). For Temple University historian Bryant Simon, the fascination is linked to "expressive branding," whereby a latte sipper's identity is bound up with the brand. How many books can the market support? Here's a quintuple grande.The Subject Is Starbucks
Starbucked: A Double Tall Tale of Caffeine, Commerce, and CultureBy Taylor Clark (Little, Brown, November, 2007).A business journalist tracks the company's success--and critics. Does Starbucks exploit coffee farmers abroad? Crush unionizing attempts at home?
How Starbucks Saved My Life: A Son of Privilege Learns to Live Like Everyone ElseBy Michael Gates Gill (Gotham, September, 2007).A downsized adman becomes a barista and (breathlessly) learns life lessons.
Grande Expectations: A Year in the Life of Starbucks' StockBy Karen Blumenthal (Crown Business, April, 2007).The workings of the stock market as revealed in trades of the company's shares.
It's Not About the Coffee: Leadership Principles from a Life at StarbucksBy Howard Behar (Portfolio, January, 2008).Ten rules to follow, though one is "Think Independently."
The Starbucks Experience: 5 Principles for Turning Ordinary into ExtraordinaryBy Joseph A. Michelli (McGraw-Hill, November, 2006).More business lessons, this time by a psychologist and radio show host. To help decide who is management material, companies often administer personality tests. But Jordan Peterson, a psychology professor at the University of Toronto, says a cognitive test he helped develop is a better predictor.
Peterson and research colleagues from Harvard University, the University of Hawaii, and Montreal's McGill University have adapted to a business setting tests normally used by neuropsychologists to assess damage to the prefrontal cortex, the brain's "executive." The result is a 90-minute computerized exam they sell through their company, ExamCorp, for $100 to $350 per employee.
The test, which gauges memory, plus decision-making speed and other skills, was given to 800 managers. And the results of a study of 80 of those professionals, published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology in August, show that managers who get top performance ratings at work typically do well on the exam. Peterson asserts that the exam can outpredict the traditional corporate tests, many of which "are 50 years old." Fans of NBC's hit sitcom The Office can soon interact with bobblehead versions of Dwight, Pam, and boss Michael, played on the show by Steve Carell: They're all in the Office video game due Oct. 30. Produced by Dallas-based MumboJumbo, it has players racing to fetch coffee, copy documents, and finish other tasks, with sound drawn from the series. MumboJumbo aims to appeal both to the "casual," or easy-to-play, game market (estimated by JupiterResearch to reach $810 million by 2008) and Office devotees. It will sell the $29.99 game in Europe, too—excluding Britain, home of the original show.