Reading syllabus

Recharge your business knowledge and management skills with these new books

Reading syllabus

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As business practices are constantly evolving, managers need the right tools to adapt quickly. China Economic Review looks at recently published books that provide practical advice on everything from managing employees and making use of technology, to finding success in the world’s top economies.

On China
by Henry Kissinger

Often credited as the main orchestrator of the opening of US-China relations in the 1970s, Nobel Prize winner Kissinger has written his first full-length book on China’s political and economic development over the past 60 years. The book draws on historical records, and intertwines key episodes in the country’s foreign policy with Kissinger’s personal conversations with four generations of Chinese leaders. To understand today’s business environment in China, it’s crucial to look back at the country’s historical development. On China provides readers with such an account – and from the voice of an author who was at the heart of much of the nation’s transition.

Minority Business Success: Refocusing on the American Dream
by Leonard Greenhalgh and James H. Lowry

Minority businesses are usually the backbone of modern economies – and the US is no exception. In these uncertain economic times, incorporating minority-owned businesses into the overall economy is vital for job creation and ensuring national economic security. In Minority Business Success, Greenhalgh, a professor at Dartmouth College’s Tuck School of Business, and Lowry, a senior advisor for the Boston Consulting Group, outline how such businesses can fully contribute to the US economy. The authors then assess what minority firms must do to participate in major value chains, and examine how governments and corporations can foster minority inclusion.

Fixing the Game: How Runaway Expectations Broke the Economy and How to Get Back to Reality
by Roger L. Martin

Following the financial crisis and a series of ethics breaches and accounting scandals, analysts and the media have been debating who’s to blame for problems in the US economy. In his new book, Martin – dean of the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management – argues that the turmoil stems from executives’ deeply-held belief that firms exist to maximize shareholder value. This has led to a naive combination of the “real” market (customer-focused selling of products and services) with the “expectations” market (the business of trading stocks, options and complex derivatives). The overwhelming dominance of the expectations market, Martin argues, means traders make money and everyone else loses. Fixing the Game concludes with a discussion on how “the game” can be repaired by redirecting businesses’ focus back to the customer.

China 2020: The Next Decade for the People’s Republic of China
edited by Kerry Brown

Economists, politicians, the media and just about everyone else has something to say on China’s staggering economic growth over the past three decades. But what comes next? Written by experts like Gary Li of the International Institute of Strategic Studies and Jonathan Watts, a Beijing correspondent for The Guardian, this collection of essays highlights the key issues that will shape China’s future. Examining subjects including Chinese military development, the environment, and the country’s single-party leadership and international relations, Brown has united a number of topics that are crucial for analyzing the world’s second-largest economy. The authors also prescribe policy implications for both China and other countries based on their predictions.

Decade of Change: Managing in Times of Uncertainty
by Geoffrey Brewer and Barb Sanford

The first decade of the new millennium was marked by unprecedented change in the US; starting with the September 11 attacks and global economic volatility, and followed by the subprime meltdown and skyrocketing unemployment. Brewer and Sanford look back at the past 10 years through the eyes of prominent leaders, including the internet’s co-creator, a Nobel Prize winner and a military general. The insights from leading thinkers in business, technology and economics offer a roadmap for managing uncertainties in the future.

The Power of Convergence: Linking Business Strategies and Technology Decisions to Create Sustainable Success
by Faisal Hoque with Lawrence M. Walsh, Diana L. Mirakaj and Jeffrey Bruckner

Technology should be embedded in most businesses, yet CEOs and managers often fall into the trap of looking at business strategies separately. Many also incorporate technology in business operations for technology’s sake. The Power of Convergence shows readers how to synchronize innovative developments with business, presenting case studies of companies that have successfully integrated the two. Such “whole-brain enterprises,” as Hoque likes to call them, tend to continue expanding their reach and revenue growth, even in the most challenging markets and economic conditions.

Managing Cross-Cultural Communication: Principles and Practice
by Barry Maude

Human resource management has become increasingly complex as globalization deepens. Maude’s guide to the management of cross-cultural communications draws on the latest research and incorporates the author’s own extensive experience of working in different cultural business settings. Covering core theory and real-world examples, the book highlights the importance of business cooperation across different cultures, both at the micro level (internal differences) and macro level (differences with domestic and foreign business partners). The author explains how to manage issues such as language barriers and how to work in multicultural teams.