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Great reads: Foster faculty recommend their favorite management books

Amazon.com sells more than 50,000 different books on management and leadership. How to decide which are worth your precious time? We asked a few faculty experts from the University of Washington Foster School of Business to recommend a classic and contemporary management book of real value.
Jim Jiambalvo
Dean, Kirby L. Cramer Chair in Business Administration
CLASSIC:
Strategy and Structure: Chapters in the History of the American Industrial Enterprise (Chandler)
“This is a classic work that explicates the evolution of the modern business organization.”

CONTEMPORARY:
Understanding Michael Porter: The Essential Guide to Competition and Strategy (Magretta)
“Porter’s disciple offers a clear and concise summary of the master’s work!”
Dan Turner
Associate Dean for Masters Programs and Executive Education
Senior Lecturer in Marketing
Peter and Noydena Brix Endowed Faculty Fellow
CLASSIC:
The Leadership Challenge: How to Make Extraordinary Things Happen in Organizations (Kouzes & Posner)
“The simple truth is very little interesting happens in organizations that isn’t performed by and inspired by people. For me, this book takes an incredibly complex set of issues and boils it down to an accessible, insightful framework for action that can make each of us a more effective leader.”

The No Asshole Rule: Building a Civilized Workplace and Surviving One That Isn’t (Sutton)
“I like this book a lot not because of the title but in spite of it. For me it is a strong reminder that there is much more to organizational citizenship than dong one’s job. Each day we have an opportunity to impact positively those around us… their work lives, their satisfaction, their productivity, and—ultimately—the organization’s overall ability to achieve its mission and fulfill its vision.”

CONTEMPORARY:
To Sell is Human: The Surprising Truth About Motivating Others (Pink).
“I find Pink’s books engaging, entertaining, and insightful with just the right blend of social science evidence and story-telling. Some might argue that the ideas offered are not as novel as those in some other management books, but I like the way Mr. Pink focuses our attention on things that are important.”
Bruce Avolio
Marion B. Ingersoll Professor, Professor of Management
Executive Director, Center for Leadership and Strategic Thinking
CLASSIC:
On Leadership (Gardner)
“This book provides a very thoughtful overview of what constitutes successful leadership.”

CONTEMPORARY:
Where Good Ideas Come From: The Natural History of Innovation (Johnson)
“This is a great book on the importance of co-location and how collaboration can spontaneously result. (May be reason why Yahoo CEO recently told employees no more working from home).”

Immunity to Change: How to Overcome It and Unlock the Potential in Yourself and Your Organization (Kegan & Lahey)
“Why people and organizations don’t do what they set out to do and how their own immunities derail them.”
Morela Hernandez
Assistant Professor of Management
CLASSIC:
The Leadership Challenge: How to Make Extraordinary Things Happen in Organizations (Kouzes & Posner)
“It’s sort of a “how-to” book on the fundamentals of good leadership. Very practical, very applicable—and it’s grounded in research, which tells us that these practices actually work!”

CONTEMPORARY:
On Thinking Institutionally (Heclo)
“Written by a political scientist, this book offers a paradigm shift on how we conceptualize organizations. He embeds and develops the notion of responsibility as a primary component of all institutions. Given my own research focus on stewardship and considering the long-term effects of corporate action on stakeholders, I found this book to be incredibly thought provoking.”
Scott Reynolds
Associate Professor of Business Ethics
Helen Moore Gerhardt Faculty Fellow
CLASSIC:
Moral Mazes: The World of Corporate Managers (Jackall)
“Imagine that a sociologist with no work experience walked into a modern corporation.  How would he explain the lives we lead? With a very different and enlightening perspective on our everyday work experiences.”

CONTEMPORARY:
The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom (Haidt)
“I’m just working through it, but if you’re interested in the ‘big questions’ of life, this is one place to look.”
Michael Johnson
Associate Professor of Management
GM Nameplate Fellow
CLASSIC:
Orbiting the Giant Hairball: A Corporate Fool’s Guide to Surviving with Grace (Mackenzie)
“As a creative type at the Hallmark company, Mackenzie flouted, circumvented, and made fun of corporate America. This short and entertaining book is an interesting and insightful book on company culture.”

CONTEMPORARY:
Thinking, Fast and Slow (Kahneman)
“This book by the Nobel prize-winning psychologist (the only psychologist ever to win the Nobel for economics) is outstanding at highlighting the various decision biases that result from flawed thinking.”

Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us (Pink)
“In a culture that is enamored with incentives, Pink demonstrates how intrinsic motivation is stronger and longer-lasting than extrinsic motivation. This book is a must for anyone responsible for motivating others.”
Christina Fong
Senior Lecturer in Management
CLASSIC:
Influence: Science and Practice (Cialdini)
“This is the book that I recommend to almost everyone—the principles of what makes someone want to help you or believe you remain modern and effective even after more than a decade.  Once you learn these six principles of influence, you see them everywhere you turn.”

CONTEMPORARY:
Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard (Heath & Heath)
“It does a great job of combining careful research and a practical way to think about getting people to change their habits and their organizations.”
Richard Nolan
Professor Emeritus of Management & Organization
Philip M. Condit Endowed Chair in Business Administration
CLASSIC:
Politics, Economics, and Welfare (Dahl & Lindblom)
“It has been revised several times, and I still keep the dog-eared edition that I first read in Professor Dwight Robinson’s Business and Society class that I took at the UW Business School in 1963.”

CONTEMPORARY:
The Soul of Design: Harnessing the Power of Plot to Create Extraordinary Products (Austin & Devin)
Elizabeth Umphress
Associate Professor of Management
CLASSIC:
Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In (Fisher, Ury & Patton)
“The basics of how to effectively negotiate. It was written a long time ago, but it is still very relevant today.”

CONTEMPORARY:
The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion (Haidt)
“Jonathan Haidt is a social psychologist studying ethical behavior. I really liked his other book, The Happiness Hypothesis.”
John Castle
Lecturer in Entrepreneurship
Undergraduate Faculty Advisor, Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship
CLASSIC:
The E-Myth: Why Most Businesses Don’t Work and What To Do About It (Gerber)
“Simple and practical advice for small business owners.”

CONTEMPORARY:
Fierce Conversations: Achieving Success at Work and in Life, One Conversation at a Time (Scott)
“An excellent book on management behavior.”