Books - Corporate Culture and Value Systems

Book reviews on corporate culture and value system

Corporate Culture and Value Systems Books
BooksShort Reviews
24/7 Innovation 
Stephen M. Shapiro 
There are a lot of valuable insights in this book on corporate innovation. However, the writing style and lack of overarching framework on which to hang the many concepts prevent the reader from identifying strongly with any of the ideas. One comes away bewildered and even more averse to experimenting. It is as if Shapiro is the ultimate innovator in the practice of innovation, that he has forgotten the need to communicate clearly. Read a chapter a month to avoid overload.
Beyond Entrepreneurship 
James C. Collins & William C. Lazier 
Prentice Hall 
This is an early book by the now well-known Jim Collins. It is a poorly laid out book listing what, at times, seem random insights into the commonsense of building a company in the second and third stages of growth. There is nothing new here, but the anecdotes usefully illustrate the principals of " think, plan and manage the key aspects of your business"—if only it were this easy!
P. Ranganath Nayak, Ph.D. & John M. Ketteringham, Ph.D. 
Rawson Associates 
These well-researched stories have a common theme. For corporations to capitalize on breakthrough innovations, the corporate culture must accept change; support must come from the top, and the entrepreneur must have stamina. It is light reading with valuable lessons to be learned.
Building the Innovative Organization 
James A. Christiansen 
St. Martin's Press 
This is one of the better books on this subject. Christiansen bases his recommendations on established research results and successfully bridges the gap between academic findings and usable actions for managers to implement. The book has an appealing logical structure and is well worth the effort to read thoroughly.
Built to Last 
James C. Collins & Jerry I. Porras 
A very readable book on good management, it is based on research at Stanford over a number of years. If nothing more, this book teaches that doing things consistently well over the long haul is necessary, if not sufficient in building a great company.
Competing for the Future 
Gary Hamel & C.K. Prahalad 
Harvard Business School Press 
This well-known book by two strategy gurus always bears another reading. After eight years, its messages are still valuable. It is suited best to middle-market and larger company executives.
Competitive Advantage 
Michael E. Porter 
The Free Press 
It never hurts to go back to the origin. Although Porter's "five-forces" and "value-chain" frameworks need to be reinterpreted in a more knowledge-based economy, this book and its companion below, still offer much to think about.
Competitive Strategy 
Michael E. Porter 
The Free Press 
See above.
Corporate Creativity 
Alan G. Robinson & Sam Stern 
Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc. 
This book has a good mix of practical advice and theoretical underpinning for managing creativity within an established organization. The discussion of six essential elements provides a framework which helps communication throughout an organization. (The Farrell Center proposes nine rather than six such elements).
Dealers of Lightning 
Michael Hiltzik 
If ever there was a failure of a corporation to couple the work if its own R&D labs to its business units, it was Xerox Corporation. Cultural mismatches and geographical separation took their toll as Apple and others walked off with the crown jewels—good plane reading.
Innovate or Evaporate 
James M. Higgins 
New Management Publishing Company, Inc. 
This is a somewhat rambling book with little real research support for the findings or recommendations. Use it for the numerous check-lists as aide-memories for challenging your managers.
Innovation and the General Manager 
Clayton M. Christensen 
This is the textbook used for Christensen's course at Harvard. As expected, it focuses heavily on the author's work on disruptive technologies which gives it a somewhat biased emphasis. In our view, Christensen's analyses do not take into sufficient account the softer "corporate value systems" that confront disruptions. The book is heavily case-based and these, while useful, must be read taking into account the corporate sanitizing that usually takes place.
Intrapreneuring in Action 
Gifford Pinchot & Ron Pellman 
Berrett Koehler Publishers, Inc. 
Unfortunately, executing corporate change is a complex and time-consuming exercise. Moreover, every corporation starts from a very different place. Therefore, "handbooks" cannot provide an easy way out for executives. Read this for tips, but not the solution.
Marketing Engineering 
Gary L. Lilien & Arvind Rangaswamy 
Addison Wesley Longman, Inc. 
Computer-assisted marketing analysis and planning are presented here.
Now, Discover Your Strengths 
Marcus Buckingham & Donald O. Clifton, Ph.D. 
The Free Press 
The reader is invited to create a personal profile based on a major research program undertaken by the Gallup organization over many years. The analysis includes access to a Web application called "Strengthsfinder." It is claimed that only by understanding your own value system in detail, as well as that of those you manage or work with, can you create a productive work environment. It is an interesting read, but practice is harder than analysis.
Project Newprod: What Makes a New Product a Winner? 
Robert G. Cooper 
Quebec Industrial Innovation Centre 
Cooper has been studying and writing about new product development for over twenty years. This is an early book based on an empirical research program. Surprisingly little has changed.
Scientists in Organizations 
Pelz Andrews 
Institute for Social Research, The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor 
This is a little-known, but invaluable report of work undertaken at the University of Michigan on the motivation of creative persons within an organization. It is full of sound data, and insights, and should be on the bookshelf of all R&D managers.
The Entrepreneurial Mindset 
Rita Gunther McGrath & Ian MacMillan 
Harvard Business School Press 
This book is recommended for middle managers in companies that are trying to effect change to a more entrepreneurial behavior. Of particular value are the well illustrated techniques for extending existing product portfolios using tools that reduce risk and can get some points on the board quickly.
The Innovator's Dilemma 
Clayton M. Christensen 
Harvard Business School Press 
This is Christensen's well-read book on disruptive technologies. Using research primarily in the disc-drive industry, the author elegantly exposes the inability of established companies to absorb the next generation of product technology. The examples are convincing and the book creates a framework within which disruption can be analyzed. Unfortunately, the book does not compare companies that have managed disruption when their corporate value systems support a balanced response to threat and opportunity.
The Intelligent Organization 
Gifford & Elizabeth Pinchot Berrett Koehler Publishers, Inc. 
This book should be read by executives who have already made the commitment to create a more open organization in order to tap the intellectual talent of all employees. There are many good tips on management techniques for implementing open procedures.
Why Work? 
Michael Maccoby 
A Miles River Press 
In an environment where intellectual assets are more valuable than fixed assets, successful motivation of a workforce can differentiate a successful from a failing company. The book covers both the theoretical underpinning of motivational management and provides direction to managers, both in small and large companies.

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