AMA Business Boot Camp is a highly successful attempt to produce a brief yet thorough summary of the most important principles of leadership and management. Just slightly over 200 pages in length, this work is aimed primarily at busy, no-nonsense practitioners who need a convenient guide to the basic functions of organizational management, written in clear, nontechnical language. The book's six chapters are divided into two sections. The first section, "Essential Management Skills," includes chapters titled "Basic Management," "Performance Management," "Managing Staff Changes," and "Managing Projects." The second section, "Senior Management Skills," includes chapters on strategic thinking and leadership. There are also suggested action items for each section, a very brief glossary, and several helpful forms and templates. Reilly (president and CEO, American Management Association International) has created a very effective introduction for new managers, but AMA Business Boot Camp could also provide a helpful review for professionals, students, and academics. The coverage is not detailed enough for serious scholars or researchers, though it does have the advantage of being rooted in the American Management Association's 85 years of business training. A useful guide for practitioners and undergraduate students, and an effective review for advanced students and researchers. Summing Up: Recommended. Academic and professional collections.
Outstanding Academic Title
The literature supporting the study of leadership is diverse and provides the conceptual framework required to understand this complex and critical field of knowledge. This literature often takes diverse paths, varying from the more applied to the more research-oriented presentations. Along with this diversity, the leadership literature ages quickly as new ideas, approaches, and insights emerge. The editors of this handbook have labored diligently to breathe new life into the literature on leadership, revitalizing it and providing an exciting new direction. Masterfully weaving the themes of 21st-century global leadership and strategies for developing and engaging people and facilitating change, the contributors, experts in the field of leadership, present an exciting discussion of the many facets of contemporary change and effective leadership, supported with case studies and up-to-date research. The currency of the literature presented is beyond striking. The value of the AMA Handbook is profound and far-reaching. For readers seeking new and exciting reading on leadership as well as for corporate executives charged with leading corporations to a positive and productive future, this volume is a must. It is seminal in content and a valuable addition to libraries everywhere. Summing Up: Essential. Business and leadership collections, all levels.
Outstanding Academic Title
Winston, a recognized green business strategist and founder of Winston Eco-Strategies, challenges managers to view climate change as a critical opportunity to radically shift how they build resilient businesses. To survive in an environmentally changed world with weather disasters and resource scarcities, managers must shift to low/no-carbon, climate-resilient practices and green business strategies as well as disclose how their firms promote change and innovation. Winston offers insightful examples to demonstrate how radical business transformation can come from decisive, long-term leadership rather than short-term crisis management. He outlines ten practical strategies for change that bring significant returns on business stability and profitability. These strategies fall into three clusters: reenvisioning core operating principles, reassessing corporate culture values and incentives, and developing collaborative relationships with government agencies, competitors, and customers. After having made these radical adjustments, managers can then build resilient and regenerative businesses. Winston’s passion and sincerity clearly move his engaging discussion beyond mere consultant hype. In this book, he provides a realistic way to address these mega issues along with tested strategies on how to manage these challenges effectively and profitably. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above; general readers.
An emerging entrepreneurial area, social entrepreneurship is a flexible form of business, often combining elements of both for-profit and nonprofit enterprises. In Creating Good Work, a diverse group of social entrepreneurs offer advice about developing social businesses and share their own experiences. Editor Schultz (founder, Entrepreneurs4Change) has organized this work in two sections, the first covering theoretical foundations "of why and how the work gets done" and the second, practical applications. As in any edited work, chapter quality ranges from very good to mediocre. Chapter 3 by Schultz is among the best in quality; it presents a four-tier hierarchical model (principles, models, rules, and behaviors) explaining how social entrepreneurship succeeds. In the practical application section, the three chapters on microfinance provide outstanding insights into the challenges of sustaining microfinance projects. Many chapter contributors are authors of other books--e.g., R. Paul Herman, The HIP Investor (2010), and Bill Shore, The Imaginations of Unreasonable Men (2010)--and the links to contributors' websites provided at the end of the book will be helpful for further exploration. This is an excellent primer on social entrepreneurship and a very suitable textbook for social entrepreneurship courses. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduate through professional collections.
