Some of the biggest ongoing business stories of our time, from the personal and political effects of increased globalization to the confrontation of ingrained sexism in Silicon Valley, are reflected in this year’s list of best business books from McKinsey and the Financial Times.
Since 2005, McKinsey and FT have assembled an annual panel of experts to select the most insightful and well-written books in the genre.
This year’s panel includes FT editor Lionel Barber, Mozilla chairwoman Mitchell Baker, Allianz chief economic adviser Mohamed El-Erian, London Business School professor Herminia Ibarra, McKinsey director of publishing Rik Kirkland, University of Chicago Booth School of Business professor Randall Kroszner, economist Dambisa Moyo, and Santander chairwoman Shriti Vadera.
The panel chose 15 finalists earlier this year, narrowed it down to six semifinalists on Tuesday, and will announce the winner in November.
When she announced the semifinalists, McKinsey’s UK and Ireland managing partner Vivian Hunt said the selections, “really capture the extent of the economic and social disruption we face today, and highlight the big global challenges governments, business and society need to confront.”
Here are the six books in the running for best business book of 2017.
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‘Adaptive Markets’ by Andrew W. Lo
For the past few decades, economists have debated the implications of efficient market theory, which states that investors and markets are rational and efficient, and the implications of behavioral economics, which essentially states the opposite.
MIT Sloan School of Management professor Andrew Lo argues in “Adaptive Markets” that efficient market theory is just incomplete rather than wrong, and offers a new way of understanding how investors behave and markets adapt.
‘Janesville’ by Amy Goldstein
The 2016 US presidential election highlighted deep divides within the United States, and brought to the forefront the concerns of middle-class Americans whose jobs have disappeared due to increased globalization and the Great Recession.
Washington Post reporter Amy Goldstein embedded herself in a town particularly affected by these forces: Janesville, Wisconsin, which is also the hometown of Speaker of the House Paul Ryan. Through extensive interviews with all walks of life there, she explores why so many Americans have been struggling to make a living.
‘Reset’ by Ellen Pao
Ellen Pao sued her company, Silicon Valley venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers, in 2012 for $16 million in lost wages due to gender discrimination, which then led to her firing. The case went to trial in 2015 and became a spectacle in the tech world.
The court ruled in Kleiner Perkins’ favor on all four counts, but Pao continued to crusade for women’s rights in tech, and inspired an ongoing wave of women in the industry to speak up against ingrained sexism in the Valley.
“Reset” is Pao’s account of what happened, and what her experience of the past few years has taught her.