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Smith School's Top 10 Summer Reading List for 2010

Jun 15, 2010
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The University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business is excited to announce some favorite books in the "Seventh Annual Top 10 Summer Reading List for Business Leaders" for 2010, as recommended by faculty members and administrators.

  1.  “Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us”
    by Daniel H. Pink (2009)

    “The book uses 50 years of behavioral science to overturn the conventional wisdom about human motivation and offer a more effective path to high performance,” says Smith School Dean G. “Anand” Anandalingam.“Most of us believe that the best way to motivate ourselves and others is with external rewards like money—the carrot-and-stick approach. That’s a mistake, Pink says in, Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, his provocative and persuasive new book. The secret to high performance and satisfaction—at work, at school, and at home—is the deeply human need to direct our own lives, to learn and create new things, and to do better by ourselves and our world. Drawing on four decades of scientific research on human motivation, Pink exposes the mismatch between what science knows and what business does—and how that affects every aspect of life. He demonstrates that while carrots and sticks worked successfully in the twentieth century, that’s precisely the wrong way to motivate people for today’s challenges. Drive is bursting with big ideas—the rare book that will change how you think and transform how you live.”

  2.  “This Time is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly”
    by Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff (2009)

    “The authors have amassed an incredible data set on banking crises going back to the 1800s. They use this data to provide what is arguably the most insightful and well-documented analysis of the recent subprime mortgage crisis and ensuing Great Recession,” says Curt Grimm, Dean’s Professor of Supply Chain and Strategy. “A chapter on the ‘Aftermath of Financial Crises’ argues convincingly that recessions following financial crises are deeper and longer-lasting than average, providing guidance as to expectations this time around. Reinhart is professor of economics at the University of Maryland and gave an excellent talk at the Smith School last semester.”

  3.  “Building Social Business: The New Kind of Capitalism That Serves Humanity's Most Pressing Needs”
    by Muhammad Yunus (2010)

    “This book goes beyond issues of microfinance to describe and discuss the nature of ‘social enterprises,’” says Brian L. Nelson, Tyser Teaching Fellow of Logistics, Business and Public Policy. “Dr. Yunus has his PhD in economics from Vanderbilt University and is the 2006 Winner of the Nobel Peace Prize. He founded the Grameen Bank, a pioneer in ‘microfinancing’ to the poor.”

  4.  “Crisis Economics: A Crash Course in the Future of Finance”
    by Nouriel Roubini and Stephen Mihm (2010)

    “In 2006 Professor Roubini issued a clear warning of an impending global financial crash and what its implications for the U.S. and other countries and markets would be,” says John A. Haslem, professor of finance emeritus. “In 2008 when others saw a liquidity crisis he saw the truth of the matter – a credit crisis. The book reads very easily and draws one in to this remarkable story that traces and explains step by step the elements of the crisis. The book concludes with events that could threaten the global economy within the next few years: ‘We will plant the seeds of an even more destructive crisis if we squander the opportunity this crisis has presented us to implement necessary reform. That opportunity would be a terrible – indeed, a tragic – thing to waste.’”

  5.  “Profession and Purpose: A Resource Guide for MBA Careers in Sustainability”
    by Katie Kross (2009)

    “Today, many of us are looking for a career that maps to our value system and desire to contribute in making the change we want to see in the world,” says Melissa Carrier, executive director of the Center for Social Value Creation at the Smith School. “The challenge for many is that these career choices seem out of reach – in part because we don’t know what to call them and in part because we don’t understand how to identify these opportunities. 'Profession and Purpose' is an excellent guide to those job seekers looking to understand the broad umbrella of a career in ‘sustainability’ which may encompass social entrepreneurship, clean technology, microfinance, or sustainable product marketing, just to name a few. Katie Kross does an excellent job of providing the reader with the terminology, job search tips, career resources, and company information to help you in the career path process.”

  6.  “Financial Shenanigans: How to Detect Accounting Gimmicks & Fraud in Financial Reports” (2010)
    by Howard Schilit and Jermy Perler (2010)

    “In this just published edition of Financial Shenanigans, Dr. Schilit adds a co-author and provides new insights to teach investors (as well as managers, boards of directors, auditors, bankers, etc.) on how to detect misleading or fraudulent financial reports,” says Martin Loeb, chair and professor of accounting and information assurance and Deloitte & Touche LLP Faculty Fellow. “In addition to providing fascinating ‘financial autopsies’ of Enron, WorldCom and other recent accounting frauds, this edition shatters the myth that cash flow statements cannot be manipulated. One need not be an accounting expert to enjoy the stories presented or to learn to uncover foul financial play. For example, the authors show that anyone looking at the unprecedented reported revenue growth at Enron, would have realized that something was not right.”

