March 11, 2005

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

By: Dylan Schleicher @ 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...

About Dylan Schleicher

Dylan Schleicher has been a part of the 800-CEO-READ claque since 2003. Even though he's stayed on at the company, he has not stayed put. After beginning in shipping & receiving, he joined customer service and accounting before moving into his current, highly elliptical orbit of duties overseeing the ChangeThis and In the Books websites, the company's annual review of books and in-house design. He lives with his wife and two children in the Washington Heights neighborhood on Milwaukee's West Side.