As an MBA student, a robust library is helpful on your degree-seeking journey. Books on business can help you in your research for projects and papers and give you a reference at home when you can’t make it to the library. Yet if you’re going to invest in a book, you want to make sure it’s going to be an asset for your studies and your business future. Here are some books every MBA student should read to help mold their thinking and their education.
1. The Halo Effect (and the Eight Other Business Decisions That Deceive Managers)
This book is inspired by psychologist Edward Thorndike. He proposed the theory that people make assumptions with just a little bit of data. In the business world, Rosenzweig argues that this can create problems by creating delusions in the mind of leadership. By unpacking these delusions, The Halo Effect helps those in business leadership positions learn to get all of the facts before making any decisions or drawing conclusions.
2. Everything I Learned at $200,000 MBA about Marketing
This book outlines what the author learned through his MBA studies, but focuses entirely on marketing. It pulls in real-world examples from some major corporations to show how brand positioning works. It also discusses analytics and their role in marketing. An easy read, this book is also highly informative and helpful.
3. An Entire MBA in 1 Book
Of course, it’s not possible to earn your entire MBA with just one book. However, this book is so comprehensive it’s definitely one of the best business books for MBA students. This book takes you through a company’s life cycle, providing significant insight into the process from the initial start-up until a company goes public. If your goal is to take your MBA training and apply it to a role as an entrepreneur, this book is quite helpful.
4. The 48 Laws of Power
This book explores the philosophies of powerful people throughout the ages. It follows soldiers, con men, statesmen, and even powerful seducers to see what made these people succeed. While many of these individuals are less than stellar role models, all were able to achieve great power. Robert Greene takes a ruthless and cunning approach to defining power and what makes people the type of people that others will follow. These ideas are essential to those considering roles in upper management.
5. The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers
Building a business from the ground up is hard. Ben Horowitz is a well-known name in Silicon Valley and a successful entrepreneur. He tackles the mistakes he made as an entrepreneur in this book so others can avoid making them, too. Because he walked the path on his own, he is able to tackle some of the harder facts and questions that other books on management ignore. This book is fun to read, not in small part to his use of rap lyrics throughout the writing.
6. Scaling up Excellence: Getting to More without Settling for Less
Robert I Sutton and Huggy Rao
Scaling up Excellence helps business leaders decide whether it is best to focus on local needs or to grow a business on a larger scale. The theme of the book is that it is possible to push for excellence on all levels—even when a business expands. It also addresses the fact that businesses can maintain the philosophies that put them on the map, which are often local and personal, even when expanding.
7. Inspired: How to Create Products Customers Love
This book doesn’t focus on management. Instead, it focuses on product development. This is crucial because any good business needs to have a good product. This book also discusses the problems that make really good products fail in spite of their apparent brilliance. This is a good device to add to your management tool belt as you seek to become an effective entrepreneur or leader in the field.
8. The Franchise MBA: Mastering the 4 Essential Steps to Owning a Franchise
Nick Neonakis, Sagar Rambhia, and Aditya Rengaswamy
The authors of this book have been part of some of the world’s largest franchise opportunities. They put their expertise together to help MBA students find the best franchise opportunity and launch it successfully. They bring case studies from their own work to the book to show practical applications of the rules they share.
9. The Corner Office: Indispensable and Unexpected Lessons from CEOs on How to Lead and Succeed
In this book, Adam Bryant publishes interviews from many of the CEOs he talked to as part of his “Corner Office” column in the New York Times. The insights from some of the best leaders in business are invaluable to up-and-coming managers and MBA students. Now, instead of having to dig into back issues of the newspaper, students can find the advice compiled in one location.
10. How to Win Friends and Influence People
Even though it was published over 80 years ago, How to Win Friends and Influence People remains a top-selling book in the business world for good reason. This is one of the best business books for MBA students because it contains vital, relevant information that is necessary to help people build strong relationships with others. It explores how to find success by communicating better with people and using communication to make positive first impressions. Positive first impressions translate into better influence over people. If you want to find success in business, you need to read this book and reference it regularly.
Achieving an MBA can open wide many doors in the business world. When those doors open for you, you’ll want to have these books close at hand. Their insights make them the best books for MBA students and management professionals alike. If you’re looking for a high-quality, part-time or full-time flexible MBA program that offers the benefit of either in-class or online learning, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga has a number of options. Learn more about our Online MBA program or Flexible MBA program and talk to an admissions counselor about starting your degree today.