Archive for July, 2010

Book Reviews: Devils and Quants

Thursday, July 29th, 2010

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End your summer reading with these two entertaining cautionary tales of devilish greed and hubris.

Click the titles below for information on location and availability.

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

Important E-Resource Updates

Wednesday, July 28th, 2010

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The following announcements are about changes to some of the e-resource subscriptions and products that Ford Library provides to Duke University. Some of the links in this post may require off-campus users to activate a Duke VPN connection.

EIU Publications – Due to their excessively high costs, we can no longer subscribe to the Economist Country Reports, and several other Economist Intelligence Unit publications. This linked graphic details the components of our subscription that we will be dropping (in red), and those we will retain (in green).

Ford Library will continue to provide Duke with other resources for strong coverage of globally focused economic and business news and data. Proquest has significantly improved its available resources in this area; and our IHS Global Insight database has comparable access to country reports, and better tools for macroeconomic data retrieval. ISI Emerging Markets also has excellent news and macroeconomic data coverage.

STAT-USA/Internet, a very popular source of US and global trade and economic data, will no longer be available as of September 30, 2010. According to a message we received from the provider, “STAT-USA/Internet’s historic role as a straightforward storehouse of static government information releases has become outdated.” (more…)

Book Review: Managing

Friday, July 23rd, 2010

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Mintzberg, Henry. Managing. Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 2009.

Henry Mintzberg’s first book, The Nature of Managerial Work, was assigned reading for MBA students at Indiana Univ. in the 1970’s. Mintzberg observed five senior managers for a week and described the true practice of management. At the time, Mintzberg concluded that managers worked long hours at a demanding pace. The work was fragmented and varied with little pattern. Interruptions were continuous. Managers preferred verbal communication over written reports and relationships with peers, clients and associates were critical to success.

Thirty years later, Mintzberg revisited the subject of managerial work, this time observing 29 managers for a day. In Managing, he reports that little has changed. Managers work at a hectic pace in an environment that is often chaotic. The work is fragmented and discontinuous, with frequent interruptions. Managers tend to be action-oriented, high-energy people, who respond to situations more than initiate them. Even at the senior management level, the manager is not sitting at a desk, planning strategy and envisioning the future. Managing is “one damn thing after another.”

According to Mintzberg, the practice of management cannot be taught. Managers learn primarily through their own efforts and through experience on the job. Success depends on the context — company, the culture, the industry, the job level, the work itself. A successful manager is an emotionally healthy person with good judgment in the right job.

The newly published Managing is far easier and more enjoyable to read than his earlier work. I might have been a better student (and manager) if this book had been published in the 70’s.

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

Book Review: The Upside of Irrationality

Tuesday, July 13th, 2010

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Ariely, Dan. The upside of irrationality : the unexpected benefits of defying logic at work and at home. Harper, 2010.

Fuqua faculty member Dan Ariely has written a second best-selling book about the biases that influence our behavior and answer the question – Why do we act the way we do?

As in his previous book, Predictably Irrational, Prof. Ariely describes experiments that illustrate basic principles of behavioral economics, such as adaptation and empathy. He discusses biases, such as the IKEA effect — why we overvalue what we make by hand – and the Not-Invented-Here bias – why we overvalue our own ideas. Readers learn how a sincere apology can reduce anger; how employees value meaningful work; and why large bonuses do not improve performance (hear that, Goldman Sachs?). People who are aware of their biases make better decisions.

The Upside of Irrationality is written in a conversational tone, peppered with charming and humorous stories about Ariely’s family and friends. Ariely also draws on his experiences as a burn patient to explain his outlook on life. A personal story and an engrossing read, the book feels like a long discussion over dinner. Upside is one of the best books of the year.

The Upside of Irrationality is also available in Ford Library as an audiobook.

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

ProQuest Databases Off-line For Maintenance

Friday, July 9th, 2010

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All ProQuest databases (including ABI-INFORM Complete) will be temporarily unavailable this weekend while the vendor performs necessary system maintenance.

This 8 hour maintenance outage will take place from Saturday, Saturday, July 10, 2010, at 10:00PM EST to Sunday, July 11, 2010 at 6:00AM EST.

Fuqua & Duke users may select alternative databases for article searches during the maintenance window by visiting our Databases By Subject page.

Thanks for your patience during this essential maintenance.

Library Database Room Upgrade

Tuesday, July 6th, 2010

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Ford Library’s Data Resources Room will be undergoing a wiring upgrade beginning in the late morning on Wednesday, July 7, 2010.

To make our Data Resources Room even more user friendly, new power and network wiring will be installed this week so that we can re-configure the current computer table layout.

We’ll do our best to keep some of the workstations in the room available to users; but there will be moderate noise and electricians working in the room for the remainder of the week, and possibly into next week (July 12 -16).

While this work is underway, some workstations may be unavailable, and we may need to close the room entirely to users if exposed wiring and cabling become a safety hazard.

Thanks for your patience while we upgrade our facilities, and our apologies for any inconvenience the above may cause you. Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns.