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An invaluable guidebook to disability law for American employers.

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An overview of the history, strengths, and unforeseen weaknesses of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Shaw’s smart, comprehensive nonfiction debut deals with how the ADA, signed into law in 1990, drastically changed the landscape of American workplaces. Prior to it, the physically disabled faced a host of obstacles if they wanted to join or return to the workforce: they often encountered buildings that they couldn’t enter—it’s startling to remember, while reading this book, how recent entrance ramps and other handicapped-access features are—and they faced the perception that they were lesser employees or even lesser people. Since the ADA’s passage, this situation has changed greatly, but Shaw believes that, in many cases, the pendulum has swung too far in the opposite direction—particularly as the concept of “disability” has expanded to include psychological and emotional disorders. This has led to increased possibilities for fraud, the author contends, which has brought American employers to a crossroads: “We need and want to do what’s right for workers, while still adhering to the ADA,” she writes. “However, the influx of requests increasingly include those filed by workers who are not disabled.” She goes on to offer a systematic analysis and playbook for employers who might face overstated or false disability claims. She also specifically runs through the kinds of accommodations that employers are legally obligated to provide under the ADA and what may or may not constitute “reasonable accommodations.” Shaw effectively takes readers through different situations that employers may encounter, including dealing with especially litigious claimants and outright malingerers; her writings on mental disabilities, in particular, will likely be very useful. Shaw’s prose is clear and encouraging throughout, and she adroitly manages a tricky balancing act between skepticism and advocacy. As a result, she comes off as both a champion of the disabled and a mentor for businesspeople looking to avoid fraudsters.

An invaluable guidebook to disability law for American employers.

Pub Date: April 4, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-5447-0859-1

Page Count: 244

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: June 14, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2017

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Striking research showing the immense complexity of ordinary thought and revealing the identities of the gatekeepers in our...

A psychologist and Nobel Prize winner summarizes and synthesizes the recent decades of research on intuition and systematic thinking.

The author of several scholarly texts, Kahneman (Emeritus Psychology and Public Affairs/Princeton Univ.) now offers general readers not just the findings of psychological research but also a better understanding of how research questions arise and how scholars systematically frame and answer them. He begins with the distinction between System 1 and System 2 mental operations, the former referring to quick, automatic thought, the latter to more effortful, overt thinking. We rely heavily, writes, on System 1, resorting to the higher-energy System 2 only when we need or want to. Kahneman continually refers to System 2 as “lazy”: We don’t want to think rigorously about something. The author then explores the nuances of our two-system minds, showing how they perform in various situations. Psychological experiments have repeatedly revealed that our intuitions are generally wrong, that our assessments are based on biases and that our System 1 hates doubt and despises ambiguity. Kahneman largely avoids jargon; when he does use some (“heuristics,” for example), he argues that such terms really ought to join our everyday vocabulary. He reviews many fundamental concepts in psychology and statistics (regression to the mean, the narrative fallacy, the optimistic bias), showing how they relate to his overall concerns about how we think and why we make the decisions that we do. Some of the later chapters (dealing with risk-taking and statistics and probabilities) are denser than others (some readers may resent such demands on System 2!), but the passages that deal with the economic and political implications of the research are gripping.

Striking research showing the immense complexity of ordinary thought and revealing the identities of the gatekeepers in our minds.

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-374-27563-1

Page Count: 512

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: Sept. 3, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2011

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These are not hard and fast rules, but Meyer delivers important reading for those engaged in international business.

A helpful guide to working effectively with people from other cultures.

“The sad truth is that the vast majority of managers who conduct business internationally have little understanding about how culture is impacting their work,” writes Meyer, a professor at INSEAD, an international business school. Yet they face a wider array of work styles than ever before in dealing with clients, suppliers and colleagues from around the world. When is it best to speak or stay quiet? What is the role of the leader in the room? When working with foreign business people, failing to take cultural differences into account can lead to frustration, misunderstanding or worse. Based on research and her experiences teaching cross-cultural behaviors to executive students, the author examines a handful of key areas. Among others, they include communicating (Anglo-Saxons are explicit; Asians communicate implicitly, requiring listeners to read between the lines), developing a sense of trust (Brazilians do it over long lunches), and decision-making (Germans rely on consensus, Americans on one decider). In each area, the author provides a “culture map scale” that positions behaviors in more than 20 countries along a continuum, allowing readers to anticipate the preferences of individuals from a particular country: Do they like direct or indirect negative feedback? Are they rigid or flexible regarding deadlines? Do they favor verbal or written commitments? And so on. Meyer discusses managers who have faced perplexing situations, such as knowledgeable team members who fail to speak up in meetings or Indians who offer a puzzling half-shake, half-nod of the head. Cultural differences—not personality quirks—are the motivating factors behind many behavioral styles. Depending on our cultures, we understand the world in a particular way, find certain arguments persuasive or lacking merit, and consider some ways of making decisions or measuring time natural and others quite strange.

These are not hard and fast rules, but Meyer delivers important reading for those engaged in international business.

Pub Date: May 27, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-61039-250-1

Page Count: 288

Publisher: PublicAffairs

Review Posted Online: April 15, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2014

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