Getting an MBA involves a tremendous amount of reading that goes beyond textbooks with titles such as Accounting Principles and Marketing for Managers. Many business schools offer “reading lists” or recommendations for potential students to explore on their own before entering their MBA programs, while all programs require specific reading as part of the curriculum. Among the most talked about are the book requirements and recommendations by prestigious business schools such as INSEAD and Harvard Business School (HBS). Some are old, some new, but all promise to enlighten and inspire today’s MBA students. Here you go.
1. Unleashing Innovation: How Whirlpool Transformed an Industry by Nancy Tennant Snyder and Deborah L. Duarte
In publications such as BusinessWeek and Fast Company, the media have celebrated Whirlpool's transformation into a leading-edge innovator and Nancy Tennant Snyder's role as chief innovation officer. Ten years after this remarkable transformation, HBS required Unleashing Innovation tells the inside story of one of the most successful innovation turnarounds in American history. Nancy Tennant Snyder and coauthor Deborah L. Duarte reveal how Whirlpool undertook one of the largest change efforts in corporate history and show how innovation was embedded throughout the company, which ultimately lead to bottom-line results. –Amazon.com
2. A Random Walk Down Wall Street: The Time-tested Strategy for Successful Investing by Burton Malkiel
In today’s daunting investment landscape, the need for Burton G. Malkiel’s reassuring, authoritative, and perennially best-selling guide to investing is stronger than ever. INSEAD recommended A Random Walk Down Wall Street has long been established as the first book to purchase when starting a portfolio. This new edition features fresh material on exchange-traded funds and investment opportunities in emerging markets; a brand-new chapter on “smart beta” funds, the newest marketing gimmick of the investment management industry; and a new supplement that tackles the increasingly complex world of derivatives. -Amazon.com
*A Random Walk Down Wall Street was first published in 1973. It has been revised and updated, with over 1.5 million copies sold.
3. Scaling Up Excellence: Getting to More Without Settling for Less by Robert I. Sutton and Huggy Rao
In this HBS required guide, bestselling author, Robert Sutton and Stanford colleague, Huggy Rao tackle a challenge that determines every organization’s success: how to scale up farther, faster, and more effectively as an organization grows.
Sutton and Rao have devoted much of the last decade to uncovering what it takes to build and uncover pockets of exemplary performance, to help spread them, and to keep recharging organizations with ever better work practices. Drawing on inside accounts and case studies and academic research from a wealth of industries—including start-ups, pharmaceuticals, airlines, retail, financial services, high-tech, education, non-profits, government, and healthcare-- Sutton and Rao identify the key scaling challenges that confront every organization.
They tackle the difficult trade-offs that organizations must make between whether to encourage individualized approaches tailored to local needs or to replicate the same practices and customs as an organization or program expands. They reveal how the best leaders and teams develop, spread, and instill the right mindsets in their people-- rather than ruining or watering down the very things that have fueled successful growth in the past. They unpack the principles that help to cascade excellence throughout an organization, as well as show how to eliminate destructive beliefs and behaviors that will hold them back.
Scaling Up Excellence is the first major business book devoted to this universal and vexing challenge. –Amazon.com
4. Corporate Financial Reporting and Analysis: A Global Perspective by David Young and Jacob Cohen
Corporate Financial Reporting and Analysis: A Global Perspective/3e by David Young and Jacob Cohen is an introductory textbook on financial reporting for MBA students. This book is intended to offer the rigor and comprehensive coverage required of an MBA text, while at the same time offering an accessible and practical reference for participants in executive programs. David Young is based at INSEAD Business School in France, and Jacob Cohen is based at MIT Sloan School of Management in the USA.
This book offers a rigorous, yet accessible, treatment of contemporary financial reporting practice. Examples are drawn from a broad range of companies to illustrate key concepts. Particular emphasis is given to the latitude and flexibility granted to managers in reporting financial performance, and the steps that financial statement readers can take to identify potential trouble areas in the accounts. Topics include the analysis and interpretation of the three principal financial statements, revenue recognition, inventory accounting, receivables and bad debts, accounting for long-term assets, provisions and contingencies, income taxes, and the accounting for mergers and acquisitions.