  7.  “Rules of Thumb: 52 Truths for Winning at Business without Losing Your Self”
    by Alan Webber (2009)

    “This is a fun; quick summer read that will provide you with gem after gem of stories to inspire you,” says Melissa Carrier, executive director of the Center for Social Value Creation at the Smith School. “Alan was cofounder of Fast Company and that’s just how this book moves – fast. Alan’s illustrative style of writing allows you to quickly grasps the rules, apply context, and be on your way towards more professional and personal success. You will enjoy the ‘ah-ha’ moments of the book as much as his wit.”

  8.  “Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide”
    by Nicholas Kristof & Sheryl WuDunn (2009)

    “This is an eye-opening book, with serious implications for both economic development in the developing world and the opportunities for social enterprise,” says Rachelle Sampson, associate professor of logistic business & public policy.“A direct implication of this book is that, as a society, we will never reach our potential until the human rights and the talent of half the world’s population is realized. Note that this book will challenge its readers and is not for the faint of heart; it is a clear-eyed view of lives of groups of women around the world, and the view isn’t pretty. The stories, though, are inspiring and give cause for hope and possibility. I challenge anyone to come away unmoved by this book and motivated to be a force for change.”

  9.  “Too Big to Fail: The Inside Story of How Wall Street and Washington Fought to Save the Financial System – and Themselves”
    by Andrew Ross Sorkin (2009)

    “This book gives a very detailed play-by-play of the financial crisis from both the Wall Street and inside Washington perspective,” says Asher Epstein, managing director of the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship at the Smith School.“It shows how the Treasury team worked around the clock to deal with countless unexpected issues. It is a great example of crisis management and also gives a lot of insight into the inner workings of Wall Street.”

  10.  “Wellbeing: The Five Essential Elements”
    by Tom Rath and James Harter (2010)

    “In this day of ‘hectic schedules and craziness’ for many people, it is increasingly important for people to take a more holistic perspective on how they are faring,” says Joyce E.A. Russell, director of executive coaching and leadership development programs and Ralph J. Tyser Distinguished Teaching Fellow.“This book uses extensive research and examples based on Gallup’s work in over 150 countries to provide the reader with a view of what contributes to an individual’s well being. The five elements include: career wellbeing, social wellbeing, financial wellbeing, physical wellbeing, and community wellbeing. Not only do the authors discuss these important areas, but they introduce the reader to Gallup’s new Wellbeing Finder which is an online assessment they can use to track and improve their wellbeing. A must read in today’s times!”

Bonus Picks

  • “Mission Impact: Breakthrough Strategies for Nonprofits” by Rob Sheehan (2010) reveals how the process of strategy development should be designed with authoritative coverage of mission impact, vision, five year strategic stretch goals, strategy implementation, and management. Sheehan is the academic director of executive MBA programs at the Smith School.
  • “Justice,” by Michael J. Sandel (2009)
    "This book contains many cases based on economic/business dealings and many discussions from past economists, who, in fact, envisioned their writings as focusing on ‘the common good’ (not just ‘economics’) and as encompassing topics we often classify as ‘political’ and ‘moral’ issues, as well as ‘economic’ issues, says Brian L. Nelson, Tyser Teaching Fellow of Logistics, Business and Public Policy.
  • “The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine” by Michael Lewis (2010)
    "This book talks in detail about the housing meltdown and those savvy individuals that saw it coming and bet their money on a meltdown occurring despite what everyone else thought," says Asher Epstein, managing director of the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship at the Smith School. "The book demonstrates the value of doing your homework and staying with your convictions despite what the mainstream might think."
  • “Inside Steve's Brain” by Leander Kahney (2009)
    "This book lays out the management case of how Steve Jobs saved Apple from bankruptcy and built an innovation engine that has transformed consumer electronics," says Sandor Boyson, Research Professor and Co-Director, Supply Chain Management Center.

About the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business 

The Robert H. Smith School of Business is an internationally recognized leader in management education and research. One of 12 colleges and schools at the University of Maryland, College Park, the Smith School offers undergraduate, full-time and part-time MBA, executive MBA, online MBA, MS in business, PhD and executive education programs, as well as outreach services to the corporate community. The school offers its degree, custom and certification programs in learning locations in North America and Asia.