Posts Tagged ‘Fuqua authors’

Book Review: Strategy from the outside in

Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011

startegy from the outside in - image courtesy

Day, George S. and Christine Moorman. Strategy from the outside in : profiting from customer value. McGraw-Hill Professional, 2010.

Fuqua faculty member Chris Moorman and co-author George Day argue that, over the long term, the most successful companies focus on creating and keeping their customers. When designing their corporate strategy, the best companies start with the market. All parts of the enterprise are focused on understanding the customer, solving customer problems and seeking out opportunities in the market. Market driven companies work to sustain and improve customer value.

Authors Day and Moorman introduce the concepts of inside-out and outside-in strategies. Many companies employ inside-out strategies, maximizing shareholder value or leveraging competitive advantage. By contrast, the most profitable companies use outside-in strategy, viewing the market through the customer’s eyes. These companies also invest in market intelligence to determine patterns in customer behavior, and to identify market opportunities. They take specific steps to create and reinforce customer value and profitability. These actions distinguish market leaders from ordinary companies and are the focus of the book.

Author Christine Moorman is the T. Austin Finch, Sr. Professor at the Fuqua School of Business, Duke University. Her teaching and research interests include marketing strategy, new products and consumer behavior. For more details, you can visit:

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

Book Review: The Upside of Irrationality

Tuesday, July 13th, 2010

image courtesy

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.

Book Review: 13 Bankers

Tuesday, June 15th, 2010

image courtesy

Johnson, Simon. 13 bankers : the Wall Street takeover and the next financial meltdown. Pantheon Books, 2010.

Since the economic crisis of 2008, dozens of new books have been written about the meltdown, some of them reviewed in this blog. In this important new work, the authors show how the financial sector and its political influence are a serious risk to the economic well-being of the global economy.

The top six banks together control assets amounting to 60 percent of the U.S. GDP. These top tier financial institutions, including Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs, are too big and too important to fail. The financial crisis made them even bigger, enlarging their market shares in derivatives, mortgages and credit cards. Yet these banks continue to take enormous risks, knowing that the government will shelter them from harm in a downturn.

Significant change is needed to address the disproportionate wealth and power in these large banks. To return to a healthy balance in our economy, the authors recommend that banks be “busted,” such that each bank is no more than 4% of U.S. GDP, with investment banks having a lower limit of 2%. Banks could then be allowed to fail without threatening the entire economy. Reckless borrowing and lending would cease and the boom/bust cycles would end. Taxpayers could stop subsidizing wealthy bankers through bailouts.

Author Simon Johnson was formerly chief economist at the International Monetary Fund. He was a faculty member at Fuqua School 1991-97, and currently teaches at MIT’s Sloan School of Management.

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

More on “Predictably Irrational” …

Friday, March 21st, 2008

amazon book cover image image

Ariely, Dan. Predictably irrational : the hidden forces that shape our decisions.
HarperCollins, 2008.

Dan Ariely’s Predictably Irrational has been on the New York Times Best Seller list for three weeks, currently at #5 for hardcover nonfiction. David Berreby has published an excellent book review of the book in the March 16th Sunday NY Times.

You can also stop by the Ford Library and see our new display on behavioral economics. Check out Dan’s book or the others that are highlighted there.

Comments or questions?:

Return to the Ford Library Home Page

Book Review: Made To Stick

Tuesday, February 12th, 2008

amazon book cover image image

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.