Andrew Watson's Book Recommendations:

Co-opetition by Adam M. Brandenburger and Barry J. Nalebuff

This is my favorite book on business strategy. The combination of competition and cooperation has become if anything more important in the decade or so since Co-Opetition was first published. It delivers solid content while avoiding heavy writing.

A Future Perfect by John Micklethwait and Adrian Wooldridge

One of the strengths of this account of globalization is its careful examination of some of the excessive claims that have been made for and about globalization. I particularly appreciate its puncturing of silly myths such as "the triumph of universal products." Having said that, Micklethwait and Wooldridge's book is "a measured defense of globalization."

Watson Northeastern

Andrew Watson

Northeastern University

Open Sources edited by Chris DiBona, Sam Ockman, and Mark Stone

Whereas the previous two books were written by academics and journalists, respectively, this one is a collection of practitioner writings. The practitioners in question are self-described hackers. This does not mean that they are hackers in the pejorative sense in which the term is often (mis)used by the media. It means that they are programmers who have contributed to open-source software. Not all of them would call it open source. Richard Stallman, in the essay included in this edited volume, argues vehemently that it should be called free software -- free as in freedom. (Note that the recently-published volume, Open Sources 2.0, is not an update of this one, but another collection of chapters on free/open source software. Without wishing to criticize 2.0, it is the original volume I recommend here).

Naked Conversations by Robert Scoble and Shel Israel

Scoble and Israel blogged the chapters of this book as they wrote them in 2005 and received copious comments. They insist that the comments helped the book greatly, and, as one of the commenters, who am I to disagree?

Nice Work by David Lodge

This novel is about the differences between industry and academia. The two central characters are a lecturer in English and the managing director of an engineering company. Lodge excels in one of my favorite genres -- the campus novel. Here, he juxtaposes the campus and the factory, and the inhabitants of each, with humanity and humor.

Publish and Perish: Three Tales of Tenure and Terror by James Hynes

Since each of these campus novellas is also a horror story, it might be worth warning that bad things happen, and not always to bad people. My wife has yet to forgive the author for one of the events of the first story. I particularly enjoyed the second, which is about an anthropologist who ... but I shouldn't give anything away.

Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke

Don't tell my colleagues, but I do read some books which have little to do with business or with academia. For example, Clarke's novel is about magic and England. It's also about 800 pages and, while I don't share Neil Gaiman's regret that it isn't even longer, the world Clarke creates is well worth spending time in.

Biographical Info: Andrew Watson holds a PhD in strategic management from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and a BSc in mathematics from Lancaster University, England. He has worked in the computer software industry in England, France, and then in the U.S. Watson teaches courses in strategic management and international management. His research interests include relationships among businesses and corporate management in multibusiness firms. More recently, Watson has focused on open-source software and the opportunities and threats it provides to information technology firms and other organizations.

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