This is the 2020 Summer Reading List from the Robert H. Smith School of Business, University of Maryland.
The coronavirus pandemic may have thrown many of your summer plans into disarray, but there’s one much-loved activity you can still pursue: Losing yourself in a stack of engrossing books.
Maryland Smith’s faculty are there for you, with suggestions to get you through the summer break.
The 17th annual Summer Reading List for Business Leaders from the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business covers sports, history, startup scandals and successes, economics and a bit of fiction, too.
By Abhijit V. Banerjee and Esther Duflo
The authors, winners of the 2019 Nobel Prize in Economics, address some of the most anxiety-provoking issues of our society, such as immigration and inequality, globalization and technological disruption. They explain the results of numerous field-based research studies, and suggest interventions to make for a better world. The book ends with a wonderful quote: “Economics is too important to be left to economists.”
By Robert A. Caro
So, you want to be the leader of the free world. You don’t come from money. Instead your hardscrabble roots are planted in the Hill Country of South Central Texas. You don’t have a network. So, you just abandon your political dream, right? Not if you’re LBJ. You hustle, plot and scheme your way into the corridors of power.
–Henry C. Boyd III, clinical professor of marketing
By Robert B. Cialdini
A wonderful book about techniques that are used to persuade us to buy or to say ‘yes.’ An easy read, the book discusses numerous psychological studies on persuasion and provides principles on how to use persuasion techniques and defend against them.
–Eugene H. Cantor, clinical associate professor of accounting and information assurance
By Scott Adams (the Dilbert guy)
This, quite simply, is a life-changing book. Scott Adams explains the concept of the ‘talent stack’ that plays an important role in success, systems versus goals, and staying fit.
–Eugene H. Cantor, clinical associate professor of accounting and information assurance
Edited by Bill Nowlin and Gregory H. Wolf
If you want an escape from current affairs, baseball can be a nice refuge. The Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) is all things baseball and, among other things, published a book documenting practically every aspect of the World Series-winning 1979 Pittsburgh Pirates. With exceptionally in-depth articles on every player, coach, playoff game and more, it is easy to relax and enjoy a most glorious time in baseball history (at least if you are a Pirates fan!). If Pittsburgh is not your team, do not fret – SABR has commissioned numerous other books as well, including the 1986 New York Mets, 1975 Boston Red Sox, 1951 New York Giants, 1935 Detroit Tigers, 1929 Chicago Cubs, and 1919 Chicago White Sox, to name just a few.
–Philip T. Evers, associate professor of logistics management
By A. J. Baime
Having grown up not far from the Truman library, I am admittedly biased. Nonetheless, with the whirlwind 2020 we’ve had, one cannot help but admire what I would call humble but strong leadership and informed decision-making under tremendous uncertainty during perhaps the most eventful four months in the history of mankind. This book whetted my appetite for David McCullough’s much longer (and older) Pulitzer prize-winning biography, which is on my own summer reading list, as one of those books that I’ve always been meaning to read.
–Michael Fu, Smith Chair of Management Science
By John Carreyrou
Amazing true story of how so many smart people were duped by a charismatic persona (Elizabeth Holmes, a Steve Jobs wannabe) leading a Silicon Valley startup called Theranos, promising fairy tale dreams from just a pinprick of blood. Given the current rush to bring a vaccine to market, this could also serve as a cautionary tale. It also reminds us of the important role that the media has to play, as this was uncovered by an investigative reporter for the Wall Street Journal (the author, John Carreyrou).
–Michael Fu, Smith Chair of Management Science
By Robert Iger
‘The Ride of a Lifetime,’ by former Disney CEO Bob Iger, is an inspiring book.
By Robert J. Shiller
Shiller is a Nobel Prize-winning economist who describes how stories help drive economic events and why financial panics can spread like ‘epidemic viruses.’ Popular stories can drive the economy by influencing our decisions about how and where to invest, how much to spend and save, etc. These stories are increasingly being transmitted by social media.
–David Kass, clinical professor of finance, senior fellow of the Center for Financial Policy
By Jojo Moyes
While a work of fiction, the book describes the experience of five women who were known as the Packhorse Librarians of Kentucky. These women rode on horses as traveling librarians into the hills surrounding a small town in Kentucky to deliver books to people who could not travel to town. Many of the recipients could not read, but looked at the pictures. The packhorse librarians were the ‘bookmobiles’ of the Depression era; that much of the story is true. Based on a true story rooted in America’s past, ‘The Giver of Stars’ is unparalleled in its scope and epic in its storytelling.
–Elinda F. Kiss, associate clinical professor of finance
The Fearless Organization: Creating Psychological Safety in the Workplace for Learning, Innovation and Growth
By Amy Edmondson
Psychological safety is seeing a new surge of interest these days, spurred partially by Google’s research on what makes great teams at Google. If you are interested in creating a culture that supports taking risks, speaking up, and even making mistakes, this is the definitive book. It explains the abstract concept of psychological safety from Edmondson’s rigorous peer-reviewed research, and adds to that a step-by-step framework for bringing psychological safety to life in your group, department, or organization. It’s a great next step for fearless leaders who want to create fearless organizations.
–Neta Moye, clinical professor of management and senior fellow of Executive Development Programs
By Meg Jay
A great read for recent graduates and parents of recent graduates. Jay, a clinical psychologist writes, ‘Eighty percent of life’s defining moments take place by age 35.’ Jay encourages ‘twentysomethings’ to take hold of their own success in these pivotal years. She demonstrates how the decisions we make (or don’t make) in our twenties, impact the rest of our lives. I bought this book for all the ‘twentysomethings’ in my life, including two daughters and several nieces and nephews.
–Christine M. Schaaf, marketing lecturer
By Matthew Desmond
A good read but a bit older. It is a great book about capitalism gone astray, even more relevant in the current situation. Please also see: this video.
–Michel Wedel, Distinguished University Professor and PepsiCo Chair in Consumer Science
By Seth Goldman and Barry Nalebuff
This is a 280-page inspirational comic book – sorry, graphic novel – about entrepreneurship. The pair, student and professor at Yale University, founded Honest Tea, starting out by making a few thermos bottles or organic tea. Their book details their amazing success story. The firm had $250,000 in sales in its first year in 1998, $500 million in sales when it was bought by Coca-Cola in 2011 and around $1 billion in sales in 2019. TeaEO Seth Goldman has moved on to other business ventures and is a frequent inspirational University of Maryland speaker. The book is filled with advice and insights for entrepreneurs, including their trial-and-error first years. It’s the book they said they would have liked to have had before starting their own ventures.
–Susan White, clinical professor of finance
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ABOUT THE EXPERT(S)
Dr. Basu has over 30 years of experience teaching accounting at the undergraduate and graduate levels. He has also taught accounting courses and seminars for professionals in the US and abroad. His research interests include financial accounting, and he has had a number of academic presentations and publications. He has been recognized for his contributions to the undergraduate and EMBA programs at Smith School and received the Allen C. Krowe Teaching Excellence Award for the (2012), CIBER Award for Teaching Innovation Global Learning (2018), and Distinguished Teaching Awards for multiple years (2013-14, 2014-15, 2015-16). At the University of Maryland level, he has been recognized for his contributions to improving the learning experience of University of Maryland students by being selected as a Philip Merrill Presidential Scholars Program Outstanding Faculty Mentor (2013-14), Teaching and Learning Transformation Center Elevate Fellow (2014-15), and UMD Undergraduate Studies Faculty Fellow (formerly, Lily Fellows) (2014-15). Basu also received several teaching awards and recognitions at his previous appointment at the Terry College of Business at the University of Georgia.
Henry C. Boyd is a Clinical Professor in the Marketing Department at the Robert H. Smith School of Business. He is also a managing director and principal at Ombudsman LLC, a diversified consultancy. He is licensed to practice law in Maryland, Wisconsin, and the U.S. District Court, Western District of Wisconsin.
Eugene Cantor retired in 2015 after 31 years of federal service to return to his alma mater the University of Maryland to teach on a full-time basis. He served 25 years as an attorney with the Securities & Corporate Practices Division of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, an office of the United States Treasury Department.
Dr. Philip T. Evers is an Associate Professor of Logistics Management at the Robert H. Smith School of Business, University of Maryland, College Park. Joining the faculty at Maryland’s main campus in the fall of 1993, he received his B.S. in transportation and logistics from Tri-State University in 1987, his M.B.A. from the University of Notre Dame in 1988, and his Ph.D. in logistics management from the University of Minnesota in 1993.