The authors (both, Liu Institute for Global Studies, Univ. of British Columbia) argue that companies with an increasing number of global brands are professing to improve their environmental practices but are really acting to improve their global market share and position. Eco-Business examines this dynamic and the decision by these firms to drive various sustainability practices through their various partnerships and supply chains. The authors profess to be "shocked" that firms are motivated by profit rather than the "good of the planet." However, their monograph does sketch the equivalent of the military-industrial complex to environmental matters, with partnerships among businesses, advocacy groups, and governmental agencies. The authors contend that sustainability is used as a tool of business policy rather than for the professed desire for global change and sustainability. This volume is interesting, well researched, and clearly argued, and cites many global brands and their policies. It documents a process and relationships that confirm what many readers already suspect. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Students, upper-division undergraduate and up; researchers; faculty; professionals; general readers.
Outstanding Academic Title
SAGE has published a variety of encyclopedic works in the social sciences that are useful as reference tools for specialists. This volume is no exception. Kessler has pulled together more than 280 signed essays, averaging about four pages each and written by a distinguished group of international scholars. Essays define individual management theories and discuss their central premises, domain, development, and relevance. The efforts made to relate individual theories to the whole body of work in the field are useful, and the articles are interesting and readable. One appendix comprises a useful chronology of major works in the development of the body of theory; another defines key terms and concepts. The indexing is extensive.
This work is more focused than Gale's Encyclopedia of Management, edited by M. M. Helms (5th ed., CH, Aug'07, 44-6592); easier to handle than the 12-volume The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Management, edited by C. L. Cooper and W. H. Starbuck (2nd ed., CH, Dec'05, 43-1928); and includes material not covered in the Encyclopedia of Leadership, edited by G. R. Goethals, G. J. Sorenson, and J. M. Burns (CH, Oct'04, 42-0695). It is an impressive work that provides an authoritative synopsis of theories that students and specialists encounter in their reading. It clearly deserves a place in the reference collections of larger research libraries and perhaps on the bookshelves of specialists in the area. Its price, however, might make it a luxury for collections catering primarily to undergraduates, particularly when many free articles available online do a good job of covering much of the same ground. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through professionals/practitioners.
Outstanding Academic Title
This four-volume encyclopedia is the first to provide comprehensive coverage of essential subjects in quantitative finance. It covers both theory and applications, along with the history of the field and the names associated with it. This valuable contribution to the field of mathematics and modeling techniques of modern financial markets features signed articles from 415 international academics and practitioners. Articles include formulas, charts, and/or graphs, along with references, recommendations for further reading, and, when applicable, cross-references to related articles elsewhere in the set. Cross-references from other terms refer readers to the title of an appropriate article in the encyclopedia. Since the article titles are the topics, an alphabetic arrangement by title makes for ease of use. Both an author index and a subject index are included in volume 4. This set is an indispensable acquisition for special libraries and academic libraries supporting a concentration in finance for upper-level undergraduates and graduate students, and for public libraries supporting a strong financial business community. Summing Up: Essential. Upper-division undergraduates through professionals/practitioners.
Outstanding Academic Title
Kellerman (Harvard Univ.) provides a well-written chronicle of the evolution and devolution of the leadership profession and a substantiated indictment of the leadership development industry. Building on two of her previous works, Followership (CH, Oct'08, 46-0996) and Bad Leadership (CH, Apr'05, 42-4743), she defines good leaders as those who are both ethical and effective. Kellerman identifies the historical, cultural, and technological changes that have resulted in a shift of power from leaders to followers. She details the significant changes in the social contract between leaders and followers by examining what has occurred in the US as well as globally. Documenting 1,500 definitions of leadership, approximately 40 theories of leadership, and an infinite number of academic and practitioner-based leadership development programs, she states that "there is scant evidence, objective evidence, to confirm that this massive, expensive, thirty-plus-year effort has paid off" and that the primary evaluation method is participant satisfaction, which is highly subjective at best. Kellerman concludes with recommendations for reinventing the industry; these include questioning underlying assumptions, expanding the notion of what constitutes a leadership curriculum, and gaining a better understanding of how change is created. A must read for upper-division undergraduate and graduate business students, their professors, and leadership development practitioners. Summing Up: Essential. Academic and professional collections.
In this readable, well-organized book containing 101 brief chapters, Pachter (communications and business etiquette coach and professional speaker) presents practical, sound advice on the most common situations involving business etiquette: communication, body language, dress, dining, telephone and cell phone use, making presentations, job interviewing, and many other essentials. Pachter understands how to be seen as a professional even in this day of casual dress and living. The book's "Eat" section contains clear guidance on a range of topics related to business dining (e.g., table manners, food allergies, splitting bills, invitations, and holiday parties) and hones in on key issues in the chapter titled "Avoiding the Seven Deadly Sins of Dining." Particularly timely is the "Tweet" section, which addresses etiquette regarding phone use and is packed with examples of proper and useful ways to use e-mail as well as social media. Readers will learn how to master the art of mingling, networking, and remembering names as well as how to write effective thank-you notes and give the perfect business gift. See related, The Essential Guide to Business Etiquette, by Lillian Hunt Chaney and Jeanette St. Clair Martin (CH, May'08, 45-5077). Summing Up: Recommended. All business collections and readership levels.
This book is ideal for understanding how accounting information can be used to evaluate profitability and improve management decision-making skills, as well as how to converse with accountants/auditors without getting bogged down in learning how to do accounting. It will help one understand what accountants do, but it is not intended to teach the reader how to be an accountant. Fields is a corporate financial consultant who has taught an AMA course on this topic for over 30 years. To obtain maximum value, one should not simply read the text, but invest the time to work through the numerous excellent examples, including their clear, understandable explanations. As the title indicates, the book is targeted at nonfinancial managers--not the traditional undergraduate business student. However, the book does have an indirect message for faculty who teach lower-level undergraduate accounting courses, i.e., what should be taught? Is learning how to use accounting information more relevant at this level than teaching students how to do accounting? The book would be an excellent choice as a primer for both MBA and EMBA students who lack a strong accounting/finance background. This new edition (1st ed., 2002) contains updated information on financial and accounting standards. Summing Up: Recommended. Graduate students, faculty, and professionals.
Shih (CEO, Hearsay Labs) has updated her book, which is warranted by the immense changes in the social Web since the 2009 publication of the first edition. Many of the featured platforms of the first edition, such as MySpace, are now uninteresting for business, while Twitter and LinkedIn are significantly more important. In this reviewer's opinion, a more accurate title would be "The Social Media Era." The book contains many new examples of how companies are innovatively using the social Web to better know and support customers and reach new audiences for business functions including sales, marketing, customer service, innovation, collaboration, and recruiting. Each chapter ends with an actionable to-do list including items such as "Consider building a crowdsourced ideation community to track market demand for proposed features and generate new ideas." Shih has created associated Web discussion threads for each chapter to allow readers to share experiences. The book contains case studies, some of which are locatable in the index under "case studies." Sidebars from renowned social media authorities vary from idiosyncratic anecdotes to useful recommendations. A new chapter for nonprofits, health care, education, and political organizations is very helpful. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All business collections.
This is a seminal volume on bringing development interventions to scale--creating development solutions that "reach poor people everywhere," which is critical to conquering extreme poverty in our lifetime. However, this work points out that understanding how to design scalable projects is still quite limited. Thus, the overview chapters and case studies presented on the challenges, opportunities, risks, and rewards of pursuing an agenda for scaling up are quite valuable. In chapter 3, editor Chandy reviews a decade of rising foreign aid and concludes that official aid is now perceived as catalyst, rather than a driver, of the development process. Other chapters discuss the importance of key elements to scaling up: business models, vertical funds and innovative governance, incentives and accountability, and angel investment. Case studies of scaling up are presented in the second half of the book. These include mobile money in Kenya; Sumitomo Chemical's story of making insecticide-treated bed nets available to the poor; Microfinance International Corporation's financial services to immigrant workers from Latin America; the Japanese experience in triangular cooperation; school-based management in Niger; and public-private partnerships. This volume is required reading for development practitioners, academicians, and students interested in economic development. Summing Up: Essential. All readership levels and collections.
Outstanding Academic Title
In this book, leadership scholar Kellerman (Kennedy School, Harvard) argues that leadership in any American organization—whether in education, business, government, or the nonprofit world—is more challenging than ever because society has become more complex. The author argues that before leaders can even begin to be effective, they need to know and develop contextual expertise; that is, leaders need to understand the broad picture of the issues affecting society. Kellerman has selected 24 issues to discuss—economics, religion, law, technology, media, money, and culture, among others. For each topic, she provides historical background and, more important, an analysis of recent trends and how they impact leaders and their followers. For example, she examines how the ubiquity of law and the US's litigious culture complicate the situation and possibly restrain leaders if they do not understand the myriad laws that affect citizens at every level. In contrast, the culture of the Internet is essentially leaderless because followers are free to communicate and connect with one another without someone's being in charge. Thorough understanding of contemporary issues, argues the author, is what prepares an individual to be a leader in today's complicated world. This book, like Kellerman's others, is engaging, challenging, and well researched. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above.
