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Recommended Books


Business Books

Wealth of Nations
Wealth of Nations

By Adam Smith, 1176. First published in 1776, this broad-ranging exploration of commercial and economic first principles laid the philosophical foundations for modern capitalism and the free-market economy.

Smith’s central thesis is that capital can best be used to create both individual and national wealth in conditions of minimal government interference. He believed that free-market competition advances both the vitality of commercial activity and the ultimate good of all a nation’s citizens. Get more details.

The Function of the Executive
The Function of the Executive

By Chester. I. Barnand, 1968. This collection of Barnard’s lectures on management, though dated in its language, remains relevant, notably in his promotion of clear, short communication channels and managerial morality.

A successful executive himself as well as a theorist, Barnard broadened the managerial role from one that assesses, controls, and supervises, to one that nurtures the organization’s values and goals, and translates them into action, thereby defining a purpose and moral code that pervades the organizations. Get more details.

The Principle of Scientific Management
The Principle of Scientific Management

By Frederick Winslow Taylor, 1911. In its day, this book advanced management as a discrete field requiring formal training, and systematized human work into rigorously measured, optimizable processes.

Arguing that the “inefficiency in almost all of our daily acts” can be remedied by “systematic management, rather than in searching for some unusual or extraordinary man,” Taylor aimed to determine the best practices for every job.

His principles influenced working methods and managerial attitudes for most of the 20th century, particularly in mass-production industries—companies that emphasize quantity over quality. Get more details.

Reengineering the Corporation
Reengineering the Corporation

By Michael Hammer & James Champy, 1993. Though based on the relatively dry field of operations research, this book became a prominent bestseller in its heyday, replacing much of the received wisdom of the last 200 years of industrial management with a radical prescription for rebuildings business wholesale to achieve dramatic performance gains.

Unfortunately, this pioneering book garnered some controversy, largely because corporate cost-cutters used the concept of reengineering to justify mass layoffs. Acknowledging that reengineering can be difficult to launch and to sustain, the authors provide clear and specific guidelines, numerous examples, and in-depth case studies. Get more details.

The Practice of Management
The Practice of Management

By Peter. F. Drucker, 1954. Considered the foremost management and business thinker of the 20th century, Drucker was the first to depict management as a distinct function, a separate responsibility in the workplace: the work of getting work done through and with other people.

This still-relevant book holds that management was one of the major social innovations of the last century, and it poses three now-classic business questions: What is our business? Who is our customer? What does our customer consider valuable?

According to author Gary Hamel, “No other writer has contributed as much to the professionalization of management as Peter Drucker. … [He] bridges the theoretical and the practical, the analytical and the emotive, the private and the social more perfectly than any other management writer.” Get more details.


Information Technology Books

The Real Business of IT
The Real Business of IT: How CIOs Create and Communicate Value

By Richard Hunter and George Westerman, 2009. If you're a general manager or CFO, do you feel you're spending too much on IT or wishing you could get better returns from your IT investments? If so, it's time to examine what's behind this IT-as-cost mind-set..

In The Real Business of IT, Richard Hunter and George Westerman reveal that the cost mind-set stems from IT leaders' inability to communicate about the business value they create-so CIOs get stuck discussing budgets rather than their contributions to the organization. Get more details.

IT Partnership
8 Things We Hate About IT: How to Move Beyond Frustrations to Form a New Partnership with IT

By Susan Cramm, 2010. Why can't you get what you really want from IT? All you desire is a ready-and-willing partner to help you exploit IT to drive your business.

Instead, you get endless rules and regulations, not to mention processes, projects, and technologies that deliver too little, too late, for too much. It's frustrating! How to build a relationship that puts you firmly in control and produces the business results you need?.

In The 8 Things We Hate About IT, Susan Cramm provides the answers. Get more details.

The Adventures of an IT Leader
The Adventures of an IT Leader

By Robert. D. Austin, Richard. L. Nolan, Shannon O'Donnell, 2009.  Becoming an effective IT manager presents a host of challenges--from anticipating emerging technology to managing relationships with vendors, employees, and other managers. A good IT manager must also be a strong business leader.

This book invites you to accompany new CIO Jim Barton to better understand the role of IT in your organization. Get more details.

World Class IT
World Class IT: Why Businesses Succeed When IT Triumphs

By Peter. A. High, 2010. "Technology and business leaders alike must understand how to use IT to their advantage. Today, all businesses are technology companies powered by people; it is simply a question of degree. Failure to understand this and to harness technology to a company's advantage will result in one's company being a follower in an industry as opposed to a shaper of it. In World Class IT, Peter High distills the key principles for business and IT leaders to follow to ensure that your company is a leader rather than a laggard."
—Robert Willett, CEO, Best Buy International

"Following the principles and subprinciples of World Class IT offers invaluable insights and will improve performance no matter the company."
—Tim Harvey, former executive vice president of shared services and chief information officer, Hilton Hotels Corporation. Get more details.

IT Savvy
IT Savvy: What Top Executives Must Know to Go from Pain to Gain

By Peter Weill and Janne. W. Ross, 2009. Digitization of business interactions and processes is advancing full bore. But in many organizations, returns from IT investments are flatlining, even as technology spending has skyrocketed. These challenges call for new levels of IT savvy: the ability of all managers-IT or non-IT-to transform their company's technology assets into operational efficiencies that boost margins. Companies with IT-savvy managers are 20 percent more profitable than their competitors.

In IT Savvy, Peter Weill and Jeanne Ross-two of the world's foremost authorities on using IT in business-explain how non-IT executives can acquire this savvy. Get more details.

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