Dr. Fu has a joint appointment with the Institute for Systems Research and an affiliate appointment with the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, both in the A. James Clark School of Engineering. He was named a Distinguished Scholar-Teacher at the University of Maryland for 2004-2005. His research interests include simulation modeling and analysis, operations management, applied probability and queueing theory, with application to manufacturing and finance. He received an S.B. in mathematics and S.B./S.M. in electrical engineering & computer science from MIT in 1985 and a Ph.D. in applied mathematics from Harvard University and 1989.
Bruce Golden received his bachelor’s degree in mathematics from the University of Pennsylvania and his masters and doctoral degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He joined the faculty of the University of Maryland Business School in 1976 and served as a Department Chairman from 1980 to 1996. Currently, Bruce is the France-Merrick Chair in Management Science in the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland.
Primary Research Areas
- Emerging Markets (especially China and India)
- Frugal Innovation
- Global Strategy & Organization
- Corporate Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Dr. David Kass has published articles in corporate finance, industrial organization, and health economics. He currently teaches Advanced Financial Management and Business Finance, and is the Faculty Champion for the Sophomore Finance Fellows. Prior to joining the faculty of the Smith School in 2004, he held senior positions with the Federal Government (Federal Trade Commission, General Accounting Office, Department of Defense, and the Bureau of Economic Analysis). Dr. Kass has recently appeared on Bloomberg TV, CNBC, PBS Nightly Business Report, Maryland Public Television, Business News Network TV (Canada), FOX TV, Bloomberg Radio, Wharton Business Radio, KCBS Radio, American Public Media’s Marketplace Radio, and WYPR Radio (Baltimore), and has been quoted on numerous occasions by The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg News, The New York Times and The Washington Post, where he has primarily discussed Warren Buffett, Berkshire Hathaway, the economy, and the stock market.
Professor Elinda F. Kiss’ primary areas of research include Bank Regulation, Finance and Banking Crises and Fixed Income Securities. She teaches Corporate Finance, and Banking in both the undergraduate and MBA programs. Prior to teaching at the Smith School Professor Kiss has served as Associate Professor in the Departments of Finance and Accounting at Rutgers University and as Assistant Professor or Lecturer at the Wharton School, Wellesley College, and Temple University.
Dr. Moye has over 25 years of experience in the field of human resources with particular expertise in helping individuals develop leader skills. She has spent the last 10 years focused on the practice of leadership development across academic, industry, and government settings. She has experience both designing and delivering leadership development solutions across the full range of development activities including formal classroom curricula, experiential development activities, executive coaching, and leader assessments and debriefs.
Christine Schaaf is a Full-Time Lecturer in Business Communication and Marketing at the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland. She teaches in the newly-formed Dean’s Office Business Communication Initative in the MS, MBA, Executive MBA and Undergraduate Programs. She also teaches Integrated Marketing Communications in the Undergraduate Program. In addition to teaching, Christine is developing the newly-formed Business Communication Initiative for the Smith School. This initiative will focus on preparing Smith students with the business communication skills needed to succeed in today’s business environment. Prior to joining the Smith School, Christine taught for thirteen years as an Adjunct Professor of Marketing at John Hopkins Carey School of Business and Loyola University of Maryland Sellinger School of Business in the MS and MBA Programs.
Michel Wedel was named a Distinguished University Professor in July 2015. He holds the PepsiCo Chair in Consumer Science at the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland. His main research interest is in Consumer Science: the application of statistical and econometric methods to further the understanding of consumer behavior and to improve marketing decision making. Much of his recent work has measured the effectiveness of visual marketing using eye-tracking technology. He teaches models for Marketing decision making for MBA students, advanced Marketing analytics for MS students, and Bayesian statistics for Ph.D. students.
Susan White is a Clinical Professor at the University of Maryland, College Park, teaching corporate finance for undergraduates and MBAs. She received my undergraduate degree from Brown University, MBA from Binghamton University and PhD in finance from the University of Texas, Austin. Her primary area of research is case studies, with cases and articles published in the Business Case Journal, CASE Journal, Case Research Journal, Journal of Financial Education, Journal of Financial Research, International Journal of Financial Education, a restructuring case book and personal finance collection.