Writing a history of management thought is a formidable venture because it involves a span of time that dates back to the distant past. Witzel, a UK-based academic, takes the challenge head-on, providing in a relatively concise fashion an intelligent, well-argued treatise on how the discipline has evolved over the years. What strikes the reader immediately and emphatically is the wide variety of influences on the field. Management owes a debt of gratitude to sociology, psychology, statistics, and other seemingly unrelated disciplines. Witzel traces this eclectic set of influences by reaching far and wide (from the building of pyramids to warfare between nations) to find instances. He uses a linear, chronological model to examine the growth of the field. Bookended by introductory and concluding chapters, the ten chapters that are the meat of the book examine how the field of management came to be what it is today. In all, the book is a great addition to the libraries of both business practitioners and those interested in business. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Academic, professional, and public library collections.
Harley, a communications consultant, stresses the effective use of candor in the workplace and the importance of asking questions, understanding expectations, and giving and receiving feedback. Although her book is targeted to corporate employers and employees, it offers useful advice and techniques for students planning to enter the workforce on important topics such as how to establish candid relationships, build trust with colleagues, and give and receive feedback. Most of the practical, accessible examples are drawn from Harley's experience as a consultant or as an employee using consulting techniques. For example, an exploration of the underlying reasons for a request to telecommute, a problem that might have otherwise been dismissed as a nonstarter, led to other acceptable options. Harley advises that candor thrives in an atmosphere of trust and leads to information and power for the employer, yet it also increases employee satisfaction and retention. However, she cautions that certain aspects of the business communication spectrum, such as job interviews, are inherently low-candor situations. She recommends that situations less likely to be colored by a desire to please be used to promote candor. Summing Up: Recommended. All readership levels and collections.
This very informative three-volume set addresses issues and challenges facing those doing business across international borders in an era of constant worldwide change. Each volume addresses specific international business-related topics in logical sequence. The contributors, academics and business professionals, offer cutting-edge suggestions on the myriad challenges international businesses face today. In addition, chapters are enhanced with endnotes offering more background information for those wishing to pursue the topic further. Volume 1, Are You Ready?, provides comprehensive coverage of basic topics related to getting an organization ready for international operations, e.g., selecting the markets and partners, financing, and assessing risk in international business environments. The second volume, Going Global, discusses the many internal and external factors that firms must address (e.g., staffing, cultural differences, legal affairs) and offers tips to make international operations work effectively. Volume 3, Staying on Top, covers emerging issues critical to international business success, such as intellectual property protection, sustainability, social responsibility, and dealing with competition (including using social media). The second chapter of volume 2 begins with a salient warning: "The single most important cause of failure in international business is insufficient preparation and information." These three volumes can help one avoid this failure because they provide much practical and necessary information and advice for those doing business outside their borders. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduate students through professionals/practitioners.
Gosling (Univ. of Exeter, UK) and his colleagues have created a brief yet wide-ranging overview of organizational leadership approaches and principles. The format is both easy to understand and very useful. Each of the 33 relatively brief sections (only a few pages each) covers a central leadership concept. Each section begins with clear definitions of basic terms followed by behavioral examples and real-world illustrations, and ends with a helpful bibliography for further reading. One very interesting aspect of this work is that each leadership concept is described in terms of a dichotomy, such as expert versus generalist leadership or authoritarian versus participative. The authors do not wish, however, to favor one side of the continuum over another, clearly implying that leadership styles may be adjusted to the most effective point along the continuum. The desire to avoid judgment for one style over another extends to the layout of the book itself, in which sections are presented and indexed alphabetically. Key Concepts in Leadership distinguishes itself from other broad treatments of leadership style (such as Peter Northouse's popular Leadership: Theory and Practice, 6th ed., 2012) through its succinct, unadorned examination of the dichotomous nature of leadership approaches. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All readership levels.
