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MBA Reading Corner

Do you need a break from studying? Here are some recommended leisure reading titles.  While some have just been released, others have quickly become must reads for business students.


Collins, Jim, and Morten T. Hansen.  Great by Choice: Uncertainty, Chaos and Luck: Why Some Thrive Despite Them All. New York:  Harper Collins, 2011. 3rd floor Paterno, HF5386.C736 2011
Collins is the author of the 2001 bestseller, Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap--And Others Don’t.  Great by Choice is the authors’ long awaited work on companies that achieved greatness during tumultuous times.  Collins and Hansen spent nine years researching and writing this book.

Dyer, Jeff, Hal Gregersen, and Clayton M. Christensen. The Innovator’s DNA: Mastering the Five Skills of Disruptive Innovators. Boston: Harvard Business Review Press, 2011.  3rd floor Paterno, HD53.D49 2011
Nature or nurture?—are entrepreneurs born or made?  Find out the answer in this fascinating book based on an eight-year study of entrepreneurs and executives.  Christensen is the Harvard Business School faculty member who coined the term“disruptive innovation,” a concept made famous in his book The Innovator’s Dilemma.

Friedman, Thomas L.  Hot, Flat, and Crowded: Why We Need a Green Revolution—And How It Can Renew America. New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2008. 2d floor Paterno, GE197.F76 2008
Friedman’s thoughts on green technology, climate change, energy policy, alternative energy, and sustainable development.  Friedman, a Pulitizer Prize winning journalist, is a   columnist for The New York Times and author of The World is Flat, a bestselling book on globalization.

Hewlett, Sylvia Ann, and Ripa Rashid.  Winning the War for Talent in Emerging Markets: Why Women are the Solution. Boston: Harvard Business Review Press, 2011. 3rd floor Paterno, HD6054.2.D44H49 2011
The authors urge multinational companies to recruit and develop the talents of the educated and ambitious women who are joining the workforce in growing numbers in emerging economies such as the BRIC nations and the United Arab Emirates.  Hewlett and Rashid published an important article on this topic previously in the Harvard Business Review.

Hsieh, Tony. Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose. New York: Business Plus, 2010. 3rd floor Paterno, HF5386.H864 2010
Hsieh, the CEO of online shoe retailer Zappos, writes about building a corporate culture that became the company’s brand.  That culture focuses on delivering “wow” through exemplary customer service.

Lewis, Michael.  Boomerang: Travels in the New Third World. New York.  New York: W. W. Norton & Co., 2011. 3rd floor Paterno, HB3717 2008.L49 2011
Lewis, the author of The Big Short, the 2006 bestseller on the financial crisis of 2007-2008, looks at the origin of the European debt crisis in Boomerang.  

Li, Charlene, and Josh Bernoff.  Groundswell: Wining in a World Transformed by Social Technologies. Expanded and revised edition.  Boston: Harvard Business Review Press, 2011.  3rd floor Paterno, HC79.I55L48 2011
If you need to come up to speed on how companies can leverage the power of social media, this is the book for you.  In this updated edition, the authors reflect on how social media has changed since the publication of the first edition of Groundswell in 2008.

Mycoskie, Blake.  Start Something That Matters. New York:  Spiegel & Grau, 2011.  3rd floor Paterno, HF5414.M93 2011
An inspirational book about doing good by social entrepreneur Blake Mycoskie, the founder of TOMS shoes.  In addition to sharing his own business model, Mycoskie shares lessons he learned from interviewing leaders of other socially responsible companies and non-profit organizations.

Pine, B. Joseph II, and James H. Gilmore. The Experience Economy. Updated edition.  Boston: Harvard Business Review Press, 2011. 3rd floor Paterno, HF5415.15.P56 2011
This update of the authors’ 1999 classic is essential reading on what customers want.

Seidman, Dov.  How: Why How We Do Anything Means Everything—In Business (And In Life). Hoboken, NJ:  Wiley, 2007.  3rd floor Paterno, HF5386.S4159 2007
Thomas L. Friedman referenced this book on global talent in his October 2, 2011 column in The New York Times (“How did the robot end up with my job?”).

Vlasic, Bill. Once Upon a Car: The Fall and Resurrection of America’s Big Three Auto Makers—GM, Ford, and Chrysler. New York: Morrow, 2011.  3rd floor Paterno, HD9710.U52V53 2011
Vlasic is a journalist who has covered the auto industry for many years.  He is the Detroit bureau chief for The New York Times.  Once Upon a Car chronicles the rise and fall of these auto makers and the impact of the most recent financial crisis.

Compiled by Diane Zabel, Benzak Business Librarian and Acting Head, Schreyer Business Library, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA.