Marketing Professor’s Year End Reading List

Associate professor of marketing Daniel Korschun has had a busy year. He released a new book, went on a multi-state speaking tour to promote that book and finished the year by being named a Fellow of Drexel LeBow’s Institute for Strategic Leadership.

In a pause from that hectic schedule, Daniel shared the books that he’s currently reading. If they made the cut during his busy 2015, they’re worth a look in 2016.

Give and Take
Adam Grant

This book is a kick in the pants for those who can’t seem to let go of the myth that “nice people finish last.” It is also a primer for those nice people who may feel that their altruism has been holding them back. If one were to synthesize Grant’s message, it might be that nice people can finish first or last, but that jerks are doomed to be average at best. That core message is encouraging enough, but Grant backs up his argument with a litany of empirical evidence. But the book is not dry. It is written with a light touch and provides many practical tips. For personal development, I don’t think you can beat it.

Unfair
Adam Benforado

Drexel Law professor Benforado has compiled a comprehensive view of the biases of our American legal system. Painstaking in its research, he covers everything from false confessions to jury biases, and mistakes in judgment over evidence. You may be sensing a trend here in my tastes; this is another popular book written for the layperson, yet based on insights and findings from the academic literature.

Benforado puts so much empirical evidence behind his assertions that it is difficult to argue with his conclusion, that even when the system is driven by “good people with the best of intentions [it] can get things terribly, terribly wrong.”

Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future
Martin Ford

Business meets science fiction. Typically, writing on the automation of jobs has an alarmist, almost hysterical tone. Ford takes a more thoughtful approach, where he lays out the dangers, but also the opportunities for some workers and most consumers in the future. The book takes a broad view of robots, with some jobs being replaced by hardware, but others by various forms of software and programming.

The list of jobs that will be substantially changed by automation is a long one. Many readers may leave a bit unnerved. I went into the book thinking that as a professor, I’d surely be immune to the forces he describes. Not a chance. So be warned; this book will force you to think about what value you really have in our changing world.

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