• INFORMATION RULES by Carl Shapiro & Hal R. Varian
"An accessible overview of the rules of competition and how they apply to today's economy. How to set prices in the internet economy, how to generate customer loyalty...these and other perennial business concerns are addressed from a solid foundation of economic thought."
• FLOW: THE PSYCHOLOGY OF OPTIMAL EXPERIENCE by Mihaly Czikszentmihalyi
"Drawing upon years of research on happiness, 'Flow' examines how and when individuals find meaning in what they do. The optimal experience is the deep and abiding happiness that comes from productive and personally meaningful use of time. This book has found new applications and apostles in the information economy as websites strive to create the flow experience which makes users lose track of time. The book can be a tough read for audiences pressed for time...a compromise might be the less stimulating but shorter and more accessible version: Finding Flow."
• DISCOVERING THE SOUL OF SERVICE by Leonard L. Berry
"In a sea of mediocrity, some companies seem able to stand out from the crowd as a beacon of service excellence. This insightful book examines fourteen companies that have been able to deliver excellent service over time (the average age of the companies profiled is 31 years!)and highlights the human values that underlie their success. A profitable read for anyone concerned with customers, or with excellent service, which, in this economy, should be anyone in business."
• THE CONSOLATIONS OF PHILOSOPHY by Alain de Botton
"At its best, philosophy is not arcane, esoteric, or exclusive. Instead, it stimulates thought and provides consolation. In this captivating, easy-to-read book, de Botton shows how the perspectives of some of the finest minds of the ages, from Socrates to Seneca and Montaigne, can help us come to grips with the challenges of modern life. This book does such a great job of showing how these ideas are relevant today that I wish those required philosophy courses had been taught this way!"
• INFLUENCE: THE PSYCHOLOGY OF PERSUASION by Robert B. Cialdini
"One of the finest accounts of the psychology underlying when we are or are not persuaded. Cialdini provides compelling examples of persuasion tactics, which will make for an interesting read for any one remotely interested in selling, marketing, or in understanding why they sometimes get roped in to say yes when they wish they had said no!"
Neeli Bendapudi is an Assistant Professor of Marketing at The Ohio State University. For further information on Professor Bendapudi, please visit: http://fisher.osu.edu/facultyguide/faculty/bendapudi-n/bendapudi-n.htm