Category Archives: Book Review

BOOK REVIEW: “Only the Paranoid Survive: How to Exploit the Crisis Points that Challenge Every Company and Career” by Andrew S. Grove (1996)

Only the Paranoid Survive by Andrew S. GroveThe legend has it that Intel employees saw the impression “Only the Paranoid Survive” as they walked into the building every morning. Andrew Grove Intel’s first employee is certainly happy to own the expression. Despite the fact that Intel has come to dominate the semiconductor market particularly in the PC industry. Despite the fact they had 80% market share on stage and despite the fact that the company was so successful that it was even investigated by antitrust and abuse of monopoly power by the US government. Groove was right clear on the fact that competitors were out there to bring Intel down. This book is a fascinating read on one of the most successful technology companies in the past few decades.

Key words

Semiconductor, Grove, Intel, Moore, Strategy, Pentium

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BOOK REVIEW: “From Worst to First” By Gordon Bethune (1999)

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The turnaround of continental airlines in the 1980’s is one of the most remarkable stories of the corporate world. The company was set up in 1934 and for decades had been known for quality of its service and the stability and caring of its governance structure. Indeed the CEO Bob Six had actually been CEO of the company from 1936 till 1981. The deregulation of the airline industry by the Carter administration changed all that. Suddenly, Airline companies became caught in a dog fight for market share. In an industry that saw its profits plummeting due to the increase of oil prices and also the lack of barriers to entry in the industry. By the time Gordon Bethune took over in 1994, the company had gone bankrupt already and had gone through 10 leaders in 10 years and looked, to all intents and purposes to be totally doomed. Continue reading

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Filed under Airlines, Book Review, Corporate culture, Corporate strategy, Service Industry

Book Review: Emerging Multinationals in Emerging Markets by Ravi Ramaruti and Jitendra Singh (2010)

 

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Book Review by Philip Warwick, Durham University Business School

Ramamurti and Singh have achieved the rare feat of editing a book that is at the same time interesting and has academic rigour. With their contributors, they set out to explain the increasingly important role of emerging market multinational enterprises (EMNEs) in the world economy. At the start they say that they want to determine to what extent the success of these emerging market companies is based on their country of origin and to what extent their success can be explained by existing mainstream international business theory. Alternatively, is a new explanation needed? In the first paragraph they list some of the organisations to which they are referring: Huawei (telecommunications) of China, Cemex (Cement and Construction) of Mexico, Gazprom (Oil and Gas) of Russia and Embraer of Brazil, whose planes I fly in if I travel  to Europe on KLM’s short haul services.

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BOOK REVIEW: “Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die” by Chip Heath & Dan Heath (2010)

Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others DieDid you know that the Great Wall of China is the only man-made object visible from space? You did? It’s not true.  It’s what´s known as an urban myth.  These are so stories that are so popular that they have become ingrained in our culture, and become retold throughout the world.  In Made to Stick, Chip and Dan Heath explain why some of these stories ‘stick.’

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BOOK REVIEW: “Up in the Air” by Greg J. Bamber, Jody Hoffer Gittell, Thomas A. Kochan & Andrew Von Nordenflycht

Airline travel used to be so glamorous, those days are gone. If you think you are having a hard time getting home on another delayed flight, the four authors of this book have a stark warning. The employees are even more fed up than the passengers. Far from the glamorous days of the 60s and 70s, epitomised by Leonardo Di Caprio in “Catch me if you can”. The industry has become known for a series of bankruptcies, low wages and increasingly harder working conditions. Continue reading

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BOOK REVIEW: “The Southwest Airlines Way” by Jody Hoffer Gittell

coverThe low cost model has become so ubiquitous today that it’s quite easy to f0rget that, when Southwest airlines set up in 1971, its business model was quite revolutionary.  This was just two years after Concorde had come into existence, and talk of the time was of quick flights for important business people prepared to pay a high price.  The two oil shocks of the 1970s, and changes in consumer tastes had a huge impact on this and, no doubt had a great, positive impact on the business model set up by Southwest Airlines. 

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Filed under Airlines, Book Review, Business, Corporate culture, Economics, Management, Strategy, Travel, USA

BOOK REVIEW: “Leadership” by Rudolph W. Giuliani (2003)

leadership textBe not afraid of greatness,” says Malvolio in Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, “some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them.” 

To some extent, Rudolph “Rudy” Giuliani did have greatness thrust upon him.  Though he was a prominent politician, and already having been mayor of New York since 1994, it was on those terrible moments, on the morning of September 11th, 2001, that Giuliani gained international attention for his leadership.  For those who witnessed the events that day or saw them recounted on the TV, the memories of Giuliani walking up Manhattan with his team as devastation all around, giving orders, remains one of the most profound images of the day.  It was for this that he was named Time Person of the Year in 2001 and received an honorary knighthood from Queen Elizabeth II in 2002.

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