Books for the Beach

summer-reading3Not sure what to pack when heading for the beach this summer? We asked Wharton faculty to offer some suggestions on books to keep your mind busy while you relax. Below, they recommend titles on a range of topics — from the value of meditation to the human rights obligations of companies and the use of statistical analysis for competitive advantage. Next week, we’ll post a Knowledge@Wharton summer reading report that includes coverage of a variety of business-related books for beach bags everywhere. Happy reading!

Search Inside Yourself: The Unexpected Path to Achieving Success, Happiness (and World Peace), by Chade-Meng Tan

“Meng is a top Google executive who has created an insight-meditation program at his firm to help employees stay centered, relaxed and energized. He uses humor and simple examples to describe his program, which makes his advice easy to follow. Properly applied, Meng’s system will enhance both your working life and your relationships.” — G. Richard Shell, professor of legal studies and business ethics

To End All Wars: A Story of Loyalty and Rebellion, 1914-1918, by Adam Hochschild

“[Examines] how countries that had no real territorial demands against each other ended up fighting the bloodiest of all wars, helped by the inept leadership of generals on all sides.” — Jean Lemaire, professor of statistics

Just Business: Multinational Corporations and Human Rights, by John Gerald Ruggie

“Ruggie authored the UN-approved 2011 Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights, which aim to set uniform standards on the human rights obligations of international businesses. Welcomed by business leaders, they are not legally binding — a fact that has provoked the ire of the human rights community and those who doubt that the actual conduct of corporations can be shaped by aspirational norms. Confronting his critics, Ruggie explains why he has confidence that his initiative, decried as a craven compromise by many, will turn out to be more than just words on paper.” — Ann E. Mayer, professor of legal studies and business ethics

Moneyball, by Michael Lewis

“The book appears to be about baseball, but it is actually about using statistical analysis for competitive advantage in a multi-billion dollar industry. The recent movie fails to capture most of this.” — Abraham J. Wyner, professor of statistics

Why Good People Can’t Get Jobs: The Skills Gap and What Companies Can Do About It, by Peter Cappelli

“In this timely and influential book, Peter Cappelli approaches with new evidence and a sharp pen the question why companies cannot find the employees they seek.  He … argues that the reason lies in the lack of willingness by companies to train new employees and to offer high enough wages that would enable them to recruit the talent they [are looking for]. Along the way, he dismantles the argument that the cause for a lack of talent lies in a skills gap or a failure of the education system.” — Iwan Barankay, professor of management

The Halo Effect: … and the Eight Other Business Delusions That Deceive Managers, by Phil Rosenzweig

“It is terrific, [offering] deep insights into what is wrong with 90% of popular business books.” — Barbara Mellers, professor of marketing

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