A well-organized, nimbly written, and insightful book that should be a key resource for corporate leaders.

CLASH OF THE GENERATIONS

MANAGING THE NEW WORKPLACE REALITY

A useful playbook for managing an intergenerational workforce.

Corporate consultant Grubb (Planes, Canes, and Automobiles, 2015) draws on her management experience at numerous firms to focus on the challenge of employing people from different generations in the same company. She aptly points out, for example, that managers must respect each person as an individual rather than assigning him or her to a generational stereotype. She also mentions the phenomenon of baby boomers “prolonging their time in the workplace,” which can result in a “generational culture clash” with younger staff. Grubb delves deeply into distinct generational characteristics to provide managers with clear understandings of various age groups; the book’s chart of “Generational Influences and Attributes” offers a tidy overview of how baby boomers, Generation Xers, millennials, and Generation Zers think, feel, and act in a workplace. For instance, boomers are said to be “team oriented,” “optimistic,” and “informal,” while Generation Xers are “self-reliant,” “cynical,” and “informal.” This kind of valuable insight from an executive who’s managed multigenerational teams brings a practical, hands-on perspective to the book as a whole. In addition to making a strong case for “creating an age-diverse culture,” Grubb offers specific advice for managing and motivating employees. Readers will find a portion of this material, including discussions of goal-setting, evaluating employee performance, and managing employee expectations and career development, to be familiar from more general management books, but the author does a solid job of slanting the content to address generational divides. Some of the more engaging sections address “managing workers older than you,” recognizing different styles of learning and communicating, and highlighting the difference between “work-life blending” and work-life balancing. Six case studies at the end of the book depict how specific companies have addressed issues surrounding company culture, recruitment, career development, and benefits as they relate to employees of all ages.

A well-organized, nimbly written, and insightful book that should be a key resource for corporate leaders.

Pub Date: Oct. 31, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-119-21234-8

Page Count: 208

Publisher: Wiley

Review Posted Online: Dec. 14, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

THINKING, FAST AND SLOW

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. 4, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2011

Did you like this book?

Occasionally wonky but overall a good case for how the dismal science can make the world less—well, dismal.

GOOD ECONOMICS FOR HARD TIMES

“Quality of life means more than just consumption”: Two MIT economists urge that a smarter, more politically aware economics be brought to bear on social issues.

It’s no secret, write Banerjee and Duflo (co-authors: Poor Economics: A Radical Rethinking of the Way To Fight Global Poverty, 2011), that “we seem to have fallen on hard times.” Immigration, trade, inequality, and taxation problems present themselves daily, and they seem to be intractable. Economics can be put to use in figuring out these big-issue questions. Data can be adduced, for example, to answer the question of whether immigration tends to suppress wages. The answer: “There is no evidence low-skilled migration to rich countries drives wage and employment down for the natives.” In fact, it opens up opportunities for those natives by freeing them to look for better work. The problem becomes thornier when it comes to the matter of free trade; as the authors observe, “left-behind people live in left-behind places,” which explains why regional poverty descended on Appalachia when so many manufacturing jobs left for China in the age of globalism, leaving behind not just left-behind people but also people ripe for exploitation by nationalist politicians. The authors add, interestingly, that the same thing occurred in parts of Germany, Spain, and Norway that fell victim to the “China shock.” In what they call a “slightly technical aside,” they build a case for addressing trade issues not with trade wars but with consumption taxes: “It makes no sense to ask agricultural workers to lose their jobs just so steelworkers can keep theirs, which is what tariffs accomplish.” Policymakers might want to consider such counsel, especially when it is coupled with the observation that free trade benefits workers in poor countries but punishes workers in rich ones.

Occasionally wonky but overall a good case for how the dismal science can make the world less—well, dismal.

Pub Date: Nov. 12, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-61039-950-0

Page Count: 432

Publisher: PublicAffairs

Review Posted Online: Aug. 29, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2019

Did you like this book?

more