image: University of Chicago Magazine - logo

link to: featureslink to: class news, books, deathslink to: chicago journal, college reportlink to: investigationslink to: editor's notes, letters, chicagophile, course work
link to: back issueslink to: contact forms, address updateslink to: staff info, ad rates, subscriptions


  Written by
  Albert Madansky


  FEATURES
  > >
Read a Business Book
  > >
Battle of THE Books
  > >
Anatomy of an text
  > >
Publish and Flourish
  > >
Page-turners
  > >
Search for meanings


 


How to Read a Business Book
>>
The Classics...

Many business books have become best-sellers, but few have had an enduring impact on the conduct of business. These 10 titles, listed chronologically, are must-reads for anyone who wants to understand how business management has evolved to what it is today.

1. The Theory of Business Enterprise by Thorstein Veblen (1904). Probably the first book to address management as a legitimate field of study; surprisingly modern.

2. The Principles of Scientific Management by Frederick W. Taylor (1911). The definitive work on creating efficient companies from the bottom up.

3. General and Industrial Management by Henri Fayol (1916). Defined the role of the CEO and how the CEO could create efficient companies from the top down.

4. Economy and Society by Max Weber (1922). The argument for bureaucracy as an optimal organizational scheme.

5. The Functions of the Executive by Chester I. Barnard (1948). His concepts (though not his writing style) read even better today than they did in his time.

6. The Practice of Management by Peter F. Drucker (1954). A must-read for understanding this guru's synoptic (not to be confused with syntopic) view of management.

7. The Human Side of Enterprise by Douglas McGregor (1960). Building on Abraham Maslow's psychological hierarchy of needs, this is the seminal work on Theories X and Y of how to manage workers.

8. Strategy and Structure by Alfred D. Chandler (1962). A monumental analysis of business histories, leading to his inferences about the interplay between business structure and strategy.

9. Competitive Strategy by Michael E. Porter (1980). A valuable application of industrial organization theory to business strategy.

10. In Search of Excellence by Thomas J. Peters and Robert H. Waterman Jr. (1982). Overwhelming popularity makes it a must-read, even if only to see what all the fuss was about.


Read about Plus a Supplemental Syllabus.
Return to How to Read a Business Book.

link to: top of the page 


  FEBRUARY 2001

  > > Volume 93, Number 3


  CLASS NOTES
  > > Class News

  > > Books
  > > Deaths

  CAMPUS NEWS
  > > Chicago Journal

  > > College Report

  RESEARCH
  > > Investigations


  DEPARTMENTS
  > > Editor's Notes

  > > From the President

  > > Letters
  > > Chicagophile

  ARCHIVES
  CONTACT
  ABOUT THE MAGAZINE
  SEARCH/SITE MAP

  ALUMNI GATEWAY
  ALUMNI DIRECTORY
  THE UNIVERSITY

uchicago ©2000 The University of Chicago Magazine 1313 E. 60th St., Chicago, IL 60637
phone: 773/702-2163 fax: 773/702-2166 uchicago-magazine@uchicago.edu