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Best Business Books 2004: A Guide

Dec 29, 2004

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The nation's economic climate has seen a wide range of conditions in recent years, leaving many in business to seek new ways of coping with uncertain times. As usual, dozens of authors have stepped forward with strategies and advice for how to thrive in today's economy — whether you're a CEO, a manager or just someone with a good idea.

To help sort through the new crop of thought, NPR's Steve Inskeep talks with Randall Rothenberg of Strategy and Business. The magazine has compiled a list of the year's best business books. Below are some highlights from the list.

Behavioral Economics

The Company of Strangers, by Paul Seabright (Princeton University Press, 2004)

The Economy of Esteem, by Geoffrey Brennan and Philip Pettit (Oxford University Press, 2004)

The Paradox of Choice, by Barry Schwartz (Ecco, 2004)

The New Consumer

Call of the Mall, by Paco Underhill (Simon & Schuster, 2004)

On Paradise Drive, by David Brooks (Simon & Schuster, 2004)

The Substance of Style, by Virginia Postrel (HarperCollins, 2003)

IT & Innovation

The Business of Software, by Michael A. Cusumano (Free Press, 2004)

Does IT Matter?, by Nicholas G. Carr (Harvard Business School Press, 2004)

Free Culture, by Lawrence Lessig (Penguin Press, 2004)

The Keystone Advantage, by Marco Iansiti and Roy Levien (Harvard Business School Press, 2004)

Change Management

Building the Bridge as You Walk on It, by Robert E. Quinn (Jossey-Bass, 2004)

Change Without Pain, by Eric Abrahamson (Harvard Business School Press, 2004)

Changing Minds, by Howard Gardner (Harvard Business School Press, 2004)

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Strategy
Confronting Reality, by Larry Bossidy and Ram Charan (Crown Business, 2004) The Future of Competition by C.K. Prahalad and Venkat Ramaswamy(Harvard Business School Press, 2004) Strategy Maps, by Robert S. Kaplan and David P. Norton (Harvard Business School Press, 2004)
Management
A Bias for Action, by Heike Bruch and Sumantra Ghoshal (Harvard Business School Press, 2004) Managers, Not MBAs, by Henry Mintzberg (Berrett-Koehler, 2004) Predictable Surprises, by Max H. Bazerman and Michael D. Watkins (Harvard Business School Press, 2004) The Real Thing, by Constance L. Hays (Random House, 2004) The Seven-Day Weekend, by Ricardo Semler (Portfolio, 2004) The Toyota Way, by Jeffrey K. Liker (McGraw-Hill, 2004) The U.S. Army Leadership Field Manual, by the Center for Army Leadership (McGraw-Hill, 2004)
Leadership
Alexander Hamilton, by Ron Chernow (Penguin Press, 2004) Authentic Leadership, by Bill George (Jossey-Bass, 2003) The Price of Loyalty, by Ron Suskind (Simon & Schuster, 2004) Ready to Lead? A Story for Leaders and Their Mentors, by Alan Price (Jossey-Bass, 2004) Testosterone, Inc., by Christopher Byron (John Wiley & Sons, 2004) Why CEOs Fail, by David L. Dotlich and Peter C. Cairo (Jossey-Bass, 2003)

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