Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Some business reading

  1. Competing for the Future by C.K.Prahalad and Gary Hamel - This was a total waste of time. I skimmed most of it and for the most part it reads like a self-help book for managers. It’s full of exhortations and buzzwords. At least economists can claim to do it with models. If the 1970 census occupation codes were still in effect I would categorize management consultants here.
  2. Commitment by Pankaj Ghemawat - I wanted to like this book but in the end it still sounded as though ‘commitment’ is nothing more than a ‘success factor’ even though he goes through at length to say it is not. In the end a lot of the ideas may have been displaced by ‘real options’ approach.
  3. Built to Last - I wanted to hate this book but found it more interesting than not. It eschews a lot of the management fads and incredibly claims that firms need to take the long view and not pay too much attention to its stock price! What a sacrilege! It also claims that firms and its leaders hold true to its principles whatever they may be! Is this some kind of desiderata for companies? In any case I wonder about the inclusion of Hewlett Packard, Sony and Citicorp. As they say, only time will tell.

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