March 11, 2005

News & Opinion: Another take on "How To Read a Business Book"

By: 800-CEO-READ @ 4:34 PM – Filed under: Management & Workplace Culture

Bren at Slack Manager wrote a popular post six weeks ago titled How To Read A Business Book.

That post got me thinking about another article I has heard about with a similar title. It was written by Albert Madansky, a professor of business administration at the University of Chicago. I saw a reference to the article in his biography on this BusinessWeek Book List. I exchanged a couple of emails with Albert about getting permission to run the article, but ran into trouble with it being published by a then-defunct Industry Standard.

Strangely enough, yesterday's guest host Laurence Haughton mentioned the article in reference to Johnnie Moore's unhappiness and sent me a link to an reprint of the article in University of Chicago Magazine.

So, I strongly encourage you reading How To Read A Business Book by Albert Madansky.

Some of the important points include:
  • There are three types of business books - theory/evidence based, research based, and observational based [and too many of the third type].
  • To get the most out of a business book, you need to read two or three others on the same topic.
  • You need to put books into context against big questions like "What is the nature and function of business?", "What is the nature of the employee?", and "What is the appropriate way to organize a company?"

We'll talk more when you done reading...