Archive for February, 2008

Media, Entertainment, and Sports Business Books

Thursday, February 28th, 2008

stack of books image courtesy of Dartmouth Univ.

Couldn’t make it to the MBA Media and Entertainment Conference in New York?

Well the Ford Library can get you up to date on the subjects of media, entertainment, and sports businesses with these new titles. Click on any of these book links to place holds or check availability:

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New Business E-Book Collection

Wednesday, February 27th, 2008

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Ford Library announces its new Business E-Book Collection! We’ve added over 150 new business e-book titles to Duke University Libraries eContent holdings.

NetLibrary’s online reader allows you to read, search, and annotate these new titles, as well as providing you with access to over 24,000 e-books and over 1800 eAudiobooks.

For first time NetLibrary users, we’ve created a Getting Started page with advice on the best ways to access these new e-books. If you’re already familiar with how the NetLibrary site works, you can browse a list of the new titles and connect right away!

You can also find these e-books in our online catalog in advanced search mode by using the following keyword phrases:

  • ford e-book collection
  • ford electronic books
  • netlibrary ford e-book

Here’s a sample search.

We hope you enjoy the new collection, and please feel free to send any comments or questions to:

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Book Review: The Black Swan

Tuesday, February 26th, 2008

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Taleb, Nassim. The black swan : the impact of the highly improbable.
Random House, 2007.

The Black Swan is a follow-up to the author’s 2001 best-seller, Fooled by Randomness, about the role chance plays in life. Fooled was controversial when released and continues to be a classic text in the hedge fund industry. Writing a general-interest book about probability is in itself quite an accomplishment. With Black Swan, it looks like the author (Lebanon-born, Wharton MBA, doctorate in mathematical finance, Wall Street hedge trader) has done it again.

This time, Taleb uses the image of a black swan to describe an event that is highly improbable yet causes a huge impact. Plus, after the event occurs, people concoct explanations for its occurrence in an attempt to make it seem predictable. The terrorist attack of 9/11 is a black swan. So is Black Friday in 1987. So is the development of the internet. Black swans can be either positive or negative, but either way, they have a huge influence on history.

The Black Swan considers fundamental questions about the nature of randomness. The central thesis is that the outliers, not part of the bell curve, are too often ignored by social scientists and these outliers have enormous importance for individuals, government, science and society.

New Books for February

Tuesday, February 26th, 2008

stack of books image courtesy of Dartmouth Univ.

The Ford Library adds new books every month. Here is just a sample from specific categories. Come check out our New Books section for even more choices on a variety of business and related topics. (Click on any of the titles below to check availability or to place a hold.)

“Introduction to” business texts:

Web Design & Technology:

Psychology and Human Behavior in Business:

Green Business Strategy:

Tourism and Hospitality Industry:

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Book Review: House Lust

Monday, February 25th, 2008

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McGinn, Daniel F. House lust : America’s obsession with our homes.
Currency Doubleday, 2008.

A few years ago friends moved to my town from a hotter housing market, thus allowing me to join them on their house hunt. My own home is small, takes me about 90 minutes to clean from baseboards to ceiling, and holds just enough stuff that I don’t have to “weed my collection” more than once a year. It fits my small family of 3 humans, one dog, and one kitten just fine. My friends have several children plus the accoutrement that goes with them, they needed the amenities new houses offer. We met with a Realtor who took us to see homes with mud rooms, jacuzzi tubs, more bathrooms than bedrooms, deluxe game rooms, cathedral ceilings, granite everything, cherry wood this and that. After a certain point, I wondered how I could live without a subzero refrigerator – so changed was my idea of shelter.

House Lust, the new book by Newsweek reporter Daniel McGinn, explores our obsession with our homes in the unique American way of bigger is better. Since the bust, many people view their homes not only as shelter but as investments, as McGinn points out, it’s easier to show off a barbecue pit than a stock portfolio. From MacMansions, to the renovation craze, to vacation homes, we see that, even following a market bust, we’re still attached to our dream home(s) ideals.

A highly entertaining, sometimes funny, read, House Lust offers a cautionary tale of the next housing boom while at the same time causing me to think about, maybe, pushing out the master bedroom wall a tiny bit to add just the smallest of walk-in, cedar lined, closets.

© Reviewer: Jane Day & Ford Library – Fuqua School of Business. All rights reserved.

Technology, Innovation, and Intellectual Property

Wednesday, February 13th, 2008

stack of books image courtesy of Dartmouth Univ.

Are you thinking of attending Duke’s Second Annual Conference on Intellectual Property Markets for Technology: Challenges and Opportunities?

Then you may also want to check out any of these excellent books on these subjects available at the Ford Library: (Click on any of the titles below to check availability or to place a hold.)

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Book Review: Made To Stick

Tuesday, February 12th, 2008

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Heath, Chip and Dan Heath. Made to Stick: Why some ideas survive and others die.
Random House, 2007.

