Business School Summer Reading Lists 2010

Posted by: Francesca Di Meglio on April 16, 2010

Recently, some business school professors weighed in on what aspiring MBAs current MBA students should be reading during their summer vacation. For the last few years, professors have excitedly shared their book suggestions with Bloomberg BusinessWeek readers, and every year a different theme seems to emerge. This time around the economic crisis and ethics dominated the reading lists from the three professors featured in “Summer Reading List: B-School Edition”.

Here, you will find these professors’ complete summer reading lists with their explanation of why each is an important read for soon-to-be MBAs and aspirants:

Hassell McClellan, associate professor of operations and strategic management
Boston College Carroll School of Management (Carroll Full-Time MBA Profile)

Fooled by Randomness
By Nassim Nicholas Taleb
Random House, 2008

“It provides interesting perspective and insights into issues and relationships between uncertainty, probabilities, risk, and decision making.”

Talent Is Never Enough
By John C. Maxwell
Thomas Nelson, 2007

“It stresses the importance of mindset, character, values, preparation, perseverance, passion, and qualities other than just talent as determinants of achievement and successful leadership.”

The Lords of Strategy
By Walter Kiechel III
Harvard Business School Press, 2010

“Exposure to the integrative power of strategic frameworks can be invaluable for individuals embarking on an educational and learning process focused on management. This book provides an insightful look into the historical development of strategy as a management tool and some of the ‘sowers’ of its seeds [who] have found fertile ground among management practitioners.”

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
By Stephen R. Covey
Free Press, 1990

“Management of your internal self is as critical to success as any management tool.”

The World Is Flat
By Thomas L. Friedman
Farrar, Strauss and Giroux, 2005

“The book is a good starting point for thinking globally at a broad level.”

Heather Elms, associate professor of international business
American University Kogod School of Business (Kogod Full-Time MBA Profile)

Exit, Voice, and Loyalty: Responses to Decline in Firms, Organizations, and States
By Albert O. Hirschman
Harvard University Press, 1970

“[These are] your three options and how to make the most of them.”

From Higher Aims to Hired Hands: The Social Transformation of American Business Schools and the Unfulfilled Promise of Management as a Profession
By Rakesh Khurana
Princeton University Press, 2010

“Read this to understand the original motivations behind the institutions in which you’ll study, and the issues associated with management as a profession and why it might be good for you if it were.”

Obedience to Authority: An Experimental View
By Stanley Milgram
Pinter & Martin Ltd., 2010

“Key characteristic of those organizations you’ll be working for? Hierarchy. This book describes some of the most profound and provocative psychological experiments of the 20th century, and if you didn’t read it in your undergraduate Psych 101 course, do it now.”

My Years with General Motors
By Alfred Sloan
Broadway Business, 1990

“It is an insider view of the early history of General Motors, offering evidence that many of the issues managers face today are the same ones they faced in the first half of the 20th century.”

Thick and Thin: Moral Argument at Home and Abroad
By Michael Walzer
University of Notre Dame Press, 2006

“It is a contemporary and politically active philosopher’s straightforward account of how to think about ethics across borders.”

Dan Brooks, professor
Arizona State University W.P. Carey School of Business (Carey Full-Time MBA Profile)

Creating the Twentieth Century: Technical Innovations of 1867-1914 and Their Lasting Impact by Vaclav Smil (Oxford University Press, 2005) and Energy at the Crossroads: Global Perspectives and Uncertainties by Vaclav Smil (MIT Press, 2005)

“These books have a great feel for the science, the dynamics of change and the sense of risk that people feel in those times – and they have a ‘personal’ tone in the way the information is conveyed.”

The Printing Revolution in Early Modern Europe
By Elizabeth L. Eisenstein
Cambridge University Press, 2005

“Instead of focusing on the 1400s when all books were hand copied or the 1600s when books were printed, Eisenstein focuses on the 1500s when it wasn’t clear which technology (efficient forms of hand copying or [mechanical] printing) would end up dominant.”

Fool’s Gold: The Inside Story of J.P. Morgan and How Wall St. Greed Corrupted Its Bold Dream and Created a Financial Catastrophe
By Gillian Tett
Free Press, reprint 2010

“It not only explains the technical details behind the economic turmoil of the past three years but ties in the behavioral influences of the investment community, the regulatory agencies, governments, and markets.”

Start-up Nation: The Story of Israel’s Economic Miracle
By Dan Senor and Saul Singer
Twelve, 2009

“The authors give what they believe to be the reasons behind Israel’s world-leading success in attracting investors despite the challenges of doing business in that country.”

Mathletics: How Gamblers, Managers, and Sports Enthusiasts Use Mathematics in Baseball, Basketball, and Football
By Wayne L. Winston
Princeton University Press, September 2009

“[It demonstrates] how some structure can aid a person in understanding and better decisions when making ‘investments’ in risky ventures like sports teams, sporting events, and gambles.”

The Tyrannicide Brief: The Story of the Man Who Sent Charles I to the Scaffold
By Geoffrey Robertson
Anchor, 2007

“This is the story of the English lawyer who constructed a case against Charles I in England…The story provides a great perspective for the legal struggles going on now in devising court cases against a wide range of relatively new international ‘crimes’ that are not well defined nor is the legal authority under which they will be evaluated.”

Rome and Jerusalem: The Clash of Ancient Civilizations
By Martin Goodman
Vintage reprint, 2008

“The complexities of Middle East relations aren’t new and this history provides an interesting take on the violence that occurred during the decades when the Roman Empire had jurisdiction over Israel and the ways in which it might have gone differently.”

Reader Comments


April 26, 2010 8:48 AM

consider reading for business school


April 28, 2010 11:56 AM

This is a strong summer MBA reading list. I completed the MBA program three years ago and continue to look for these types of lists to keep my reading current. Presents a broad view.

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