An inspiring business book about doing the right thing.



A blueprint for ethical behavior in a frequently unethical business world.

Shell, the chair of the Wharton School’s legal studies and business ethics department, firmly asserts that adopting a “conscience code” of ethical behavior in a corporate setting is not only morally right, but also more profitable than the alternative. According to the Ethics Resource Center, Shell writes, 40% of U.S. workers have witnessed unethical behavior on the job over the course of a year, but most of it goes unreported out of fear or unaddressed due to inertia or incompetence. The author interviewed several Wharton students about their encounters with such bad behavior, and he presents a great many examples in these pages. Readers will find many of these situations familiar, whether it’s a manager coercing employees to overlook something illegal or an entire team overstepping boundaries to hit a deadline. He also draws on the work of social psychologists in identifying a select group of pressures that can lead to bad decisions, which he calls the “PAIRS Pressures”; they involve one’s peers, the desire to obey authority, incentives (such as goals and deadlines), role expectations, and systemic pressure. He then explains 10 rules that readers can use as guidelines to combat these pressures, such as “Face the Conflict,” “Commit to Your Values,” and so on. The aptness of Shell’s many examples and consistent tone of wise encouragement will doubtless help many struggling readers find the courage to live by their convictions in the workplace. They’ll be further encouraged by Shell’s insistence that doing the right thing is advantageous not only philosophically, but also practically. Indeed, the advice here is designed to reorient readers away from ambition and coercion—the lures of the so-called “bad wolf”—and toward the ethical path, which, Shell stresses, is the successful one in the long term: “Authentic, lasting success in any profession demands adherence to the highest standards of integrity.”

An inspiring business book about doing the right thing.

Pub Date: June 8, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-40-022113-4

Page Count: 272

Publisher: HarperCollins Leadership

Review Posted Online: June 22, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2021

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More uncommonly sensible investment guidance from a master of the game. Drawing on his experience at Fidelity's Magellan Fund, a high- profile vehicle he quit at age 46 in 1990 after a spectacularly successful 13-year tenure as managing director, Lynch (One Up on Wall Street, 1988) makes a strong case for common stocks over bonds, CDs, or other forms of debt. In breezy, anecdotal fashion, the author also encourages individuals to go it alone in the market rather than to bank on money managers whose performance seldom justifies their generous compensation. With the caveat that there's as much art as science to picking issues with upside potential, Lynch commends legwork and observation. ``Spending more time at the mall,'' he argues, invariably is a better way to unearth appreciation candidates than relying on technical, timing, or other costly divining services prized by professionals. The author provides detailed briefings on how he researches industries, special situations, and mutual funds. Particularly instructive are his candid discussions of where he went wrong as well as right in his search for undervalued securities. Throughout the genial text, Lynch offers wry, on-target advisories under the rubric of ``Peter's Principles.'' Commenting on the profits that have accrued to those acquiring shares in enterprises privatized by the British government, he notes: ``Whatever the Queen is selling, buy it.'' In praise of corporate parsimony, the author suggests that, ``all else being equal, invest in the company with the fewest photos in the annual report.'' Another bull's-eye for a consummate pro, with appeal for market veterans and rookies alike. (Charts and tabular material— not seen.)

Pub Date: March 1, 1993

ISBN: 0-671-75915-9

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 1993

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A well-organized and helpful primer.


A concise but thorough introduction to working in civic technology in the United States.

Civic design consultant Harrell observes that the civic tech movement—a “loosely integrated” shift of private-technology-industry skills into the public sector—commenced in 2008, with the “the aim of making government more responsive, more efficient, more modern, or more just.” The author understands the movement on a 50-year arc, asserting that it’s still young and maturing into its “adolescence”; confusingly, however, this timeline seems to indicate that perfect efficiency and justice will be achieved at its end. Nonetheless, Harrell furnishes a brief but impressively comprehensive overview that lucidly describes its challenges and its promise, including helpful advice for those looking to enter the public sector for the first time. She also discusses the stark cultural differences between the public and private sectors, especially regarding the swiftness of project completion, bureaucratic entanglements, and approaches to budgeting. At the heart of the book is counsel on the most effective ways to improve public services without trying to simply impose private models upon them; for example, the author cautions against a reflexive idolatry of innovation, arguing that it can be inconsistent with public goals of continuity and long-term stewardship. Harrell’s astute and accessible work will be especially valuable to newcomers, as it draws deeply on her own considerable experience as a product director, user-experience researcher, and chief of staff. However, the author’s treatment of privilege in the technology sphere feels like bland cant, and sweeping declarations such as “the motives behind the regulations are almost always good and important” display excessive idealism. Still, Harrell’s effort will be useful to many, including experienced workers who are simply looking for a synoptic distillation of civic technology’s objectives.

A well-organized and helpful primer.

Pub Date: Sept. 17, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-73528-650-1

Page Count: 168

Publisher: Five Seven Five Books

Review Posted Online: Sept. 10, 2020

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