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May 5, 2004

News & Opinion: Biz Books from B-Schools - Part IV

By: Dylan Schleicher @ 12:00 AM – Filed under: Management & Workplace Culture

I thought I would take this entry to list some of the books you have not seen on any "Best of Business Books" list. These are taken from the 2003 BusinessWeek survey of B-school professors I have been using for the past week.
  • Professor Albert Madansky (University of Chicago) recommends ADMINISTRATION INDUSTRIELLE ET GENERALE (translated as GENERAL AND INDUSTRIAL MANAGEMENT) by Henri Fayol - "European's refer to this 1916 book, rather than Taylor's, as the bible of scientific management. It is here that the classic roles of the manager-plan, organize, coordinate, and control-are first set forth."

  • Professor David Olsen (Texas A&M) points to CHOAS: MAKING A NEW SCIENCE by James Gleick

  • Professor David Stewart (USC) recommends ZEN AND THE ART OF MOTORCYCLE MAINTENANCE by Robert Pirsig - "A cult book that should be more widely read--the discussion of the meaning of quality is outstanding."

  • Associate Dean Nancy Hauserman (Iowa) has students read THE SNEETCHES AND OTHER STORIES by Dr. Seuss - "Several of the stories in this book offer wonderful illustrations of important management lessons. In particular, "The Sneetches" and "The Zax". "The Sneetches" provides a lovely illustration about the dangers of assimilation and the power of recognizing and accepting one's differences and strengths. "The Zax" is a fine story about conflict management or the lack thereof. Two Zax come head to head as they are walking in different directions - one going South and one going North. The beauty of these stories is that they provide very clear messages in a totally non-threatening way and let people relax with what are often difficult subjects."

  • Professor Marianne Jennings (ASU) sends people to the oldest book - THE BIBLE. She says, "...You can't find tidbits like these on the flips charts at any retreat."

    Wealth maketh many friends; but the poor is separated from his neighbor. -Proverbs 19:4
    Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding. -Proverbs 17:28
    He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty... -Proverbs 16:32
    Whoso loveth instruction loveth knowledge: but he that hateth reproof is brutish. -Proverbs 12:1
    The righteous considereth the cause of the poor: but the wicked regardeth not to know it. -Proverbs 29:7

  • And finally, Professor Roland Rust (Maryland) suggests CHIMPANZEE POLITICS by Frans de Waal - "A lot of human interaction is more deeply rooted than we think. It is fascinating to see how power works in the chimpanzee world. There are many lessons for the human world."

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.