A unique feature of this book is the seamless way in which it deals with differences in U.S. GAAP and IFRS. Both regimes are covered simultaneously, i.e. when a topic is discussed, including the relevant journal entries and disclosures, the discussion applies equally to GAAP companies and to IFRS companies.
It doesn’t matter whether the company used in a given example is from the U.S., Europe, or elsewhere. Thanks to the ongoing GAAP/IFRS convergence project, the two regimes are close enough to allow for a somewhat generic approach that allows for coverage of both regimes at the same time. In this way, the examples that are covered in the book are relevant to all readers, regardless of which regime dominates in their business environment. -Amazon.com
5. Many Unhappy Returns: One Man's Quest to Turn Around the Most Unpopular Organization In America by Charles O. Rossotti
When Charles O. Rossotti became Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service in 1997, the agency had the largest customer base - and the lowest approval rating - of any institution in America. Mired in scandal, caught in a political maelstrom, and beset by profound management and technology problems, the IRS was widely dismissed as a hopelessly flawed enterprise. In HBS required Many Unhappy Returns, Rossotti - the first businessperson to head the IRS - recounts the remarkable story of his leadership and transformation of this much-maligned agency. In the glare of intense public scrutiny, he effected dramatic changes in the way the IRS did business - while it continued to collect $2 trillion in revenue. –Amazon.com
6. Finance for Executives: Managing for Value Creation by Gabriel Hawawini and Claude Viallet
The INSEAD recommended fifth edition of Finance for Executives: Managing for Value Creation illustrates the importance of financial information in maximizing firm value. Highly respected authors Gabriel Hawawini and Claude Viallet draw on their wealth of business and teaching experience to provide a concise, analytically sound introduction to financial management that is neither too simplistic nor too theoretical. The text masterfully balances a thorough exploration of modern finance principles with a strong practical focus on real-world applications and rigorous analysis, whilst also avoiding complicated formulas that have little value for decision-making. -Amazon.com
7. True North: Discover Your Authentic Leadership by Bill George
HBS required Discover Your True North is the best-selling leadership classic that enables you to become an authentic leader by discovering your True North. Originally based on first-person interviews with 125 leaders, this book instantly became a must-read business classic when it was introduced in 2007. Now expanded and updated to introduce 48 new leaders and new learning about authentic global leaders, this revisited classic includes more diverse, global, and contemporary leaders of all ages. New case studies include Warren Buffett, Indra Nooyi, Arianna Huffington, Jack Ma, Paul Polman, Mike Bloomberg, Mark Zuckerberg, and many others. Alongside these studies, former Medtronic CEO Bill George continues to share his personal stories and his wisdom by describing how you can become the leader you want to be, with helpful exercises included throughout the book.
Being a leader is about much more than title and management skills—it's fundamentally a question of who we are as human beings. Discover Your True North offers a concrete and comprehensive program for becoming an authentic leader, and shows how to chart your path to leadership success.
Once you discover the purpose of your leadership, you'll find the true leader inside you. This book shows you how to use your natural leadership abilities to inspire and empower others to excellence in today's complex global world. Discover Your True North enables you to become the leader you were born to be, and stay on track of your True North. –Amazon.com
8. The Money of Invention: How Venture Capital Creates New Wealth by Paul A. Gompers and Josh Lerner
This HBS required read provides a meaningful framework for understanding the relationship between venture capital and entrepreneurial success. It helps readers spot the real limitations of and challenges facing venture capitalists, entrepreneurs and individuals or institutions who want to play either role in the venture game. The authors give the background to why venture capital has exploded as an industry by explaining how venture capitalism drives - and has always driven - innovation, economic growth and job creation beyond high technology and industrialized countries. -Amazon.com
Amazon.com. Amazon.com, Inc., 1996-2017. Web. 06 Nov. 2017.
Gupta, Shalene. "Required Reading: The MBA List." Fortune. Time Inc., 13 Nov. 2014. Web. 06 Nov. 2017.
INSEAD. INSEAD, 24 Mar. 2016. Web. 06 Nov. 2017.
Stillman, Jessica. "5 Books That Are Required Reading at Harvard Business School." Inc.com. Inc., 2016. Web. 06 Nov. 2017.