Parents know the power of storytelling to teach lessons to children while entertaining them. Orators and preachers do too. Novelists and scriptwriters know the power of storytelling to arouse emotion. Smith (Consumer and Communications Research, Procter & Gamble) touts the power of storytelling to teach, clarify, persuade, motivate, and resolve conflicts in professional settings. Argument by narrative and emotional appeal can be an outrageous concept for managers accustomed to a PowerPoint world in which cases are built by bulleted points of information supplemented by graphs and charts. Smith uses stories to overcome potential resistance to the storytelling concept and provides a story-structure template and story matrix. These devices help users develop their own stories for specific purposes and have the added advantage of looking like the kinds of templates and matrixes to which business readers are accustomed. In addition to these development tools, the book contains more than 100 ready-made stories, grouped by management challenges. Solid communication theory underlies this how-to guide. Much of that theory forms the basis of any good business communication course, but Smith's ability to use stories to demonstrate how stories work is creative and readable. See related, John Sachs's Winning the Story War (CH, Jan'13, 50-2763). Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division and graduate students and practitioners.
In an era when most leadership books focus on topics such as customer service, competitive advantage, execution, and innovation, Johansen (Institute for the Future) provides readers with a refreshing look at leadership from where it will be rather than where it is. Using the VUCA (volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity) model as a frame of reference, the author contends leaders will be faced with increasing complexity, dilemmas instead of solvable problems, opportunities that will require novel strategies, and the need to learn new skills coupled with nontraditional approaches to leadership and executive development. He delineates ten new skills that leaders will need sooner rather than later: maker instinct, clarity, dilemma flipping, immersive learning ability, bio-empathy, constructive depolarizing, quiet transparency, rapid prototyping, smart-mob organizing, and commons creating. Concluding chapters focus on rethinking the current leadership development paradigm and include a "Future Leadership Skills Assessment" and companion action planning guide. This well-referenced volume incorporates a supporting bibliography and numerous figures and models drawn from the author's collaboration with the Center for Creative Leadership. This book will appeal to serious students of business and leadership development as well as faculty wanting to provide students with a new look at a timeless topic. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduate through professional audiences.
Rothwell (Pennsylvania State Univ.) and coauthors Graber and McCormick (human resources and management practitioners) outline a wide-ranging set of strategies for analyzing work requirements and selecting an optimal combination of cost-effective approaches for workplace staffing (e.g., regular employees, consultants, contractors, temporary workers, vendors) to achieve desired production outcomes. Divided into eight very readable chapters, this how-to book provides unique insights into how organizations can build what the authors call a "lean but agile" workforce. Chapter 1 outlines the business issues driving the need for more creative thinking in determining how work is done, while chapters 2-6 provide insights into optimizing work and the workforce and managing lean staffing. Chapters 7 and 8 explain how to make the business case for agile/lean workforce practices and discuss future trends relevant to lean workforce planning. An appendix outlines a framework for conducting a human resources performance audit, which is a useful organizational tool for staying lean while achieving superior performance and satisfying customers. All in all, an important read for professionals and executives alike who are being required to do more with less throughout the private, public, and not-for-profit sectors. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduate through professional collections.
Outstanding Academic Title
Sheryl Sandberg is a woman of impressive credentials: she is chief operating officer of Facebook and one of Time's 100 most influential people in the world, and is on the Fortune list of 50 most powerful women in business. In Lean In, Sandberg looks at the current stark reality of women in leadership. In 1980, more than 50 percent of college graduates were women, yet women still make up just over 4 percent of Fortune 500 CEOs and fewer than 18 percent of elected officials; the gap is even greater for women for color. In this well-researched and exceptionally accessible text, Sandberg presents solid research findings, blended masterfully with personal stories and experiences of her own and of other women. An engaging read, this book pushes at the perceived notion that women have "made it" and encourages women, and men, to change the conversation--or sometimes to have the courage to begin the conversation--about how society is "failing to encourage women to aspire to leadership." Sandberg invites the reader to consider the possibility and requirements of a more equal world for both women and men. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All readership levels and collections.
Outstanding Academic Title
In Mintzberg's view, management is not a science or a profession. Rather, it is a practice, where expertise is gained is a messy milieu made up of uncertainties, enormous pressures, demanding stakeholders, and incessant competition. In his landmark book The Nature of Managerial Work (1973), Mintzberg (McGill Univ.) followed five chief executives over the course of a working week. In this current work, he uses the same methodology--meticulous observation of 29 managers from a variety of organizations. What ensues is a marvelous description of the numerous everyday challenges that managers face and how the successful ones tackle these challenges. Take the case of Sandy Davis, in charge of the national parks of western Canada. Mintzberg argues, quite correctly, that Davis faces a classic managerial conundrum: does she micromanage because each park in her domain is distinct? Or does she look for synergies in these parks? Each choice has its pros and cons, but for Davis this is a predicament that she faces every day. Mintzberg does not accept conventional wisdom--he challenges it constantly using his vaunted research methodology. The current book is erudite as well as practical. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Business collections, upper-division undergraduate through professional.
Outstanding Academic Title
Fromm and Garton have produced a well-developed examination of millennials as consumers. Based on their own research with the advertising agency Barkley in conjunction with The Boston Consulting Group and Service Management Group, they examine who these millennials are and present key points marketers need to know to reach them. Throughout the book, the authors present data from their research in easy-to-read, relevant graphs. Their guidance to marketers is detailed and straightforward, while providing key insight from their surveys and focus groups. Included is a breakdown of the different segments within the generational cohort, proving that not all millennials are alike. Case studies from relevant brands that have successfully hit the target market are included to demonstrate how necessary it is to engage this generation. Chapters conclude with a list of "key takeaways" to highlight their messages. In the final chapter, the authors spell out some additional suggestions to help a marketer go forth and conquer the millennial market. A must read for any student or practitioner of marketing, as well as any business owner. Summing Up: Essential. Marketing collections, upper-division undergraduate through professional.
Outstanding Academic Title
Commencing with a historical introduction and concluding with an integrative postlude, this well-written volume, with contributions from more than 30 global experts, offers insights on strategic workforce planning (SWP), i.e., how organizations should secure resources for their people when and where they are needed in an efficient and effective manner. Divided into four sections, this easy-to-understand volume is an important addition to the human resources literature. Section 1 provides a historical perspective of the evolution of the SWP discipline. Section 2, "Current Practices," provides firsthand accounts from organizations and individuals currently practicing in the field. Section 3 drills down into the analytics used to measure and evaluate the results of SWP. The final section provides reflections on how SWP is likely to evolve in the future. Packed with excellent conceptual insights and useful best practice information from leading global companies, this book is a must read for HR professionals and organizational leaders alike. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Academic, upper-division undergraduate and up, as well as professional collections.
Outstanding Academic Title
Kimmel, a marketing professor based in France, provides a comprehensive overview of the fundamental psychological concepts that play an important role in shaping the marketplace behavior of consumers and that serve as the foundation for marketing programs. The book's central focus is on various theories of motivation, perception, learning, attitudes, lifestyle, social behavior, and consumer decision making that help to explain consumer actions. Abundant practical examples give maximum clarity and potency to the ways in which psychology impacts consumer behavior. Particularly insightful is the chapter on consumer decision making. Consumers engage in routine, limited, and extended problem solving, the extent of problem solving being determined largely by the nature and level of risk inherent in any given decision and the consequences of a "wrong" decision. The book provides excellent coverage of the consumer decision process: problem recognition, information search, evaluation of alternatives, the decision, and postdecision evaluation. Noteworthy is the discussion of the impact of the Internet and social media on how consumers interact with each other and with marketers. This excellent, extensively documented work portrays how and why successful marketing programs begin and end with consumers, and how marketers can deliver customer value and satisfaction. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All levels of students, researchers, practitioners, and general readers.
An addition to Routledge's "The Basics" series, this comprehensive handbook is a knowledge-based look at the industry and practice of public relations. The first part of the book, "Understanding Public Relations," defines what PR is, and what it is not. Smith (Buffalo State, SUNY) emphasizes ethics and professionalism of the practice. Included in the first section is a brief history of the profession, current status of PR around the world, and the various types of public relations and skills needed to be successful in the field. The second half of the book, "Public Relations Planning," addresses the steps necessary to effectively develop a PR plan in a "how-to workshop" format. As the author is a professor of public communication, it is only fitting that the book includes an appendix offering guidance for career seekers. Chapters are peppered with examples of effective PR. A thorough glossary is included, as is a substantial list of recommended readings. This book would appeal to students considering a career in public relations or business owners looking to develop a PR strategy. Summing Up: Recommended. All levels of undergraduate students; practitioners.
