Us
By Daniel Pink
Penguin Books, 2009

“In Drive, Pink looks at the three legs of a tripod holding up organizations:  Autonomy; Mastery; Purpose.  He attacks each of these in depth.  What makes this book valuable is that it really is taking a new look at the way organizations should operate in the 21st century.”

– John Oppenheim, Adjunct Professor of Management Information Systems

Read or listen to the full review here.

In Extremis Leadership: Leading As If Your Life Depended On It by Thomas A. Kolditz, PhD
Four stars

In Extremis Leadership: Leading As If Your Life Depended On It
By Thomas A. Kolditz, PhD
Jossey-Bass, 2007

“In extremis leadership always comes with a tangible moral obligation… [It is] less about power over subordinates and more about an obligation toward their well-being and survival.”

Reviewed by Michael Magasin, JD, Associate Professor of Business Law

Read or listen to the full review here.

Strategic Customer Service:
Five stars

Strategic Customer Service: Managing the Customer Experience to Increase Positive Word of Mouth, Build Loyalty, and Maximize Profits
By John A. Goodman
AMACOM, 2009

“This book should not be on the bookshelf, but on the desktop of every person responsible for customer service.”

Bill Bleuel, PhD, Professor of Decision Sciences

Read or listen to the full review here.

Happy reading, and do let us know what books you recommend for brushing up on business management beachside. Comment below or e-mail

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Graziadio Business Review
Graziadio Business Review is an online journal that delivers relevant business information and analysis for business, government, and non-profit managers. From accounting and finance to ethics and work/life balance, the Graziadio Business Review extends current business debates in new directions that you can use to advance your business and professional career.
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