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From the acclaimed authors of A Future Perfect comes the untold story of how the company became the world's most powerful institution.Like all groundbreaking books, The Company fills a hole we didn't know existed, revealing that we cannot make sense of the past four hundred years until we place that seemingly humble Victorian innovation, the joint-stock company, in the center of the frame. With their trademark authority and wit, Economist editors John Micklethwait and Adrian Wooldridge reveal the company to be one of history's great catalysts, for good and for ill, a mighty engine for sucking in, recombining, and pumping out money, goods, people, and culture to every corner of the globe. What other earthly invention has the power to grow to any size, and to live to any age? What else could have given us both the stock market and the British Empire? The company man, the company town, and company time? Disneyfication and McDonald'sization, to say nothing of Coca-colonialism? Through its many mutations, the company has always incited controversy, and governments have always fought to rein it in. Today, though Marx may spin in his grave and anarchists riot in the streets, the company exercises an unparalleled influence on the globe, and understanding what this creature is and where it comes from has never been a more pressing matter. To the rescue come these acclaimed authors, with a short volume of truly vast range and insight.From the Hardcover edition.
From the bestselling authors of The Right Nation, a visionary argument that our current crisis in government is nothing less than the fourth radical transition in the history of the nation-state Dysfunctional government: It's become a cliché, and most of us are resigned to the fact that nothing is ever going to change. As John Micklethwait and Adrian Wooldridge show us, that is a seriously limited view of things. In fact, there have been three great revolutions in government in the history of the modern world. The West has led these revolutions, but now we are in the midst of a fourth revolution, and it is Western government that is in danger of being left behind. Now, things really are different. The West's debt load is unsustainable. The developing world has harvested the low-hanging fruits. Industrialization has transformed all the peasant economies it had left to transform, and the toxic side effects of rapid developing world growth are adding to the bill. From Washington to Detroit, from Brasilia to New Delhi, there is a dual crisis of political legitimacy and political effectiveness. The Fourth Revolution crystallizes the scope of the crisis and points forward to our future. The authors enjoy extraordinary access to influential figures and forces the world over, and the book is a global tour of the innovators in how power is to be wielded. The age of big government is over; the age of smart government has begun. Many of the ideas the authors discuss seem outlandish now, but the center of gravity is moving quickly. This tour drives home a powerful argument: that countries' success depends overwhelmingly on their ability to reinvent the state. And that much of the West--and particularly the United States--is failing badly in its task. China is making rapid progress with government reform at the same time as America is falling badly behind. Washington is gridlocked, and America is in danger of squandering its huge advantages from its powerful economy because of failing government. And flailing democracies like India look enviously at China's state-of-the-art airports and expanding universities. The race to get government right is not just a race of efficiency. It is a race to see which political values will triumph in the twenty-first century--the liberal values of democracy and liberty or the authoritarian values of command and control. The stakes could not be higher.
A Future Perfect is the first comprehensive examination of the most important revolution of our time--globalization--and how it will continue to change our lives. Do businesses benefit from going global? Are we creating winner-take-all societies? Will globalization seal the triumph of junk culture? What will happen to individual careers? Gathering evidence worldwide, from the shantytowns of São Paolo to the boardrooms of General Electric, from the troubled Russia-Estonia border to the booming San Fernando Valley sex industry, John Micklethwait and Adrian Wooldridge deliver an illuminating tour of the global economy and a fascinating assessment of its potential impact.From the Trade Paperback edition.
A Future Perfect is the first comprehensive examination of the most important revolution of our time--globalization--and how it will continue to change our lives. Do businesses benefit from going global? Are we creating winner-take-all societies? Will globalization seal the triumph of junk culture? What will happen to individual careers? Gathering evidence worldwide, from the shantytowns of São Paolo to the boardrooms of General Electric, from the troubled Russia-Estonia border to the booming San Fernando Valley sex industry, John Micklethwait and Adrian Wooldridge deliver an illuminating tour of the global economy and a fascinating assessment of its potential impact.
Masters of Management: How the Business Gurus and Their Ideas Have Changed the World—for Better and for Worseby Adrian Wooldridge
In 1996, having completed a two-year research study, longtime Economist journalists and editors John Micklethwait and Adrian Wooldridge published The Witch Doctors, an explosive critique of management theory and its legions of evangelists and followers. The book became a bestseller, widely praised by reviewers and devoured by readers confused by the buzzwords and concepts the management "industry" creates. At the time, ideas about "reengineering," "the search for excellence," "quality," and "chaos" both energized and haunted the world of business, just as "the long tail," "black swans," "the tipping point," "the war for talent," and "corporate responsibility" do today. For decades, since the rise of MBA programs on campuses across the country, the field of management has operated in a dubious space. Many of its framers clamor for respect within the academy while making millions of dollars pedaling ideas, some brilliant and some nonsensical, in speeches, consulting arrangements, and books. Although The Witch Doctors was a damning critique ("a scalpel job," according to the Wall Street Journal), it also argued that much of management theory is valuable-making companies more efficient and productive, improving organizational life for workers, and providing sound ways for companies to innovate while defending more entrenched plans. Building upon all that made the original such a phenomenal success, this fully revised and updated edition, Masters of Management, takes into account the rise of the Internet, the growing power of emerging markets, the Great Recession of 2008, and the more recent developments in management theory. The result is an indispensable volume for any manager.
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