Several weeks ago, a staff member at Fuqua sent an email to the “everyone” list warning drivers to avoid flashing their lights to oncoming cars, or they may be shot by a gang member. In reply another staff member noted that this was an urban legend that had been around for some time. The sender acknowledged that the story may not be true but still felt the warning was worth sending. This left me wondering — Why is this urban legend so successful? What is it about this story that makes it stick?

Written by Chip Heath, formerly a faculty member at Fuqua and now at Stanford, and his brother Dan, a consultant at Duke Corporate Education, Made to Stick explores why some ideas thrive and others fade away.

The authors analyze hundreds of sticky ideas, including compelling stories, persistent rumors, urban legends, conspiracy theories, proverbs and jokes. What emerges is a common set of six traits normally present in a successful idea. The 1992 Clinton campaign’s slogan “It’s the economy, stupid,” is an example of the simplicity principle. Urban legends often combine a vivid concrete image, an unexpected outcome and an emotional ending, such as the man who wakes up in an icy bathtub with no kidneys. Wendy’s “Where’s the Beef” commercials from the mid-80’s draw on the credibility principle as consumers are invited to see for themselves.

Finally in the epilogue, the authors suggest ways to transform and communicate ideas to make them more successful.

© Reviewer: Meg Trauner & Ford Library – Fuqua School of Business. All rights reserved.

Book Review: Mistakes were made …

Thursday, February 7th, 2008

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Tavris, Carol & Elliot Aronson. Mistakes were made (but not by me) : why we justify foolish beliefs, bad decisions, and hurtful acts. Harcourt, 2007.

Tavris and Aronson’s book offers the following story told by organizational consultants Warren Bennis and Burt Nanus: “A promising junior executive of IBM was involved in a risky venture for the company and managed to lose over $10 million in the gamble. It was a disaster. When Watson [Tom Watson, Sr.–IBM’s founder] called the nervous executive into his office, the young man blurted out, ‘I guess you want my resignation?’ Watson said, ‘You can’t be serious. We’ve just spent $10 million educating you!'” A $10 million dollar mistake is hard to hide, but why are most people reluctant to own up to any mistakes, even of the non-$10 million dollar variety?

Not only does no one like to admit mistakes, when confronted with those mistakes, most of us will go to great lengths to justify them rather than admit error. This book illuminates the ways self justification hinders our organizations, legal system, scientific research, and personal relationships. Full of pertinent examples from the interrogation of innocent suspects to the unreliable nature of memories, the book explains how the stress of cognitive dissonance and personal bias impairs our judgment in insidious ways. Tavris and Aronson make their case using an engaging combination of anecdotes and research studies. This book is well-written and thought-provoking.

© Reviewer: Meg Trauner & Ford Library – Fuqua School of Business. All rights reserved.

Happy Chinese New Year!

Thursday, February 7th, 2008

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The Ford Library would like to wish you all a very Happy Chinese New Year

Xin Nian Kuai Le (Happy New Year — Mandarin)

Sun Nin Ffy Lok (Happy New Year — Cantonese)

Below is a list of new books in the spirit of this holiday and a tip for using the online catalog to find titles in non-roman scripts. (As usual, you can click on any of the titles below to check availability or to place a hold.) Please also see our Chinese New Year display and special features areas in the library for more information on the holiday and even more titles.

Did you know you can search the online catalog for non-roman scripts? Currently, some titles are available in Japanese, Korean, Arabic, Cyrillic, Hebrew and Devanagari scripts. Most of the catalog records in non-roman scripts are in Chinese, Japanese or Korean, but there are some in Arabic, Hebrew and Cyrillic, and more of these will be added in the future.

For more information on how to search in Chinese, please contact the librarian for Chinese Studies, Luo Zho

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Book Review: Beyond Success

Tuesday, February 5th, 2008

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Ottinger, Randall J. Beyond Success: Building a personal, financial and philanthropic legacy. McGraw-Hill, 2008.

When Tom Keller was Dean of the Fuqua School, he once noted that there were two phases of life: the acquisition phase and the divestiture phase.

MBA students are focused on the first phase, acquisition. After graduation, these young men and women work long hours, take risks and make sacrifices for rewards that will come later. Inevitably as years pass, these young men and women will be successful at this phase and will achieve financial independence. And just as inevitably, they will someday be middle aged and find themselves in the second phase, divestiture, and may be surprised that this phase presents them with a different challenge — how to make a positive impact with their time and assets, building a personal and philanthropic legacy.

For people starting to think about establishing their legacy, the book Beyond Success illustrates the issues involved in managing wealth, philanthropy and family. How much is enough? How should people structure their lives to do well and to benefit others? How should people structure their wealth to enable their children to fulfill their dreams without undermining their motivation? How do people manage to leave something of lasting value at the end of life?

After providing a framework for creating a new vision and develop a road map for success, this book offers number of success stories. One is Mario Morino, who sold his company, Legent Corp to Computer Associates, and later formed Venture Philanthropy Partners, and who is now involved in Fuqua’s CASE (Center for the Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship) program. Also mentioned in this book is John C. Whitehead, formerly CEO of Goldman Sachs, who is also involved in CASE.

© Reviewer: Meg Trauner & Ford Library – Fuqua School of Business. All rights reserved.