Outstanding Academic Title
This important, thought-provoking, and clearly written book by an experienced management practitioner and leading theorist in the field argues against the current corporate governance paradigm in the US, which stresses profit maximization for stockholders. Malik believes that this incorrect, finance-oriented concept of corporate governance is based on past results and is the cause of weak corporate performance, resulting in business failures. Accordingly, he advises organizations to manage for the long run and for their customers and company rather than for stockholders. Top managers should prioritize customer value, competitiveness, market position, innovation, productivity, and professionalism of management, rather than financial management and increasing shareholder value. Malik contends this approach will result in higher profits in the long run. He believes boards of directors should work closely with the top management of organizations to evaluate the changing business environment; the goals, policies, performance standards, and culture of an organization; and how to attract and retain outstanding managers and other employees. This excellent contribution to the management literature should be read by boards of directors and all levels of managers at both profit and nonprofit organizations, as well as management professors, researchers, business students, and stockholders. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All collections.
This volume, edited by an architect, two University of Colorado business professors, and the director of a nonprofit dedicated to sustainable business, provides information on how small firms can adopt green business practices. Following an overview chapter and a discussion of measuring the financial as well as social and environmental costs and benefits of sustainability strategies, the book plunges into 12 case studies of small businesses in Colorado that have succeeded in sustainability projects. These include an architectural firm focused on green architecture; a commercial and residential real estate firm; a credit union that includes the environment in all its decisions; a compostable food service products firm; a hospital with environmental stewardship as part of its culture; a hotel managed for sustainability; and an electronics recycling company. A ten-page glossary includes definitions and URLs, many of which lead to Wikipedia. A final chapter discusses why small and medium-size firms should invest in sustainability on the basis of four references. These motivations include saving money, complying with the law, avoiding bad publicity, and responding to competitors. Jennifer Kaplan's Greening Your Small Business (2009) has a wider scope. Summing Up: Optional. Practitioners, especially those interested in small businesses in Colorado.
Safko (professional speaker and trainer) and Brake (social media consultant) have produced a comprehensive guide to social media marketing. Strengths include overviews by gurus, excellent organization of the material, and wide-ranging coverage of topics including social networks; publishing on the Web; photo, audio, and video applications; and tools such as microblogging, livecasting, virtual worlds, and gaming. The book has an associated site to garner related material and examples. The authors include many useful pointers, and even their discussion of creating vlogs (video blogs) seems easy. They advise that the secret to all these media is to deploy them creatively. The specifics of social media are rapidly changing, though new features seem to have analogies across all the various media. Many of the book's "what you need to know" sections keep the presentation of topics (e.g., Webinars) practical. Exhortations to meta tag content to make it locatable will warm librarians' hearts. The section "Determining How Your Content Defines You" is stellar. A perplexing feature of the book is the extensive inclusion of bibliographic recommendations without publication dates for the books. Paul Gillin's Secrets of Social Media Marketing (2009) has better Web leads. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All levels of undergraduate students as well as practitioners. This review refers to an earlier edition.
Whether one embraces it or not, social media is a driving force in society today. Recent world events showcase the power of the medium as a tool to build support and influence global perspective, as well as educate and inform. Hay, a Web developer, educator, and business owner with extensive experience with social media, outlines a plan to strategically develop and grow a strong, successful presence on the social Web. This substantial revision of A Survival Guide to Social Media and Web 2.0 Optimization (2009) includes expanded discussions on document sharing and cloud computing as well as new reflections on Web 3.0 and optimizing social media initiatives for the mobile Web. The book includes a detailed examination of a plethora of social media tools, newsrooms, and communities, and provides guidance on blogging, pod/Webcasting, and setting up a Web page using WordPress. In addition, Hay offers qualitative and quantitative suggestions for measuring the success of a social media initiative based on initial objectives. The companion CD-ROM provides a linkable list of online resources and templates for forms and spreadsheets seen throughout the book. This well-organized work will be useful to anyone interested in harnessing the power of the social Web. Summing Up: Recommended. All levels/libraries.
Outstanding Academic Title
It is unusual to find solid research and practical guidance blended as skillfully as in this well-validated, readable, and practical guidebook. Forman (Anderson School of Management, UCLA) conducted hundreds of interviews with corporate executives and also delved into the substantial academic research based on "the fundamental connection between being human and telling stories." Effective professional communicators understand that the key to success is an ability to craft messages that engage readers' and listeners' emotions and their intellect. Forman uses her own narrative skills to demonstrate persuasively how an organization can harness the power of stories, principally in the form of examples and analogies, to strengthen its strategic planning; to make technical products and services comprehensible; to motivate employees; to strengthen its brand; and to leverage digital platforms safely and effectively. Case studies from Schering-Plough, Chevron, FedEx, and Philips Lighting provide substantive support. Each case study is followed by a "lessons learned" chapter that includes a checklist for using the kinds of stories illustrated in the case. The final chapter provides guidelines for building a "signature story," illustrated with a powerful example from Apple founder Steve Jobs. A valuable resource for rhetoricians as well as business scholars and practitioners. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduate through professional collections.
