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MIT Sloan faculty insights: 11 books from 2017

Explore our digital future, changing urban mobility, entrepreneurship, and more.

By Rebecca Linke  |  November 17, 2017

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Graphic: Mimi Phan

Why It Matters

MIT Sloan faculty dig deep on topics with global impact. Learn about their latest ideas, tools, and approaches in their recent books.

Looking for a gift for an aspiring MBA student? Planning on spending the holidays catching up on some not-so-light reading? Here are 11 new books published by MIT Sloan faculty and lecturers in 2017.

"Adaptive Markets: Financial Evolution at the Speed of Thought"
By Andrew W. Lo, professor

Two prevalent theories command economic debates: that markets are either rational and efficient, or irrational and inefficient. In this book, Lo presents a third option, called the adaptive markets hypothesis, that reconciles the two prevailing theories using the principles of evolutionary biology.

Read Why financial markets behave like living organisms. Buy the book at Princeton University Press.


"Breaking Through Gridlock: The Power of Conversation in a Polarized World"
By Jason Jay, senior lecturer and director of the Sustainability Initiative, and Gabriel Grant, founder of Human Partners

In business, communities, families, and society at large, people often find themselves stuck in conversations that devolve into disagreements that seem to go nowhere. The authors of this book outline six steps people can take to break out of the gridlock and have an authentic, effective dialogue.

Read A toolset for getting stuck conversations back on track and buy the book on Amazon.


"Disciplined Entrepreneurship Workbook"
By Bill Aulet, professor and managing director of the Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship

Aulet’s 2013 book, "Disciplined Entrepreneurship: 24 Steps to a Successful Startup," offered entrepreneurs a framework for starting a business. The companion workbook provides readers with worksheets, a visual dashboard to track progress, creativity tools, and concrete examples to help entrepreneurs succeed with their new endeavors.

Buy it on Amazon.


"Faster, Greener, Smarter: The Future of the Car and Urban Mobility"
By Charles Fine, professor, David Gonsalvez, CEO and rector at MIT’s Malaysia Institute for Supply Chain Innovation, and Venkat Sumantran, chairman of Celeris Technologies

Cars are no longer always the fastest mode of transportation, and the emissions they produce hurt the environment. As city administrators shift away from designing cities for cars and people shift from owning assets to using services, mobility is changing. In this book, the authors lay out a mobility architecture that is connected, heterogeneous, intelligent, and personalized. It’s also one that they see as a social and economic necessity.

Buy the book at MIT Press.


"Machine, Platform, Crowd: Harnessing Our Digital Future"
By Erik Brynjolfsson, professor, and Andrew McAfee, principal research scientist

In an era when a machine plays strategy games better than humans, when tech upstarts displace industry mainstays, and crowd-sourced ideas are more innovative than those produced at research labs, executives have to rethink how they run their businesses. In this book, the authors analyze the new state of the world and offer a toolkit for operating in it.

Read When the automatons explode. Buy the book on Amazon.


"The Power of Little Ideas: A Low Risk, High Reward Approach to Innovation"
By David Robertson, senior lecturer

"Disrupt or be disrupted" is something business leaders often hear. Robertson argues that being an industry disruptor is not the only path to success. He advocates for a low-risk, high-reward strategy that involves building a family of complementary innovations around a central product or service. This method creates an atmosphere that supports sustained innovation, Robertson says.

Buy it from Harvard Business Review.


"A Practitioner’s Guide to Asset Allocation"
By Mark P. Kritzman, senior lecturer, William Kinlaw, senior managing director and global head of State Street Associates, and David Turkington, senior managing director and head of portfolio and risk research at State Street Associates.

Progress regarding asset allocation has been uneven and, at times, interrupted by misleading research. In this book, the authors dispel a number of common misconceptions about asset allocation and explore advances that address its key challenges.

Buy it on Amazon.


"Shaping the Future of Work: A Handbook for Action and a New Social Contract"
By Thomas Kochan, professor, and Lee Dyer, professor at Cornell University

The world of work is changing, exacerbating income inequality. In this book, which was updated in light of social and political divides that emerged worldwide in 2016, the authors lay out a framework for achieving a new social contract that emphasizes strong financial returns for businesses alongside good jobs for employees. 

Read Why we need a new social contract now. Buy the book at MIT Press.


"Social Media Management: Persuasion in a Networked Culture"
By Ben Shields, senior lecturer

With social media disrupting the business world, how can company leaders best adapt? In this book, Shields offers a framework for generating business value from social media that includes targeting a social audience, using social media to promote a company’s brand, and measuring results.

Buy the book on Amazon.


"Strengthening Teaching and Learning in Research Universities: Strategies and Initiatives for Institutional Change"
Edited by Lori Breslow, senior lecturer, Bjorn Stensaker, professor at the University of Oslo, Grahame T. Bilbow, director of the Centre for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning, and Rob van der Vaart, professor at Utrecht University

International assessments of leading research universities have typically focused on their research performance, while their approaches to teaching and learning have received less attention. In this book, the authors compare how research universities across Europe, Asia, and the U.S. are improving in these other areas.

Buy it on Amazon.


"Who Will Care for Us: Long-Term Care and the Long-Term Workforce"
By Paul Osterman, professor

As baby boomers age, the number of people who need daily care will increase significantly, and Medicaid costs will skyrocket. In this book, Osterman proposes that home health aid workers and certified nursing assistants can do much more than current regulations allow them to. This could increase the quality of life for the elderly and disabled while also reducing cost.

Buy the book on Amazon.