Sheth (Emory) and Sisodia (Bentley Univ.) reexamine and refresh long-standing marketing concepts in this book, creating a new, customer-centric framework for thinking about, evaluating, and implementing marketing strategies. The 4A framework consists of acceptability, affordability, accessibility, and awareness--qualities the authors contend "matter most to customers." They present this framework in lean and lucid prose that interweaves practical illustrations of success and failure. Often in such publications, marketing insights are presented in such a conditioned, opaque manner that practitioners are unable to follow the argument, let alone implement the concepts. Conversely, marketing professors are often appalled by the latest how-to nostrum. This book, however, was written in an almost Socratic dialogue style that is valuable to all types of readers, which is, needless to say, quite an accomplishment by the authors. The "Market Value Coverage Audit" and "Mini-Cases" add further value to this excellent work. With the rapid development and use of social media and social business concepts, particularly in marketing, this reviewer hopes the authors will address this topic in future revisions of this valuable work. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All marketing collections.
Outstanding Academic Title
This elegant, easy-to-use, encyclopedic resource is a true compendium of reliable marketing information, and purchasers of the print have free access to the digital edition. Miller grounds Web marketing concepts in a thorough exposition and extension of basic marketing fundamentals, thereby simplifying the transition from marketing to the mass to marketing to the individual (of course, these individuals aggregate into another form of mass). Coverage is comprehensive, including search engine marketing, online advertising, e-mail and blog marketing, social media, multimedia marketing, and mobile marketing. This volume can serve as either a text or a desktop resource to learn more about specific subjects/applications on an as-needed basis. Remarkably, this book achieves the author's objective for readers: "you should have a basic understanding of all the different activities involved in web marketing and should be able to develop and implement your own web marketing strategy." The scope, accuracy, and appealing, user-friendly layout of this work will encourage the reader to delve often into this invaluable resource. Since the landscape of Web marketing is one of rapid change, this reviewer hopes the author will provide frequent updates, thereby making this a true perennial resource. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Marketing students at all levels; practitioners; faculty; general readers.
One mark of a great leader is an ability to learn from mistakes. In fact, according to Weinzimmer (Bradley Univ.) and McConoughey (business development consultant), leaders can learn important lessons not just from their own failures but also from the failures of others. Their book brings to life the relationship between learning from failure and transforming it into success. After seven years of research, including a study involving more than a thousand managers in 21 industries, the authors expose three damaging mistakes leaders at all levels of organizations frequently make. By focusing on the failures of leaders and the lessons they learned, the book reads more as a how-not-to than a how-to. This approach not only is unique and educational but also makes for an interesting, easy, and quick read. The book shares real stories from leaders about their most significant failures. It also provides practical strategies to help readers identify which mistakes they might be prone to make and strategies for preventing their own leadership failures. The authors engage the reader through interesting anecdotes and descriptive examples. A must read for those intent on improving their leadership acumen. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Graduate and professional readership.
Gunsalus (National Center for Professional and Research Ethics, Univ. of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign) discusses how to make ethical choices when problems arise in the workplace. Ethical scenarios are threaded throughout the text to illustrate issues, e.g., giving unauthorized employee discounts and posing as a customer to discover competitors' prices. Every chapter provides recommendations on how to handle various ethical problems. The most interesting chapter is on why things go wrong. The author describes various ways a worker can succumb to unethical temptations, such as rationalizing marginal behavior and yielding to the group, boss, or the system. This chapter also discusses how to avoid problems in the first place by changing one's mind-set of excessive self-interest. Other key topics include whistle-blowing, negotiating in good faith, cultivating a reputation and career, and setting boundaries. An appendix provides various scripts of what to say when confronted with various scenarios. For a more academic approach to behavioral ethics, consult Behavioral Business Ethics, edited by David De Cremer and Ann Tenbrunsel (CH, May'12, 49-5158). Summing Up: Recommended. All collections on career development, workplace behavior, and business ethics.
--G. E. Kaupins, Boise State University